Dog Aggressive With Bone? What to Do When Dog Growls Over Bone!

Have you noticed your dog aggressive with bones? Are they growling, or even snapping when you come close? This behavior, often rooted in resource guarding, is concerning, but addressing it requires that you first understand why dogs are aggressive with bones. Once that’s done, we can then teach you how you can stop your dog growling over their bone.

In this article, you’re also going to learn what to do if your dog growls when you try to take his bone and how to handle situations where your puppy becomes aggressive or even bites. By implementing the training techniques we’ll cover and establishing clear boundaries, you’ll soon be rid of your dog’s bone aggression. Let’s get started!

Dog Aggressive With Bone

Dog Aggressive With Bone

A dog aggressive with bones is often rooted in resource guarding, a behavior where dogs feel the need to protect valuable items like food, toys, or bones. This instinctual behavior can stem from anxiety over losing a prized possession or lack of trust in others around their valued resources.

Why Are Dogs Aggressive With Bones?

Dogs are aggressive with bones because of an instinct known as resource guarding. This behavior is often driven by the dog’s perception of the bone as a highly valuable item, leading to defensive actions to protect it.

Factors contributing to this behavior can include genetics, past experiences, or competition for resources in multi-pet households.

My Dog Growls at Me When He Has a Bone

If your dog growls at you when he has a bone, it’s a clear sign of resource guarding. To get your dog to give you the bone, use high-value treats for a trade. Here’s how to do it:

  • Approach your dog calmly, holding a treat they find irresistible.
  • Offer the treat in exchange for the bone, using a command like “trade” or “give.”
  • Once your dog releases the bone to take the treat, praise them warmly.
  • Return the bone to them later to build trust, showing that giving up the bone doesn’t mean losing it forever.

What to Do When Dog Growls Over Bone

To stop your dog growling over a bone and teach your dog to willingly give up items upon command, train them with the “drop it” command:

  1. Start with a less valuable item: Give your dog a toy or item your dog likes but is less possessive of.
  2. Introduce the “drop it” command: While your dog holds the item, offer a high-value treat and say “drop it.” They’ll likely drop the toy to take the treat.
  3. Reward and repeat: Immediately praise them and give the treat once they drop the item. Practice this regularly, gradually moving to more valued items like bones.
  4. Build up to the bone: Once your dog reliably responds to the command with less valued items, try using it when they have a bone, always ensuring the trade is worth it for them.

Understanding why your dog is aggressive with bones and then addressing it using positive reinforcement and these commands should help you manage this behavior.

It’s important to remember, however, that the underlying behavioral issues (resource-guarding, aggressiveness, etc.) that were causing all of this to begin with will still be present. And until you address those, any positive changes you see will only be temporary.

“Well, how do I make these changes last?”

By getting your dog to truly choose to follow your direction, that’s how. I tried many times to write out how you can do that before deciding it made more sense to just link you to the free video series that explains it better than I’d ever be able to.

The series is by a man named Dan who is one of the world’s leading dog obedience trainers. In it, he teaches you how to put an end to things like your dog growling over bones and all other misbehavior using his fast and easy-to-follow methods.

In the first video, Dan will reveal to you why the two most common methods of dog training only doom you to failure. You can watch the video now by clicking here. Follow the proven system he’ll show you in his series and you’ll never have to spend another second worrying about why your dog is aggressive with bones ever again!

Dog Bone Aggression: Resource Guarding

Dog Bone Aggression

Dog bone aggression is a common form of resource guarding, a behavior where dogs protect their possessions from perceived threats. This can include food, toys, and, notably, bones. Resource guarding is rooted in a dog’s instinct to survive by safeguarding valuable resources.

My Dog Growls When I Try to Take His Bone

If your dog growls when you try to take his bone, it’s a clear sign of resource guarding. This reaction is your dog’s way of communicating that they perceive a threat to their valued possession. They may even try to hide or bury the bone. It’s important to address this behavior calmly and constructively to avoid reinforcing the fear or aggression.

Learn the 4-step process for getting an aggressive dog to let you take his bone by going back to the first section now.

How to Handle Dog That Growls With Bone

Handling a dog that growls with a bone involves careful, positive reinforcement strategies to reduce the guarding behavior:

  • Do not punish the growling, as this can increase anxiety and potentially lead to more aggressive behavior.
  • Work on “trade” or “drop it” commands using high-value treats to encourage your dog to willingly give up the bone. Learn them now in the first section.
  • Gradually desensitize your dog to having people near them while they have a bone, rewarding calm behavior with treats and praise.

Puppy Aggressive With Bone and Bit Me

Aggression from a puppy over a bone, including biting, indicates a strong inclination towards resource guarding that needs immediate attention:

  1. Start by ensuring all interactions around the bone are positive, using treats and praise to build positive associations.
  2. Teach the “drop it” command in a non-confrontational way, rewarding compliance with high-value treats. Learn it now in the first section.
  3. Avoid taking the bone away directly if it triggers aggressive behavior; instead, work on trading the bone for something better to avoid negative encounters.

In summary, understanding and addressing bone aggression and resource guarding in dogs requires patience, positive reinforcement, and training commands. By recognizing the signs of resource guarding and implementing appropriate training techniques, you can help your dog feel secure and reduce aggressive behaviors, ensuring a safer and happier home environment.

I’m sure you’re ready to get going now that you have all of your questions about your dog guarding their bone answered, so I’ll let you begin. Good luck, and thanks for reading our article “Dog Aggressive With Bone? What to Do When Dog Growls Over Bone!”.

The Author

KB Williams

KB Williams

Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge of dog training and behavior while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.