Whenever I give my dog a chewy bone treat he always protects it and acts like I am going to take it off him. He runs off and chews it alone in private. If I go near him he hypes up and darts off with him.

It seems like strange behaviour because I've never took it from him before.

Does anyone have any insight on this?


"Protect his treat with his life" is probably a bit exaggerated.

It's just "just in case he'll take it!" behavior. This might also originate from you taking something else or it could be really just inherent behavior. There's nothing to worry about.

However, what you can try is really trivial and simple:

  • Get your dog in a place where it has a hard time escaping with the bone.

  • Give it the bone.

  • After a moment (depends on how fast it'll finish it), take it again.

  • Look at it a bit, let your dog see it, then give it back.

  • Repeat this over a few days and the dog should become less "protective", since it will notice that you'll give it back.

These steps should also work in other instances of "protective behavior", e.g. the dog snarling or barking, if you try to take anything.

  • Yeah you're probably right, couldn't think of a better way to word it!
    – Tom
    Apr 26 '15 at 14:51
  • I'd love to hear if this works! I'm afraid it will achieve the opposite, the dog learning that you actually do take stuff from him...
    – tbkn23
    Apr 30 '15 at 10:43
  • @tbkn23 The trick is to show the dog that you'll just look and give it back immediately. You don't keep it. Our Husky used to run away with his bones or snarl at us. Did this two or three times and the issue was gone.
    – Mario
    Apr 30 '15 at 11:15

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