• Davis Tran

    August 18, 2018 at 1:45 am

    Hi Dave,

    Please do provide more information when you find out.

    With that said, going from the information you have provided, here are a couple things to consider.

    First, with regard to the biting incident around food/items in the dog’s mouth, this is classic resource guarding (a defensive form of aggression).

    It is extremely important that this is understood as a normal canine behavior. All Dogs and Wolves have the potential (some more than others) to defend resources that is within their possession which is when the resource is within what we call the “ownership zone”, under the dog’s mouth and between it’s front paws. From an evolutionary perspective, this is how they survive in a social environment, otherwise, if they don’t guard, they would starve to death with other pack members constantly stealing from them.

    Resource guarding should not be mistaken for dominance aggression as it has nothing to do with status. Even the most submissive dog or puppies can resource guard (under that specific situation) and be perfectly submissive  in all other areas of it’s life. The higher ranking member of the pack will also respect the ownership zone of more submissive dogs and even puppies in most cases as this is within normal canine culture and not a dominance issue or challenge.

    Resources can be more than just food, resources can also include things such as toys, water, or anything the dog/wolves value enough to defend.

    This would explain the 2 incidents you described of the dog biting over the bowl as well as when someone tried to take the item of his mouth.


    The submissive urination is most likely the effect of the dog being corrected for resource guarding. This is one of the reasons why we don’t recommend correcting resource guarding directly. At best, the dog would simply suppress the behavior toward that specific individual addressing the correction, but the risk of the dog guarding against someone else is still very real (such as a child who assumed the dog no longer guards). Urination of course is also another side effect.

    As stated, resource guarding have nothing to do with status and dominance. The dog can be perfectly submissive in all areas of life and resource guard only under the specific circumstances that would allow resource guarding according to normal canine culture (when resource is within ownership zone). Correcting for resource guarding can cause extreme confusion for the dog in this case, which can be the reason for extreme urination (often used as a way to appease higher ranking members, in this case, probably used to appease the person giving the correction, or just out of fear).

    If you have not already, I highly suggest reading this for more information about different types of aggression: https://dogtraining.world/knowledge-base/classification-canine-aggression-rehab-k9-1/


    There is many things that can be done down the road to help resolve and better manage the “issue” such as teaching a formal “out” command, leave it command, a recall command, counter condition the dog, etc .

    But the first and most important thing to do is accept, respect, and manage the dog.

    There should be no need to take a dog’s food away when he is eating his meal from his bowl in most circumstances.

    And for now, if the dog has an item in his mouth, it can also be traded for treats, etc if the item must be taken away.




    With regard to the other 2 incident where the dog bit the person when he was focused on the other dog and grabbed/dragged away. This is probably a redirection bite out of frustration.

    The reason for the dog being focused on the other dog (I assume in an aggressive manner) can not yet be explained as we would need more information such as who the other dog is, where this occured, and the situation the dogs were in.

    But possible reasons can be barrier frustration or terriorial aggression.

    For now, I recommend muzzling the dog on walks to prevent getting bit from redirection.


    I would also just start conditioning the dog to a muzzle now in general. This will allow the dog to be worked with in a much safer manner and increase his chance of survival as another bite can be the last straw for him.


    I am sure more people can chime in as you provide more information, please keep us posted.






    Classification of Canine Aggression