K-9 Expert Reveals Warning Signs A Dog Is “Guarding Your Baby’s Resources”

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A K-9 behavior training expert is teaching parents to spot signs of “resource guarding” in their dogs, behavior that could put a baby’s life at risk.

Resource Guard it is when a dog adopts aggressive, anxious or avoidant behaviors to “guard” an object that he enjoys. It may to understand rushing towards an object to prevent others from touching it, as well as running away with, hiding or blocking the object. They may also display aggressive behaviors, such as growling, baring teeth, or biting.

Stock photo of a dog growling defensively. It may look like protection, but it can be dangerous if your dog begins to “rescue” your baby.
cynoclub/iStock/Getty Images Plus

However, some people confuse these actions with protective actions, believing that their pet wants to protect their baby rather than harm them. In a series of videos shared on TikTok, credentialed trainer Jacqui Zakar (@dogsense) explains why this behavior is risky and how you can stop it before someone gets hurt.

In a video posted on Friday, Zakar shared a clip uploaded by another user where their dog protects a baby. The creator of the original clip captioned the scene, “When the dog thinks he’s the father now,” despite the dog growling angrily and preparing to rush when the parent approaches the baby.

“We think the dog is protective. This dog is aggressively warning its own owner to stay away from his own child,” Jacqui Zakar said.

“Why does a dog have to protect a baby from its own parent? It’s a behavioral issue, it’s not protection. It has nothing to do with the safety of the baby.

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In a second clip, a Rottweiler is seen resting its head defensively on a baby’s belly, while its owner tries to shoo the dog away. In this video, Zakar highlighted the signs that the animal is protecting resources, such as “stress [panting],” “tongue clack” and “posture/claim”.

Zakar captioned the video, “Redefining what we ‘want’ dog behavior to indicate to what it ‘really’ indicates.”

TikTok users were grateful to Jacqui Zakar for bringing attention to the issue.

JD commented, “Thank you for posting this because so many people think it’s nice but it’s not.”

Users Trisha, Barry and Chorizo ​​wrote, “OMG I thought it was a doll for training purposes at first. I almost threw up in anxiety when the baby started moving!”

According to Centers for Disease Control and prevention, 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States. More than 800,000 of these people need medical attention for their injuries, with children being the most frequent victims. People under the age of 16 accounted for almost half of dog bite deaths between 2000 and 2018, with a 300% increase in dog bite cases during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2021, a 16-month-old girl was killed in a dog attack in Akron, Ohio. The dog had been described as “agitated” before launching the attack on the infant. In March, a 7-month-old baby was mauled to death by a Bulldog-Great Pyrenees mix while visiting his grandparents in Martinez, Georgia, police say. In April, police said a mother stabbed a Pitbull to death as it attacked her one-year-old daughter in Pico Rivera, LA. The baby has fractured his hip and is biting his left leg, shoulder and ear.

In the comments, Jacqui Zakar expressed concern that many people dismiss the seriousness of resource protection or justify the behavior of the dog, writing: “It is very concerning to see these videos, not only because the dangerousness of these videos, but because of the comments that usually accompany their…”

In another videoZakar explained how to react in a situation of resource protection, for the good of the dog and the baby.

She explained: “Don’t try to pick up this baby. The dog is literally communicating that he wants to hold the baby.

“Trying to take the baby away could actually make it worse and make the dog worse.”

Zakar also warned against punishing the dog as it could also backfire. Instead, she recommended “getting the dog to voluntarily walk away.”

She added: “I don’t want to go into the details of what that might look like because it really depends on the dog, it depends on what he finds valuable, it depends on the whole situation.”

However, she suggested having a plan in place to prevent this behavior, so the dog isn’t trying to protect the baby’s resources to begin with.

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