And this pup is super challenging. He is independent and has shown some resource guarding already. Never when I was with him. But 3-4 times he has shown pretty scary behavior. She and I worked on the "trade up game" when I was visiting and that seems to be taking the edge off and I think she will be able to extinguish the issue.
This is something I do routinely with a new puppy as a preventative, and so far it's always worked for me. Rather than waiting for a potential guarding issue to crop up and have to deal with it later, I do trading games proactively. Of the GSDs we've had, Halo is probably the only one who might have become a resource guarder if left unchecked. But because I did SO much work with her right from the very beginning, including both trading games and tons of impulse control stuff, she's the one dog who will bring me a bone to hold for her while she chews, or she'll come to me with a ball so I can take it away from her and give it back before she goes away and plays with it. Those are little games that she made up and initiates.
I think if you start out with a puppy realizing that you have no idea what problems you may encounter along the way and do what you can to prevent them before they ever begin, it can make a huge difference in the long run. I never take food away from my dogs after I give it to them, but I can give them a pat on the side as I walk by while they're eating, or put my hand in the bowl to drop something yummy in it, and they're totally fine with that because they trust me.
I agree. I do the same. It's second nature to me.
But not to her. The first incident, I was there (stayed at her house while the family, including puppy, went to soccer game of son). She told me about it when they got home.
We tried to replicate the item (an empty plastic bottle). He did not repeat the behavior. She was disappointed I did not get to see it, I was happy. Had to explain WHY I did not want to see it. The more he practices that behavior the worse it is.
She also has young boys, who leave stuff EVERYWHERE! So the pup gets constant attention to get things away from him. And sometimes it's a quick issue, but it's not always easy for her to do a " trade up".
But, she is smart( my friend) and she told me about a recent issue where he got all tense around a bone and she was easily able to call him off and trade up. So she gets it. Her 8 and 5 yo are the concern. Fingers crossed. Resource guarding has never been an issue for any of my dogs. And most likely would not be with this puppy. But different homes, different outcomes.