We all have things that we value. Dad’s favourite arm chair. The baby’s favourite rattle. Uncle Bob and his spare ribs. There are certain items that we just don’t want to share.
The higher the value of the item, the more likely we would be to fight for the right to keep it. If you were carrying a flower and a mugger told you to hand it over! It would be an easy decision. What about your cellphone? Would you put up a fight? How about an antique watch that your grandfather had as a boy? Your reaction would be determined by the value of the item.
The context also plays a role. Umbrellas are more valuable when it’s raining. Water is more valuable when you are thirsty, food more valuable when famished.
All this is to say that if your dog is showing aggression in response to another animal or human approaching their valued resources, this DOES NOT mean that your dog is being bad, rude, or dominant. This is a perfectly understandable and adaptive response.
That said, there are inherent risks to any kind of aggressive behaviour, so it’s best to prevent this behaviour from developing by teaching your dog to LOVE relinquishing valued items. This is done by: