Mine by Jean Donaldson

Mine! A Practical Guide to Resource Guarding in Dogs - Jean Donaldson

GR Cleanup Read in 2011


This is a book for a dog trainer or serious and dedicated dog owner who is facing guarding resource problems (getting all growly, bitey over food, people, furniture, etc.) This book isn’t for the casual pet owner because it’s far too technical and dry for a brand new pet owner but I’d recommend a copy for anyone who has done some obedience work and fosters, rescues, etc. because you really never know what you may face until you get the dog inside your home.

The author lists step-by-step techniques and guidance to help a dog become a safe(r) member of the family and society and addresses only guarding problems and body handling issues. One of the desensitization programs has 40+ steps and dogs can backslide (there are tips for this) if you go too fast, so this is no quick fix people. But it’s a great alternative to euthanasia or negative /harsh training methods.

Personally, though I find the steps and the information in the book extremely helpful I didn’t care for the overly technical jargon the author uses. It made the book deadly dull to read from cover to cover (which I did) but I will keep it and I’m sure I will find it incredibly helpful when faced with a dog exhibiting these issues but then I can just skip over to the chapter helpful to me at the time.

I really like this author's perspective. She says that people expect dogs to live their lives without ever losing their temper and says that's like expecting a person to go through life never getting angry and raising their voice. Well, I would've been put down at 13 if that were the case ;)

I also appreciated the chapter on preventing these situations in the first place by socializing, touching and grooming a puppy. These chapters should be mandatory reading for everyone bringing home a new puppy. There is only a small window during puppyhood to do this and it’s soooo important and something so many dogs don’t get to experience thus the issues with nail clipping, vet handling and growly behavior. I can’t tell you how many dogs I groomed in my short stint as a groomer who bit, peed, screamed and were absolutely petrified to be touched in any way.