Originally Posted by Boudicca
She only guards me. No guarding food or toys, or stolen shoes. How can I "train" her to ignore hugs and desired affection given to me by others? Can I use the food to reward her when she sits quietly and doesn't protest? Can you give me an example of what to do with this since it's me she's guarding, and not an object, and I don't want to have to give up hugs!
Personally I would do a couple of things...
First I would actively work on setting up training sessions where you will be able to reward her for appropriate behavior when your husband is near you/hugs you.
Start out by having your husband stand next to you. Nothing more. Toss VERY yummy treats (something she goes crazy for) on the floor for your pup. When she no longer has a negative response to your husband standing next to you, then he could start putting his arm around you. You would continue to reward her just as you did before. Finally hug and toss treats.
It is likely that you will need break this down into multiple sessions. Move slowly and let your dog set the pace. Training such as this (Counter Conditioning), is meant to change the emotional response of the animal (done by pairing something they don't like with something they really enjoy) so it takes time and many repititions. But they do catch on very quickly. Oh! And you will not need to have treats with you everytime you want to hug your husband in the future! I promise!
Something else that I would do is to simply walk away from her when she tries to get between you and your husband. Completely ignore her. After 20 seconds or so you can go back and try hugging again. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
This works very quickly as the last thing your dog wants if for you to leave and ignore her.
When I first brought my Dobie home, my Min Pin had issues with him approaching and trying to lay next to me on the couch, especially if she was already sitting on my lap or curled up next to me. I know she was not guarding the couch as they often curled up together there. The only time it became as issue was when I was in the picture.
It only took me getting up and walking away 3 before Penny decided to give it up. But I did a combination of both methods (feeding treats, and walking away) that I mentioned. I don't think I would have gotten the results I did had I not also worked on counter conditioining.