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    Thread: Toy possessive

    1. #1
      House Broken
      MayaNSofie's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jun 2014
      Thanked: 25

      Toy possessive

      Hi! My 4 year old lab mix, Maya, is quite the toy hog. She knows "leave it" and "drop it" but she barks and growls at Sofie for taking a toy that maya wants. I have many many toys that maya can choose from, but she always wants the toy another dog has. Sofie luckily gives the toy up, but I am worried they will fight one day. Maya also tries to steal treats from other dogs which ends up in a growl match before I get involved. Any advice ? I'm willing to take her to training if it is something I cannot do at home.

    2. #2
      Senior Dog
      smartrock's Avatar
      Join Date
      May 2014
      Carolina in my mind..
      Thanked: 3092
      Her actions sound like what is referred to as "resource guarding", this is mine, that is mine, what you have is mine, what you want is mine. My younger one looks for opportunities to snatch away whatever the older one has but it doesn't get to the level of growling because the older one will give it up without resistance. When you say she steals treats from other dogs, in what situation are you that makes that an issue and, aside from Sofie, what other dogs?

      I don't have a good solution for you for those interactions between dogs. I worked with my younger dog when she first came home to understand that they each got a bowl of food and she couldn't have access to Chase's food until he walked away from the bowl. If they get a bone to chew on that takes a while, I usually put one or the other into a crate so no stealing occurs. When I see her finish whatever she has and start eyeing Chase, I correct her before she makes her move, whenever possible. If I do see the younger one steal something from the older one, I take it from her and give it back to the older one. If I tell Lark to leave it, Chase thinks I'm talking to him so I just take her away from wherever he is. Neither of them growl at me when I take something from them and they don't growl at each other. If I don't intervene, then the older one just gives up and looks longingly at the younger one as she enjoys his whatever. Around my daughter's dog, who is a serious resource guarder, we just don't give treats or allow them to have toys if they are together. She also considers her owners her resource so that adds another level of caution to the mix.

      You could look online for information on resource guarding and dogs to get some background. It might take a trainer to come to your home and see the interactions in person to help you determine what strategies to employ and how to observe Maya's behavior and time your corrections to be the most effective.

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