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Possessiveness


Guest zombrie
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Guest zombrie

Doolin has been home for two weeks on thursday. When he has a toy he will growl and snap at the other dogs (99% of the time it's Caesar, he is the only one that hasn't learned to leave him alone when he has something) When he is done chewing on it and puts it down, he doesn't care anymore if another dog tries to take it. Just now, he stole a dish towel off of the counter and had the same reaction. Caesar thought it was play time, Doolin just wanted to chew and snapped at Caesar. Obviously, he isn't allowed to chew on dish towels but I was to nervous to try to take it from him. So I ran to the other side of the house (he follows me everywhere) and he left it and it distracted him so I was able to pick it up were he left it.

What am I supposed to do when he has something he really isn't supposed to have? Is it just an adjustment thing that will go away? Or as he gets more comfortable will it get worse? I've never had a dog come through this house yet that is possessive of toys. He has not shown any aggression towards people, only the dogs. Then again I don't trust him to not snap at me if I try to take something from him and I don't want to find out if he is the same way with humans. Any suggestions?

Edited by zombrie
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Teach him to "drop it!" (or whatever command you want to use) using the trading up method. If you do a search on "trading up" in this forum, you'll probably find several protocols.

 

For us, trading up isn't a way of life; it's a training method. I don't show the dog the treat first unless there's a dire emergency. I start out giving the dog something he doesn't much want and might not even take from me (in which case I just set it down in front of him), cheerful "Drop it!", followed quickly by taking the object away, "Good dog!" and treat, then give the object right back. Repeat repeat repeat. The idea is, when you say "Drop it!", dog not only gets a treat, he gets his object back too! (99% of the time, of course, wink wink nudge nudge.) Work gradually from objects dog doesn't want, to objects he's mildly interested in, to stuff he really really wants. No moving up to a more desirable object until he's got the less desirable one down.

 

I would put the things he's apt to defend away and bring them out only when you can supervise, until he and your other pups get the hang of each other. (For example, Gidgie has learned that Joseph doesn't want to play with *her* when he's playing with a toy. So I can leave most toys out without fear of mayhem. The dogs are muzzled or separated when no one's here.)

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest zombrie

Thanks for the tip! I'm definitely going to give that a try. Just now Doolin stole a loaf of banana bread off of the counter (I think he was hungry as it's the first time he has stolen food, I lost track of time and it was a half hour after the usual dinner time) and he dropped it and Caesar the chow hound ate the entire loaf :angryfire I do blame myself though, just mad this all went down because I wasn't paying attention

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Guest happygrey

Drop it and trading are good ones. In fact, I do this with Bentley nearly all day long. :lol Seriously. Hopefully this behavior will subside as he gets more and more comfortable with your house and the new canine companions he's got.

 

I think your instinct not to take it from him if he's really growling is a good one. You don't want to get bitten.

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