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 Toy guarding?

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Female Join date : 2015-09-11
Location : Cincinnati OH

PostSubject: Toy guarding?   Sun Apr 24, 2016 6:52 pm

We recently boring home an 8 week old puppy, Luka (recently as in Friday night). Introductions with our existing husky went well, and they have been playing well together - until this afternoon. We bought a stuffed toy that was similar to one the our current dog Mia has that he's shown a lot of interest in. We didn't think it would be a problem so we gave the new toy to Luka this afternoon and it was a hit!
The problem came in when Mia tried to play with him. He growled the first time she came close, and then the second time he lunged and bit her face. She's ok-no physical injury but she's been sulking the last few hours. I'm also concerned because he started growling when I got close to him with that toy... I didn't immedeatly take the toy from him, and had read up on some possession training... So I tried that and it either just fine for that toy-he started letting me take it from him and give it back.

Just a few minutes ago, tho, I went to help him pull a toy he pushed under the coffee table, and he growled at me again for being so close.

I'm very confused and concerned that this behaviour is indicative of future major problems. This is the first time either my fiancé or I have had multiple dogs, so I'm really hoping we are making mountains out of molehills here. Is it normal behaviour in a young puppy to guard toys so fiercely? I'm confused because it doesn't make sense to me why all of a sudden he's acting out like that... We haven't been taking toys away from him, unless we are redirecting him from chewing on blankets towels clothes ect to something puppy appropriate. He hasn't shown any issues with food gaurding either...

Is this a concern? Or are we overreacting? If we should be concerned, what steps can we take to nip this in the bud?
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Female Join date : 2015-08-01
Location : Toronto

PostSubject: Re: Toy guarding?   Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:45 pm

It's normal for puppies to not want to share, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't worry. Toy guarding can become a real issue with two dogs in the house. The way to deal with this is when he is playing drop a treat beside him as you walk by keep doing this for a few days then move to bending down to his level and dropping a treat while he plays, then offer him the treat in your hand then a few days later offer him the treat and gently pick up the toy, keep doing this until he no longer cares when you walk by and take his toy. (This may take a month or so) after this slowly introduced your older dog on a leash bring her over to him drop a treat while you and your older dog walk by, keep doing this, next get your older dog to lay down near the puppy and drop a treat beside your puppy, keep doing this until he is comfortable with her being close to his toys, lastly take his toy and give it to her when he doesn't snap or growl treat him if he does say no or enough in a firm tone. That should help, I would also do these steps with food just to make sure a food issue doesn't come up. Hope this helps!
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Female Join date : 2015-09-11
Location : Cincinnati OH

PostSubject: Re: Toy guarding?   Mon Apr 25, 2016 2:19 pm

Thanks for that suggestion! If it keeps up we'll definitely try that.

I'm more in the camp that maybe it's because we've only have him three days and he's still learning the rules (although technically it was Mia's social ineptitude that kept her going back and trying to play with him after his first warning growls that caused her to get snapped at). My fiance, however, is more in the doom-and-gloom "oh no this was a mistake lets regret everything" camp.

He's been okay with Mia since last night-she's approached him a few times with different toys and there was no issue, and we worked with him ourselves on him letting us take toys from him, give him a treat, and let him have the toy back. Mia's over her sulking, too-they were playing just fine this morning before we left for work, and the fiance said they were getting along just fine when he took them out at lunchtime.
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