Possessiveness over toys

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amymac
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Possessiveness over toys

Postby amymac » Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:26 pm

Hi everyone.
I have a problem with Riley in that he is very possessive of his toys. He has bitten me a couple of times when I have taken toys off him. He is not possessive of his food bowl or aggressive in any other way but just over his toys. What can I do to stop this unacceptable behaviour?

Things I have already started doing are
- rolling him on his back if he nips until he adopts a submissive pose
- putting toys away after uses in a special box he can see on top of the fridge (telling him they are my toys not his) - only started this a couple of days ago
- my friend is going to bring her German Shepherd around to our house to see if Riley is possessive of his property as well and to teach him to share. I don't know many people with dogs so it is bit difficult to arrange for other dogs to come here.

Any ideas appreciated

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Re: Possessiveness over toys

Postby Emma » Wed Dec 03, 2008 5:48 pm

Hi Amy

I am not sure what to do about this but I do know that I struggled getting play mates for Coco in the beginning.  You might remember me asking everyone if we could hook up if they are in Auckland.

I ended up taking her for more walks in the park so she would meet lots of other dogs and also finding a kennels that do daystay has been a god send!!  She was so used to being with people when I took her to work but really needed to step up dog contact.

Maybe you can find a kennels over the shore or maybe take him to Barkley Manor a couple of days a week when it suits you.  I know with your work this can be pretty hard but I am sure you will work something out.  Even if it is just one day a week - I am sure it will help.

I am feeling very guilty now for not getting back to you about sorting out a play date with the pups.  Just finding the time at the moment to head out your way is the problem especially since I work all week and have been flat out during the weekends with other stuff.

I will be in touch though and we will work something out.  This weekend is fully booked but over the holiday's we are staying in Auckland so if you are maybe we can sort something out.

Personal message me what your plans are over the hols.  Good luck with the toy thing and I am sure that one of the delightful and very spoodle experienced forum members will help you out - they are great like that!!! ;)

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Re: Possessiveness over toys

Postby sl_simpson » Wed Dec 03, 2008 9:15 pm

Hi Amymac

Might be good to talk to them at Barkley mannor also.

Here is an article on something to try.  

http://www.purina.co.nz/Home/All+About+ ... ve+Dog.htm

The Dog Whisper had a good technique to do on one of his shows.
I think it was something like this but not a hundred percent sure.

Gradually moving into the dogs space, by walking up to the dog in a non threatening manner no eye contact, moving your foot gradually closer (while being calm and assertive), using a strong sissst sound when he growls or attempts to bite, don't back off and try not to flinch, as the dog conceeds ground by moving away move forward so that you own the space and can put you foot on the toy claming it.  This can take a while but don't rush it.

Another one was with a smaller dog, sitting beside them and moving your hand gradually closer (while being calm and assertive) as above.

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Re: Possessiveness over toys

Postby amymac » Wed Dec 03, 2008 9:48 pm

I feel a bit embarassed like my dog is letting the side down by being naughty and biting. But I'm so determined to straighten out all these issues now so hopefully people will look at Riley as an adult dog and think he is wonderfully behaved.

I think I will order the Dog Whisperer DVDs.

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Re: Possessiveness over toys

Postby doyle and mollie » Thu Dec 04, 2008 6:54 am

hi amy - sounds like you are doing all the right things - one thing we did with doyle was teach him to sit and then to give - essentially everytime we took something from him we said the word give - as you can imagine he's good most of the time but not everytime !! he he - he also has outside toys and inside toys and he knows the difference - is there a particular reason you are wanting to take the toys off him? also he may be starting to teeth
which does make them grouchy

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Re: Possessiveness over toys

Postby amymac » Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:58 am

Yes - Riley does know the drop command but chooses not to use this at times 8-). I am going to work on this a bit more.

The last incident with Riley was actually with a pine cone at the beach when I took it off him so I could throw it and give him some good running time. He actually became VERY cross - snarling and bit me leaving marks. I flipped him on his back to tell him off as the dog trainer at puppy school told us to do and he managed to continue biting me as I did this. Perhaps it was unwise to take the pinecone off him. But I do want to be able to remove things from Riley's mouth without him biting because sometimes we do have to do this eg if it is something dangerous, precious or another rotten fish head :P. I will work on a better drop command as he does learn really easily in a structured environment with treats on hand.

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Re: Possessiveness over toys

Postby doyle and mollie » Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:07 am

try the command give its less threatening in its sound... drop is a sudden short snappy word, give is smoother or more relaxed... remember its the tone your dog understands not the words. riley's behaviour while not abnormal does need fixing he needs to understand you are the alpha male - leader of the pack - has he got a lot of toys?? maybe you could remove them all bar one for a while. tugging games are good this might help him understand its good to give... keep us posted

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Re: Possessiveness over toys

Postby amymac » Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:21 am

I tried to use "give" as the command at first but neither me nor my husband could remember it after a lifetime of saying "drop" (love that 1980s dog training) so went back to drop to avoid confusing Riley.

Yep - today Riley has one toy only. I was keeping his toys in a cupboard but have moved them to a box on the fridge so he actually has to watch me put them away and get them out. (For the symbolism) He doesn't really have that many toys but basically anything in the house we let him have eg empty coke bottle he becomes possessive over.

He does a few other little dominant things. eg in last two days has randomly started nipping my ankles. (He gets rolled for that too)
Also this week he humped several dogs in puppy class and the trainer especially put him with dogs who were likely to nip back and teach him a lesson.  I can see Riley is a really smart dog and is going to be brilliant at obedience - he learns incredibly quickly - but clearly if he were in the wild he would be an extremely dominant male and does not want to give an inch to his human owners. We are following all the leadership rules we were given at puppy school except maybe he eats first sometimes because we eat at random hours. If we had a laid back pup we would be fine I'm sure - Riley is just giving us a run for the money. Worth it though. I love him heaps.

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Re: Possessiveness over toys

Postby doyle and mollie » Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:38 am

how old is he - you will find that neutering him will help with some of the dominance - not sure plastic coke bottles are the best to give him they are way too sharp if he breaks thru the plastic... also he sees you using them so thinks when you give it to him its ok to play with your toys - you need to define his stuff and your stuff asap as this will help avoid sneaky destruction of things.

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Re: Possessiveness over toys

Postby amymac » Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:28 am

15 weeks old.
Yes he is the ultimate destroyer of all things.

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Re: Possessiveness over toys

Postby igot2spoodlesyay » Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:37 pm

peanut snaped at me a little when i went to give him a cuddle and he had a pigs ear, i loudly said NO and took his pigs ear off him...this seemed to help and he licked me after i did it.  spoodles seem to be a bit nippy but my boys seem to be starting to understand its wrong...mostly its out of affection but once or twice peanut has done it over a pigs ear or something...iv been trying to practice taking stuff off them and giving it back so they know i can do this if i want to...

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Re: Possessiveness over toys

Postby sl_simpson » Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:07 pm

Another tip something I have done with bones or pig ear treats is to stand in front of them and pretend to have a chew on the bone etc.. (making a really chewy sound with your teeth and smacking lip sound as though one was a noise eater etc...) first while they wait and watch. Yeh a bit goofy   ;D
I watch to see if they are showing less interest and looking away or lie down and show no interest.  I then call them over to spot where I what to give it to them and get them to sit. Then they get the bone or pigs ear treats.  But watch they don'ts snatch it away, give the comand leave until they take it nicely and then give them praise.

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Re: Possessiveness over toys

Postby doyle and mollie » Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:14 pm

this worked really well for doyle with getting him to understand we have to eat our dinner without him begging for it - we can now sit on the couch eat our dinner and he will just sit nicely watching until we finish - sometimes he gets a bit of the leftovers but not all the time

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Re: Possessiveness over toys

Postby amymac » Mon Dec 15, 2008 8:43 pm

I think things are really improving now we are majorly restricting access to the toys. My husband has been working hard with him to get him to sit nicely before he is given a toy as he does have a tendency toward the snatch and grab. Really loving the Dog Whisperer programme as our leadership has improved already. We have been trying really hard but until we saw Cesar do it really had no clue what we were doing.

Riley is getting good at walks now too. Previously he was just pulling us along or sitting down refusing to move. We got a gentle leader collar on the recommendation of our puppy school teacher - it is really excellent - has eliminated 99% of problem behaviour.

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Re: Possessiveness over toys

Postby amymac » Sat Mar 28, 2009 1:24 pm

Hello. I thought I would update this post because I remember when I brought Riley home we just struggled and struggled with all his little behaviours and wondered how we were ever going to cope. Especially with mouthing, nipping, possessiveness which would be unacceptable to me in an adult dog.
Well Riley is 7 months old now. I have met quite a few puppies and he was one of the most hyperactive puppies I have ever met. At the groomers the first time she couldn't keep him on her table let alone cut his hair. And Barkley Manor described him as having a "broken off switch".
However, I have to say all the training has definitely paid off. At 6 months Riley just seem to RELAX. And over the last 2 months we have ended up with this big sooky dog who likes nothing better than a cuddle. He still has his extreme active moments but he doesn't have to move every second of the day like before. He has beautiful bite inhibition, is friendly to adults, children, strangers etc. He has done really well with obedience training. I can't remember the last time I alpha rolled Riley because he now responds to a verbal "ahah" and stops his problem behaviour. It's brilliant.
So just wanted to let those struggling puppy owners know that all your hard work will come to fruition.
;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;D


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