Puppies, like children, learn from what they see. If you want to stop your puppy from being territorial over his toys, then you first need to get him used to other people handling the toys. It is best for an adult to start this process by showing the puppy many times that taking a toy away does not result in punishment. A playful tug-of-war between owner and pup works well. The person can also act as if they are going to take some food away from the pup for no reason and have a game of keep away with the toys as well. These games will make it easier for your pup when friends want to play with him or when there is conflict over who gets which toy.
A common behavior shared by many dogs is toy guarding. This can begin as early as five to six weeks old and will continue throughout the dog’s life. Some dogs will not allow anyone to touch their toys at all, while some are only strict with a certain group of people. Toy guarding can be a problem if the dog decides that his toys are more important than his owner, however bad it may be, and he growls or bites when someone tries to take them away from him.
Some dogs may only guard one toy at a time, while others might guard many toys at the same time. This is okay as long as the owner is aware of this issue and can handle it. Some people are able to train their dogs to share toys with other dogs or even inanimate objects such as cars or bowls of food.
If your dog continues to guard his toys, it is important to work on conditioning him for new people coming into the home, especially if this behavior will lead to conflict with new visitors. If your dog is in a crate, it may be helpful to let a visitor take the toys out of the crate. Asking the visitor to do this will also give your dog time to become accustomed to that person and will allow him to relax.
Another way to stop toy guarding is by playing games such as touch with another person, especially if this behavior only happens with certain people. If it becomes an issue at certain times of day or when something happens, then you may need to desensitize and counter-condition your dog. This will take a lot of time and patience on your part.
When Should I Be Concerned About Toy Guarding?
Toy guarding is a common behavioral problem that afflicts dogs. Many puppy or dog parents will attest to this. It can be as insignificant as a simple annoyance when you take their favorite chew toy away from them or as serious as when your dog is actually attacking you while in the act of guarding a chew toy or other object that it has claimed and considers its own possession. If your playful pooch suddenly turns into an aggressive demon the moment you reach for its prized possession, this is surely cause for great concern. Toy guarding can open doors to other, more serious dog behavioral problems such as territorial aggression and possessive aggression, so it is important that this condition be nipped in the bud.
What To Do If My Dog Bites Me?
The first thing you should do is be sure to keep calm and do not yell at your dog or hit him. If he’s under your control when the incident happens, then be sure to have him on a leash. Do not try to pull him off, but be sure that you hold onto him while trying to remove yourself from the situation as quickly as possible.
Many people are bitten out of fear instead of aggression. Your dog may also have grown fearful if he is repeatedly teased by children or kicked by larger dogs. If you think your dog may have been bitten by someone who is being aggressive, it is best to not engage with this person.
What To Do If I Have A Dog That Is Aggressive?
If your dog is consistently aggressive towards people or other dogs, then it will be important that you seek professional help as soon as possible. Many people do not notice aggressive behavior in their dogs until something bad happens. If you think your dog may be aggressive towards other dogs, then ask an owner of that same breed to walk with your dog. This will give you an idea of how they play with their own dog. If another dog approaches, then your dog may have a tendency to react aggressively.
If your dog does not respond to training, then it will be important to seek professional help as well. Some dogs are more aggressive than others and may need constant supervision or even a muzzle to prevent the aggression.