Saturday, 26 January 2019 07:46

Teaching Dogs to Share Toys

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Teaching Dogs to Share Toys Teaching Dogs to Share Toys Teaching Dogs to Share Toys

Dog is social animal, they love the presence of other dogs, but owning more than one dog inside your household can be a real mess; especially, when it comes to food, toys, space and even affection (yes, dog can feel jealous too!).

It is a natural instinct for a dog to get everything they want whenever they see "valuable resources", and one of these valuables are toys. Often times toy stealing can lead to dog fighting, and so many dog owners can stuck in frustration each times this happens. This problem often called as "toy stealing" or "toy possession".

The stories are quite similar with having twin toddlers. The young one will cry when the older took his toy and the older will try defend it for whatever it cost because he already claim it, then the fight begins and you stuck in a struggle to make them peace.

How much more will you take it? Don't get frustrated and stop it from happening ever again, but how? Well, that's what this article all about, so read on!

How to Teach "Toy Sharing"
Toy Picking and Re-supply it
One obvious reason of toy stealing is competition and limited "resources". You, as the pack leader, need to fulfill their needs, includes providing enough toy for all. But it's not as easy as just throwing two toys for two dogs. You have to make them understand that every dog can and will have a toy even when there is "competition".

How to start? You need two partners; each should hold a dog with a leash and standing in your left and right. You put all different toys available in front of you and classify it within group, for example make four groups each group contain one squeaky rubber duck, one bone chew toy, one kong doll, and one stuffed animal.

After everything is set, let one of your partners bring the dog closer and let the dog takes one toy while the other one stay in their position. After the dog pick a toy, re-supply it with the same toy and re-classify it within group, and told your partner to play with the dog. Now let the other one dog (the one that still waiting) to do the same, and keep un-picked toy in safe place.

This will teach your dogs few things; to take only one toy at a time, to know that you'll re-supply the toys, and to lessen the competitive feeling. This way, both dogs will feel that the competition is something they shouldn't be afraid of and feel "safer" because you re-supply the toys and also teach there's no need to be greedy, because you only allow one toy at a time. This way, the dog won't have strong reason to steal a toy from other dog.

Play in Turn to Build Patience
Patience building is a supportive lesson to build obedience. Patience dog more likely follow your order compared to impatience one. Now after several times you do the "picking and re-supply the toy" it's the time to change the rhythm.

Do very similar to picking and re-supply the toy, but this time, don't allow the dog to play, just told her to stay "DOWN" until both dog have their own toys.

Now it's your time to play with one of your dogs, while keep the other one to down and waiting. After you think it's enough, play with the other one and put the first dog that play with you to down and wait (just like the first dog waiting for her turn). Play and spend the same amount of time and make sure you give the highest quality time for each dogs. Replay this training until the play time over. At first, spend small time and do it in several repetition in each play time, and gradually increase the waiting time so you can do it in less loops (repetition).

What is the benefit of the second training? The benefit is you'll have more patience dog and you will eliminate "attention stealing" behaviors while also suppress the toy stealing behavior.

What I mean by attention stealing is one dog will start to "act out" when you play with other dog, this often found in jealous dog and impatience dog. Moreover, when she act out and you ignore her, oftentimes she'll thinks it's because the toy, the other dog have the toy so you play with other dog. Once you leave the dog, the jealous dog will do anything she can to steal the toy so you'll play with her instead.

Doing both trainings repeatedly is a great way to stop the toy stealing behavior. But there is some other thing you have to know to make this works; it's about "Retrieving stolen toy" from a dog. During the training where the dog still doesn't fully understand that there's no need to claims a toy then toy stealing can still happens. Taking the toy forcefully and in the wrong way will make the dog thinks that toys are "super valuable" (because even you, trying to claim it!) and becoming even more defensive about toys and eventually nullifies the training.

Taking back stolen toys
This is quite simple; just hold the leash and approach the dog like nothing happens. After the dog on leash, use some treat to make to dog drop the toy and use cue word like "DROP" or "GIVE" while your other hand hold the leash. This must be done in calm and normal fashion, don't show any anger or yell at the dog, it won't work and only make her defend the toy aggressively.

Once the dog takes the treat and drops the toy, take the stolen toy and give her the same toy. This way you encourage not to steal any toy while in the same time teach "DROP" or "GIVE" command.

Read 214 times Last modified on Saturday, 26 January 2019 08:18

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