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Kodiak17
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18-08-2016, 03:55 AM

Sudden Toy Possessiveness

Hi there! We just got home from the park and I am getting tired of my pup's recent behavior change. He's always loved playing with other dogs and couldn't care less if another dog wanted to chase the same stick as him. Lately, he has become pretty possessive of his stick, or ball, or whatever it is that we throw for him to chase. If another dog chases it (which happens ALL of the time, it's a dog park) it and gets there first, he growls and pushes them over until he gets it. It has never gotten out of control, he's basically just making noise and acting tough until the other dog backs down, from what I can tell.

It drives me crazy because I feel like I'm always apologizing for his behavior. Most people don't mind, as he doesn't actually snap at the dog or anything, but some people don't like it, which I totally get. Any thoughts on why he would start doing that, when he never used to?

He is 2 years old, neutered, the only dog in the house. He has plenty of toys. Other than this, he is the sweetest dog on the planet. He never acts like that if a human picks up his toy, is totally fine with us taking his food, etc. I have also noticed that he does not do that with dogs he knows well (our friends dogs). It just seems to happen at the dog park with unfamiliar faces.

Anyways, sorry for my novel. Just wanted to give as much detail as possible. Thanks so much for any advice!
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Ms. M
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18-08-2016, 05:36 AM
Go for a training program to improve your doggies behavior.
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Trouble
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18-08-2016, 06:55 AM
Sounds perfectly normal to me. We don't have dog parks thankfully, we have parks where we walk our dogs and people sit and enjoy the fresh air and kids are running around, people on bikes etc. When I throw a ball for my dog, it's for my dog not any old random that wants his ball. None of mine would be happy for some random dog to come and nick the ball. I'd tell the owner to bring their own ball and leave mine alone. I don't throw sticks they're dangerous.
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brenda1
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18-08-2016, 07:08 AM
Quite agree Trouble. I was just going to say the same about sticks. Maybe the poster should take two toys and throw one one way and the other one in the other direction, then do a good recall to get her dog back to her and out of trouble. Might work. But yes the toy belongs to her dog and no one elses. Don't like dog parks for that reason. Pleased we don't have them here.
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Gnasher
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18-08-2016, 08:17 AM
Totally agree with Brenda and Trouble! Kodiak, your gorgeous dog is not a human child who needs to be taught that it is nice to share - he is a dog and in his mind he is a pack animal and does not appreciate a random from another pack coming into his space and nicking his toys! To a dog, this would be very bad manners and your dog is acting appropriately.

I wouldn't worry about this perfectly normal behaviour - he is a sweet dog by the way!
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Meg
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18-08-2016, 12:39 PM
Kodiac I quite agree with the others , why should some strange dog be allowed to take your dogs 'prize'
If I was the owner of the dog trying to take the toy I would be the one apologising.
I have also noticed that he does not do that with dogs he knows well (our friends dogs). It just seems to happen at the dog park with unfamiliar faces.
what more could you want...
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Kodiak17
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18-08-2016, 01:48 PM
Thank you all so much for your feedback! I'll be honest, I am sort of surprised by your responses though - I thought they would be leaning in the other direction.

My husband I are totally fine with rough housing, as he LOVES to play. We are ecstatic when he finds a dog who loves to play as much/crazy as he does. He can go all day. It's really the fact that some owners are not into it at all. That mindset does bother me, because it's a dog park. They are dogs. I've just been on edge lately because I've had a few people say "he's playing a little rough isn't he..." etc. I don't want him to be THAT dog

He really is such a good boy. He's never once caused legitimate trouble. The only time he has ever acted in a manner that was actually aggressive was when another dog attacked him at the park. I'm proud that he stood up for himself.
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Trouble
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18-08-2016, 02:46 PM
He sounds like a well balanced dog to me but you could teach him the command " Enough" so that playfighting ends when you say so. That way when people get uncomfortable you tell him Enough and walk away and find another playmate or he plays with his ball on his own.
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Gnasher
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18-08-2016, 03:48 PM
Originally Posted by Kodiak17 View Post
Thank you all so much for your feedback! I'll be honest, I am sort of surprised by your responses though - I thought they would be leaning in the other direction.

My husband I are totally fine with rough housing, as he LOVES to play. We are ecstatic when he finds a dog who loves to play as much/crazy as he does. He can go all day. It's really the fact that some owners are not into it at all. That mindset does bother me, because it's a dog park. They are dogs. I've just been on edge lately because I've had a few people say "he's playing a little rough isn't he..." etc. I don't want him to be THAT dog

He really is such a good boy. He's never once caused legitimate trouble. The only time he has ever acted in a manner that was actually aggressive was when another dog attacked him at the park. I'm proud that he stood up for himself.
He sounds like a very stable dog ... it's the nutty control freaks at the dog park who have the problem, not your dog! He's not being mean when he gets boisterous, he's being a DOG!! He is not an extension of his owners, he is an animal in his own right and as such is entitled to have words with another dog that he feels has invaded his space or wlhatever.

I know what it's like though to have a bouncy large dog ... with Ben I just say to him "gentle Ben" or Be nice!! That is the signal to Ben to just cool it a little ... and he usually does - emphasis on the word usually because being a malamute and a git he sometimes ignores me!!

Sounds like you have a nice dog there and he's a credit to you ... dont let the ignorant numpties in the dog park spoil things for you ... just ignore them!!
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Losos
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18-08-2016, 08:25 PM
Originally Posted by Gnasher View Post
Sounds like you have a nice dog there and he's a credit to you ... dont let the ignorant numpties in the dog park spoil things for you ... just ignore them!!
Just wanted to say how much I agree. I don't think your dog is doing anything wrong. He is a dog for heavens sake. I am getting heartily fed up of humans who look on their dog as a kid in a fur coat, no NO NO.

If it's at all possible go for walks somewhere that is not a 'dog park' as Gnasher said they are not good places for most dogs.
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