The Dog I've Always Wanted

Canine Behavior, Training and Photography

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At the Dog Daycare 2

May 5th, 2008 · · News From the Doggie Daycare, Uncategorized

Who’s stick is it anyway? Do dogs ask themselves this question? Probably not but the issue of object guarding can be a serious problem when you’re dealing with a group of dogs. Some dogs will guard toys, including sticks, in a group. It usually starts with a game of “keep away” that goes on too long. The dogs get too aroused and a fight can begin. The culprit does not know who is in charge; since he has possession of the valued object he thinks its him. This can be corrected by making it clear to the dog who is in charge and to whom the resources belong. Some trainers recommend that all the dog toys be kept by the human in a place where the dog cannot have access to them on his own. A toy may be brought out at play time; this makes a good reward for appropriate behaviour. Later, the toys are put away. It is generally not considered a good idea to have dog toys lying around; some dogs will feel the need to guard them. If the dog does not recognize that the human is in charge he will of course feel the need to play that part himself. That is because a dog has a pack drive; the strength of this drive varies from breed to breed as well from one individual to another. What does this mean? In short, a dog needs a structure in which to operate socially and that structure is the pack. When dogs live with humans the human must be the pack leader or serious trouble can ensue. Being a pack leader means, in part, that you control access to all the resources. So I guess its your stick!

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