Rae: Help with my foster dog and toy aggression?
I have two rescued Pit Bulls one female Dyna, and a male Lugnut. They are wonderful with everyone both human and animal.
I recently decided to open my home to a foster Pit Bull. I wanted to be sure my two existing dogs were happy to share their home with a new dog. As I expected Lugnut and Dyna immediately welcomed Piglet, a small female Pit Bull to the pack. Piglet is not dog, human, or food aggressive. She is, however, toy aggressive.
When I let them all out for a supervised play in the backyard Dyna came up to Piglet with a toy, assumed the play position to Piglet, and took off to incite a game of keep away. Piglet grabbed the toy, and when Dyna went to her to continue play, Piglet snapped lashed out at Dyna, guarding the toy viciously.
Obviously, I have removed all toys and bones. I only give bones to all the dogs when Piglet is confined to her crate (the only time she goes in her crate). I know this is a good way to avoid issues, and I haven’t seen any toy guarding behavior obviously by not allowing a situation to transpire. Yet I would like all the dogs to be able to play outside together with toys. I’m not sure if this is something I could do to eradicate this behavior.
Photo by docoverachiever/Flickr CC
Answers and Views:
Answer by Get_him_Dun 04
I had a Boston terrier that did the same thing. She's just saying "it's mine!" Whenever she does it I would walk over and take the toy and keep doing it until she gets the hint that it isn't acceptable behavior.
Answer by ✘ Wheaten Mom
I have never dealt with guarding behaviors in my own dogs. When I have fosters that show a guarding tendency, I do exactly what you are doing.
I always recommend for the new owners (after discussing with them and the rescue what's going on) that they should pick up "Mine!" by Jean Donaldson.
Answer by Jojo
I cannot see why you are worried about this small problem.
As long as she does not growl at YOU she is doing what most dogs would do if another dog tried to take her prized possession.
She is just saying (in dog language) " This is MINE so back off". If she is not actually attacking other dogs this is normal behavior. Most dogs will recognize her growl for what it is and will back off. If this natural behavior bothers you, don`t play with her with the ball when other dogs are around.
You, as pack leader, should be able to take her ball from her whenever it suits you. If she growls at YOU then she must be reprimanded and made to give it up.
Some very submissive dogs and puppies will let another dog pinch their
toys. But the more assertive and higher-ranking dogs will not.
Photo Credit: nineball2727/Flickr CC
Answer by Celeste
It would be best just to keep the toy up and away when other dogs are around. Resource guarding is extremely common in dogs, look at their ancestors. Wolves wouldn't be so successful if they shared everything.
When a dog has resource guarding with people, we give them that high valued object, then walk up and drop an even higher valued treat near it or into the bowl. Do that every time you approach, eventually up criteria and drop a treat in while putting your hand on the object. After you've done that many times, you can treat while picking up the object. (Not done in one session.)
Maybe you can translate that over to dog-dog resource guarding, but it's best just to keep it up and avoid confrontation.
Answer by Anita Mulsa
Put her on the leash and let another dog play with her toy, give her treats when she doesn't react, and when she does, give the leash a pull and say Ahh, NO, and do it again.
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Answer by alj
This is a tough issue because you don't want to "punish" the other dogs during playtime. I would start by maybe keeping piglet in her crate or confined where she can see the other 2 dogs. Give all 3 dogs toys or bones to play with. Hopefully watching the 2 playing will inspire her to play as well. This could take a while but if not, well, no one is doing without playtime. Will she let you take her toy? I currently own 2 Boxers & 2 Pit Bulls, so I can sympathize with you. I have other ideas, but not enough room here!
Answer by Mary
Is this your pitbull's aggressive behavior only toward that toy? You can always play with the toy at home and other toys around dogs.
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