Many dogs feel worried that by sharing a toy, they will lose them completely. This is often learned while they are young and being chased to retrieve items they’ve been investigating. Having items grabbed by their owners can quickly lead to anxiety and defensive behaviour. Increasing the number of toys your dog has can help to reduce the focus on any one item. While your dog has one item in its possession, you should not approach to take it. Instead pick another item he likes and play with it, most dogs will find your toy more interesting and will approach. Praise this and as soon as the original toy is dropped you can swap for your toy. The same procedure can be followed with tempting treats. By swapping for something nice, your dog will learn not to worry when you are nearby when he’s got something in his possession.
Working with the Basic Command Kit will show you how to teach a reliable “Leave” command in a positive way so your dog never has to feel worried when you make this request.
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