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  #11  
Old 12-31-2010, 11:50 AM
SacredPaw SacredPaw is offline
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A good thing to teach your dog is to take an object and release it. It's one of my top 5 things that every dog should know. Start small. Start with a treat. tell them to wait before asking them to "take it" Move on to an object and when they "release" or "leave it" give them the treat. then you can start adding distractions, tugging games and retreives, etc. I never start tugging games until I know that the dogs knows how to release the object. But it's an excellent step to teaching a dog to drop the object when there's a lot of excitement!!! Always take small steps. Then start adding other dogs.
Getting your dog to release an object at a park like setting when excitement is at it's peak is asking too much. also making a general statement of saying toys are not allowed at the park is unfair to all the dogs that do play cooperatively.

At my daycare owners bring their dogs toys but I don't allow those toys to go in the dog co-op. I don't want those toys to be destroyed. Do I have toys? Yes!! I have a number of rope toys which the dogs play with. As well as a number of undestructible balls. Have I ever had a fight over a toy? No. And I've had up to 15 dogs racing around chasing after the dog with the toy. all the dogs know the rules of play. And the new ones quickly learn those rules right away. And I know at any given time I can walk in, give a release word and that toy becomes mine.
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  #12  
Old 12-31-2010, 01:05 PM
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corgipower corgipower is offline
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Originally Posted by SacredPaw View Post
A good thing to teach your dog is to take an object and release it. It's one of my top 5 things that every dog should know. Start small. Start with a treat. tell them to wait before asking them to "take it" Move on to an object and when they "release" or "leave it" give them the treat.
Training a release doesn't do a lot in terms of guarding toys against other dogs. Trade games, which is how a release is trained, can help for guarding against people, but dog-dog relationships are different from dog-human relationships. The other dog isn't going to give a treat when your dog releases, he's going to take the toy for himself. Resource guarding is a defensive behavior and for a dog to lose what he's worried about losing reinforces the need to be defensive.

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At my daycare owners bring their dogs toys but I don't allow those toys to go in the dog co-op. I don't want those toys to be destroyed. Do I have toys? Yes!! I have a number of rope toys which the dogs play with. As well as a number of undestructible balls. Have I ever had a fight over a toy? No. And I've had up to 15 dogs racing around chasing after the dog with the toy. all the dogs know the rules of play. And the new ones quickly learn those rules right away. And I know at any given time I can walk in, give a release word and that toy becomes mine.
Doggie daycare is a bit different from a dog park. Dogs at daycare are (hopefully) screened to be sure they're not aggressive, staff at daycare (hopefully) is capable of managing any problem behaviors before they develop, the dogs get to know each other, the staff, the place, and how they're expected to behave.

The dynamics of a dog park are very unpredictable. People bring dogs there that have no business being in a group of dogs, owners don't pay attention to their dog or don't know how to read dogs or don't know when and how to step into a situation and mediate.
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  #13  
Old 12-31-2010, 01:50 PM
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When I brought the puppy home, she and my older dog started resource guarding food and toys from each other. Since they are big and I have a 3 year old daughter in the mix, this was a BIG PROBLEM because I didn't want her accidentally getting caught between them.

First off, I took all their stuff away. It's mine and they have to earn it back.

Second, they both learned the "trading with humans is fun" game. This game is part of the fiber of my older dog's being, but the puppy needed to learn it too. This must be solid because it's the foundation for the next step.

Third, I took a low value toy and played a 3 way trade game with the two dogs. It went like this:

1. Play tug with old dog for a minute, puppy wants the toy too but she won't take it from me. As she's watching us tug, I shove a bit of hotdog in her mouth.

2. I tell old to to drop it. Shove hot dog in his mouth while puppy and I play tug for 20 seconds. Tell her to drop it, and shove hotdog in her mouth while I give the toy to old dog.

This goes back and forth until both dogs are VERY cheerful and amped up about playing the trading game. At that point I stop, because I want things to end on a high note and I want them to be eager to play next session. What they are learning is GREAT things happen when the let go of the toy and the other dog takes it.

After they get good with the low value toy, I progress to higher value toys until we are playing the game with smoky ham bones and tripe (the tripe is gross, but it's worth it to have dogs who get along).

Now both of my dogs cheerfully share. They have plenty of chewy bones and toys laying around, but they will often choose to share the same one because they have such good associations with the other dog having the toy/food. They can even eat out of the same bowl at the same time with no problems now.

I have no idea if they generalize this with strange dogs. We never had problems with visiting dogs or dogs that I dogsat after that, but I don't expect my dogs not to resource guard against dogs who are total strangers to them. So I don't put them in the position of having to do that.

ETA: I guess another reason the 3-way trading game worked on them, is they see that stuff as mine and coming from me. So they don't guard something that doesn't belong to them.

What might work is to have a super duper special treat that he loves that only comes out when other dogs are approaching him, and only when he drops whatever else he has and comes to focus on you. It's definitely something you would not train at a dog park, but at home or with a friend who has a stable well adjusted dog to be the "trigger" dog. We used hotdog because it's mushy and delicious, and instantly inhaled so they can't guard it.

And you will want to start with lower value toys. The tennis balls and things seem to be high value. How does he feel about stuffed animals? Find something that he doesn't value as much to start desensitizing before moving on to high value items.

Last edited by Romy; 12-31-2010 at 02:05 PM.
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  #14  
Old 01-01-2011, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by corgipower View Post
Training a release doesn't do a lot in terms of guarding toys against other dogs. Trade games, which is how a release is trained, can help for guarding against people, but dog-dog relationships are different from dog-human relationships. The other dog isn't going to give a treat when your dog releases, he's going to take the toy for himself. Resource guarding is a defensive behavior and for a dog to lose what he's worried about losing reinforces the need to be defensive.
True, but if you're there to reward your dog for releasing an object in front of another dog or giving that item to another dog, it becomes a "fun thing to do". **This is something to do with the help of a doggie friend (and their human owner), NOT at a crowded dog park.
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  #15  
Old 01-02-2011, 12:08 AM
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True, but if you're there to reward your dog for releasing an object in front of another dog or giving that item to another dog, it becomes a "fun thing to do". **This is something to do with the help of a doggie friend (and their human owner), NOT at a crowded dog park.
True. And yes, it's not something that should be done at a crowded dog park. And the other dog should be somewhat predictable, which means you have to know them and under some form of control in case the guardy dog still aggresses.
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  #16  
Old 01-02-2011, 12:15 AM
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I would recommend doing it (if your dog isn't aggressive/defensive on leash) with both dogs on leash and starting out at a decent distance. Ex: Have your dog playing with a toy, and have the other owner approach. As soon as your dog seems to notice the other dog, even if it's 15 or 20 feet away, ask for a release and reward. Repeat this until your dog is more focused on dropping the toy and getting a treat than the other dog.

And then keep moving the other dog closer and closer. If your dog gets uncomfortable (stiffening up, hair-raising, staring uncomfortably at the other dog, etc.), it's time to move back. Eventually your dog should be looking forward to the other dog coming towards him, like it's an opportunity to get a yummy treat.
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