Guarding toys can be a widespread and potentially serious problem in dogs. This is especially true for homes with multiple dogs. Although many different things can cause this behavior, usually, this is a sign of resource guarding. Whatever the cause may be, many dog owners have likely asked themselves: why won’t my dog let me touch his toys?
Dogs won’t let people touch their toys because they feel insecure. Poor training, multi-dog homes, and past experiences can make dogs possessive over their toys. Some dogs suffer from severe resource guarding which may require assistance from a dog behaviorist.
This article will explain all of the common reasons why a dog won’t let people touch its toys. We will also be answering some commonly asked questions and some other things to consider when it comes to dogs not letting others touch their toys.
Reasons Your Dog Won’t Let You Touch It’s Toys
There are five main reasons why some dogs won’t let you touch their toys. Although this is considered to be a natural behavior in dogs, it can become a problem. This is especially true if your dog becomes aggressive when a person or dog goes to touch his toys. Here are five reasons your dog won’t let you touch it’s toys.
Your Dog Is Stressed Out
It is relatively normal for a dog to cling to toys as a coping mechanism during times of stress, and this can lead to a dog not wanting you to touch this toy.
In situations where a dog is stressed out, he may view his favorite toy as the only thing that will soothe him, so it makes sense why he wouldn’t want someone taking this toy away from them.
The best way to relieve this problem is to relieve your dog’s stress by eliminating the source as soon as possible. Usually, this will stop your dog from not letting you touch his toys, especially if this behavior is unusual for your dog.
Your Dog Is Insecure
Many dogs do not let others touch their toys because they are insecure. This could be due to how they were raised, or it could also just be a dog’s personality trait.
When a dog is raised in an environment where it thinks that its toys or food could be taken away at any moment, it tends to develop a defensive attitude when they have these things. Although this can quickly turn into a full-blown resource guarding issue, there are ways that you can reduce these behaviors.
You Have Accidently Encouraged The Behavior
Sometimes dogs won’t let you touch their toys because you have accidentally rewarded the behavior. Usually, this occurs because puppies guarding their toys are seen as cute by their owners.
Then these dog owners find out that their dog continues this behavior as an adult, and it isn’t so cute anymore. This problem is easily fixed with the help of a qualified dog trainer, and it is not necessarily as problematic as the other causes to dogs guarding their toys.
Your Dog Is Protecting His Things
Your dog may not let you touch his toys because he feels the need to protect his things. This is usually the case when a dog suddenly feels threatened by the presence of new things.
These new things are a new dog, the new presence of children in the home, a new cat, and more. There are ways that you can desensitize your dog to these things over time and remind him that his toys are safe.
Your Dog May Have A Resource Guarding Problem
Resource guarding can be a result of many different things. However, you will need to approach situations differently if you have a resource guarding problem on your hands.
You will also need to alternate your approach depending on the severity of your dog’s resource guarding. Some warning signs of toy resource guarding that are not too serious include:
● Hiding toys
● Resisting to let go of toys
● Running away from others with toys
Some severe signs of toy resource guarding in dogs include:
● Freezing when being approached
● Growling or snarling
● Snapping or attempting to bite
● Showing signals of extreme stress such as wide eyes, hair standing on end, crouching low to the ground, etc
When it comes to approaching these situations, you will likely need the help of a vet, animal behaviorist, or a dog trainer who specializes in resource guarding in extreme cases.
These are cases where aggression is being exhibited as a response to you trying to touch his toys. However, in very mild cases where aggression isn’t present, you will likely be able to reduce this behavior on your own with some guidance.
Can Dogs Become Obsessed With A Toy
Yes, dogs can become obsessed with a toy. These toys usually stimulate relevant drives in a dog. For example, a dog with a strong hunting drive may enjoy tearing apart stuffed animals.
In addition to this, some dogs like to carry around and nurture toys that remind them of a puppy. These are usually stuffed animals as well, and this behavior is most common in female dogs.
Why Is My Dog So Possessive Over Toys
Dogs can be possessive over toys because they view them as a valuable resource. Therefore, they do not want their prized possession to be taken away from them, especially if they do not think that they will be getting it back.
Why Is My Dog So Attached To Her Toy All Of A Sudden
When a dog becomes attached to a toy, all of a sudden, your dog likely just realized how much they like it. Many dogs have many toys, so it is natural for dogs to cycle through them and become obsessed with different ones periodically.
Why Is My Dog Obsessed With Stuffed Animals
Many dogs are obsessed with stuffed animals, and this is because it satisfies many of a dog’s needs and drives. Dogs with a strong hunting instinct will likely enjoy destroying stuffed animals. Meanwhile, dogs with a strong instinct to nurture will likely like to carry around with a stuffed animal and cuddle it from time to time.
Why Won’t My Dog Let Go Of His Toy
Dogs are not born with the instinct to give their human owners their toys. This is why dogs need to be trained on how to play fetch.
How To Get A Dog To Let Go Of A Toy
You can train a dog to let go of a toy by teaching him the “give” and “take” cues. To keep things simple, we will be breaking down how to teach these commands into a few simple steps.
Teaching Give It
Step 1: Have either two toys or one toy and some treats ready.
Step 2: Present the toy to your dog and let him take it. After a few seconds, present the other toy or treat your dog and say “give it”.
Step 3: Once your dog gives up the original toy, reward him with either the other toy or the treat.
Step 4: Practice this for a while.
Step 5: Once your dog is readily switching to the treat or other toy, you are ready to put those away and try giving the command on its own. If your dog is still responding to the cue, then practice this to keep his skills