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Why Does My Dog Run Away With Toys – 5 Reasons!

Dogs can do some pretty funny and strange things when playing, and one of these is running away with their toys. Although this behavior is most common in puppies, dogs of any age could take off their toys. As a result, many dog owners have likely wondered why my dog runs away with toys? 

Dogs run away with their toys because the activity is fun for them. They either view this action as a fun game, or they enjoy carrying their toys around in their mouth. Possessiveness and fear can also cause dogs to run away with toys.

This article will explain all of the common reasons why dogs run away with their toys. In addition, we will be answering some other commonly asked questions about this topic, and we will be explaining how you can stop this behavior as well. 

Reasons Dogs Run Away With Toys

There are five main reasons why some dogs tend to run away with their toys. Most often, dogs run away with toys because it is fun for them. However, sometimes a dog may run away with his toys because he is going off negative past experiences. Here are the five reasons why dogs run away with toys. 

Your Dog Likes Carrying Things In Their Mouth 

Many dogs enjoy carrying things around in their mouths, which is a very common reason why dogs run away with toys. Although this can seem strange for some dog owners, this activity can be just as fun as playing a game for some dogs. 

Your Dog Is Playing A Game 

Your dog could also be running away with toys because he is playing a game. This is especially true if you have chased your dog around while he had a toy in his mouth in the past. Chasing your dog around while he has a toy can quickly turn into a pretty fun game for him. 

Your Dog’s Breed Could Make Them More Likely to Run Away With Toys 

Some dog breeds are genetically more likely to run away with toys. Retrievers, gun dogs, and other breeds in the sporting group are more likely to run off with their toys.

In addition, terriers commonly engage in this behavior as well. This goes back to their roots. Many of these dogs were bred to catch and retrieve birds, rodents, and other things for their owners. This genetic trait makes these dogs predisposed to running off with toys. 

Your Dog May be Going Off Past Experiences 

Your dog could be running away with toys due to some past experiences. This is especially true if other people or dogs commonly took their toys away. As a result, your dog could feel the need to run off with their toys and guard them. 

Your Dog Doesn’t Want You To Take Their Toy

Your dog could be running away with a toy simply because you act like you are about to take it away. This is usually when dog owners are trying to play games like fetch with their dog. To avoid this behavior when playing fetch, you should alternate toys every round to keep the game going. 

Is It Normal For Dogs To Hide Their
Toys

Yes, it is pretty normal for dogs to hide their toys. This is especially true if the dog is a puppy because they are still exploring the world by picking things up in their mouth. 

Why Does My Dog Play Keep Away With Toys

Your dog is likely playing keep-away with toys because he has learned that it is a fun game. This is especially true if you have chased your dog around while he had a toy in his mouth in the past. To stop this behavior, you can start teaching the drop it and take it commands. 

How Do I Stop My Dog From Running Away From Toys

You can stop a dog from running away from toys and running away with toys by teaching the take it and drop it commands. Here is a step by step explanation of how you can teach your dog these commands 

Take It

Take it is possibly the most straightforward verbal cue that you could teach your dog, and it is beneficial when encouraging your dog to play with his toys. Here is how to teach, take it broken down into a few simple steps. 

Step 1: Present your dog with their favorite toy, and as he is picking it up in his mouth, say “take it” 

Step 2: Keep practicing step 1 several times. 

Step 3: Present your dog with a toy and say “take it” before your dog puts it in his mouth.

Step 4: Once your dog is taking toys on command, then he’s got it! Remember to keep practicing this in different areas so that your dog doesn’t lose this skill.

Drop It 

Teaching your dog to drop something on command is extremely important. It is a cue that can save your possessions and keep your dog safe. Not to mention, it makes playing fetch a lot easier. Here is how you can teach your dog to “drop it” in a few simple steps. 

Step 1: When your dog has a toy in his mouth, present a treat and say, “drop it.” Reward your dog with the treat once he has dropped the toy.

Step 2: Practice step 1 8-10 times

Step 3: When your dog has a toy in his mouth, say, “drop it.” You should not be presenting a treat. Once your dog has dropped the toy, you can give him a treat that was out of view as a reward. If your dog doesn’t seem to get this verbal cue yet, go back to practicing step 1 a few more times and then try again. 

Step 4: Once your dog is dropping toys on command, he has it. Remember to keep practicing in different areas so that your dog doesn’t lose this skill. 

Other Considerations

There are some other things to consider when it comes to dogs running away with toys. These are what you shouldn’t do when your dog runs away with something. Here is what you should consider about your dog running away with their toys. 

Don’t Force Objects Out Of Your Dog’s Mouth

You mustn’t force objects out of your dog’s mouth if it isn’t going to harm him. This is because forcing things like toys out of your dog’s mouth will likely make them hide them from you more. It also can be viewed as an aggressive action against dogs. 

Don’t Chase After Your Dog

As we have mentioned, chasing your dog when running away with a toy in his mouth can teach him that this behavior is a pretty fun game. Chasing your dog in this way could increase this behavior as a result.