Activities For A Possessive Dog

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Introduction

It’s not that your possessive dog is bad. We get it. A lot of times when you’re alone with your pooch, they’re absolute sweethearts. They love to cuddle, give you precious puppy kisses, and wag that tail. However, we also know the anxiety and stress your pup faces when a toy is taken away, when a person or another animal approaches, or when that territorial spark kicks in. We hope some of our activities below will help your possessive dog grow more comfortable and at ease when it comes to the world around them.

Shaping Games

Popular
0 Votes
Any Day
Free
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Random dog-safe items
Activity description

The author used to play this with her students when she taught school, but now she plays it with her dog. It really works, and it’s so much fun for both pooch and human. This shape activity allows dogs to face something new, accept a challenge, and understand that good comes from uncertainty. A pawfect lesson for an insecure dog, right? We think so. The goal here is to use random objects as starting points and allow the mind to go where it may. Your dog will surprise you. And if you invite the kids to play along, they’ll surprise you, too. The kids can also teach your dog to “share” in a sense. We’re assuming that your dog isn’t so possessive that they’re posing a threat to others in your house.

Step
1
Have fun choosing materials
Dogs respond to objects. You may have had this experience before: if you add a new large decoration to a room, your dog notices. They may even growl and bark at it for several minutes until they grow used to it. So, for this shaping game, you’ll need objects you don’t mind your dog playing with. Different sizes of cardboard boxes are great. But be creative. You may come up with other things.
Step
2
Watch and wait
Don’t rush your pup. Shaping games take time; that’s just part of this deal. Place the object in front of them, and sit on the floor or grass to show them that you’re interested. This helps them focus. Let them sniff the box. The idea is that they determine how to use it, how to “shape” something that’s foreign to them. Maybe they’ll crawl through, jump over it, push it, pull it, lick it, stand on it, or lie down beside it. It’s up to them, and that’s the entire point. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t work immediately. After 3-5 minutes, if they show absolutely no interest, move on to another new object.
Step
3
Keep on playing
Know that your dog is learning. Don’t give up after the first time you play. Keep it going. They’re learning that new objects in their space are okay and safe. They’re even receiving praise and treats for exploring and daring to approach something strange. Make this game a part of your weekly routine.
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Learn to Clean Up

Popular
0 Votes
Any Day
Free
Normal
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Dog toys
Toy bin
Harness and leash
Doggie treats
Activity description
Some dogs are possessive when it comes to their owners, but some are possessive when it comes to their toys. Maybe you can walk beside their food bowl or bed with no problem, but if anyone goes for the toys, they have a fit. They’re insecure about losing what they think belongs to them. When you teach a possessive dog to clean up their toys, you’re letting them help you with a chore, and you’re also showing them (in a calm, safe manner) that someone touching their things is okay. You won’t be holding onto the toy for long, and that's why this often works. You pick up the toy and drop it in the bin. They’re intrigued because the toy disappears. You break their focus on the fact that you touched their toy.
Step
1
Get ready
Your dog will already be watching you closely because let’s be honest: that’s what they do. Get your toy bin ready, and if the toys aren’t already all over the yard or house, then spread them out in one area. Your dog needs to be on guard in order to break down some of their mental, anxious, stressful walls.
Step
2
Begin to move toys
You might need a leash and harness and a friend for this to work. If your dog doesn’t mind you touching their toys, then you’ll need someone else to help. Hold them on the leash while your friend picks up a toy and drops it in the bin. Bins that make noise with the toy hits are great. The sound will get your pup’s attention and make them curious. They might even want to participate. Reward your dog with treats when they exhibit good behavior.
Step
3
Do this often
After your friend finishes picking up the toys, they can go inside or into another room. They might even leave altogether. (Be sure you send them a thank you card and a small gift for helping.) Unleash the dog and let them see that their toys are still there and that everything is okay. You may have to do this several times until they remain calm. When they are calm, keep them leashed and let them walk with your friend and help pick up toys. Pretty soon, they’ll be used to someone new, and they can help clean up their toys, unleashed and hopefully way less possessive.
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Pawsitivity

Popular
0 Votes
Any Day
Free
Normal
8 hrs
Items needed
Harness and leash
Dog toys
Doggie treats
Dog food
Activity description
You heard us! We’re talking “pawsitivity,” but we, of course, mean positivity. These are small activities you can do with your possessive pooch to keep them calm, enforce good manners, and help ease their anxiety and stress. A lot of times, they feel threatened for whatever reason. It’s nothing you’ve done. You’ve been a loving owner who spoils them rotten. But, it’s time to correct the negativity with happy thoughts and comfort. Stick with us as we share a few activities that show your possessive fur child that pawsitivity is the way! Get ready to take things slow and steady - and win the race, of course!
Step
1
Get your hands dirty
Okay. So not that dirty. Your dog notices hands for sure. Those little suckers come after them on a regular basis, and they also touch their toys and a million other things. Use your hands to place their dog food in their bowl. This shows them that your hands aren’t doing harm. Their food is still there, and it still tastes delicious. This works well for dogs that are particularly possessive of their food, their bowls, and the area where they eat. This little activity shows them that you are the owner of the food; you are sharing it with them.
Step
2
Good, old-fashioned tricks
You have to let your possessive dog earn their rewards like food, treats, and even toys. They must perform a task to receive their food or a treat. And if the unpleasant behavior occurs, then a toy must be removed from their reach. It’s okay for your pup to take a time out and think about the situation. They may be possessive, but they're also really bright. Let them ponder what just happened. Reward them with the toy after they perform a positive task.
Step
3
Get out and about
You may need a harness and leash at first, and you may be embarrassed a few times, but this can work. Slowly introduce your dog to your neighborhood, park, and other surrounding areas. Let them observe. If they get out of hand, remove them from a situation. If they don’t like someone at first or flip out if another animal comes on the scene, redirect them. The important thing with all of these activities is that you keep the routine up. Dogs learn from steady routine. They’ll form better habits.
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More Fun Ideas...

Desensitization

Invest in a special harness, leash, and even security items to make sure your dog feels safe and to be certain that they’ll be manageable in new surroundings. Exposing the dog to their fear at or below their comfort level can help them overcome their anxieties and see that they should not be afraid.

Participate in Pet Training

A little pet training may go a long way with your fur baby. If the possessive behavior continues and even escalates, it’s time to give training a shot. Leave it to the experts! They’ll even give you activities to do at home with your pooch.

Conclusion

A possessive dog can be a challenging dog, but they certainly aren’t “bad,” no matter what you’ve heard. They’re sweet babies with insecurities. They need nurturing, protection, and small challenges that they can overcome regularly. It’s not something they’ll grow out of; they’ll have to work at it. But these activities will be good and even fun for them. They’ll feel accomplished and more confident.