Our expert says:
Dog Behaviour Expert
Hi Jo, the easiest way to solve this is to teach the dog the 'leave' cue and i have put some noes below on how to achieve this. This will give you the tools to tell the dog to 'leave' when it takes the pups toys. You can then give it back to the pup. As pack leader these toys belong to you and it is you who decides who gets them. If the dog makes a play for the toys the pup has aagain, then in a strong voice 'away' pointing your arm in the direction the dog needs to move away. If the dog shows reactive behaviour, then an immediate time out.Make sure there are more than enough toys around for both dogs (of equal value). The golden rule is 3 chew toys per dog, that helps tremendously. In this situation personally i will sometimes let the dog keep the prize and other times make the dog relinquish it - just play it by ear.
Leave it means don’t pick it up again, its mine (owner). Have two treats in each hand, close your fingers around them in a fist, and hold both hands to his nose and let him sniff one. Say "leave it," then as soon as he pulls his nose away, give him the treat from the other hand and praise him - he never receives the one in the closed fist. Slowly build up so he sees the treat but doesn’t take it, increase the amount of time each time, and eventually get her to the point where a treat can be on the floor and he won’t take it until you say it’s ok. Then do it with toys always starting off with the least favourite and making it progessively more difficult. Good luck!
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