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New puppy and older dog-toy hoarding

January 25th, 2005, 07:28 PM

I haven't been around for a while, but I've got a new puppy and thought I'd come here for some advice, as there always is lots of ideas here.

We have a new puppy for about a week now he is 8 weeks (Chesapeake/Lab mix)
My older dog Patches is about 3 years old and is a Bluetick coonhound about 80 lbs.
We had 2 dogs our older beagle we had to put down this previous April due to illness. Patches came as a puppy about 14 weeks of age into our home with our older dog, so she has lived harmoniously with another dog in the past and gets along with other dogs and we also have a cat.

Things are going well, We are crate training and supervising all time together, meals are at separate sides of the kitchen and supervised. for the past week that they have been together, Patches has been warming up more to the new addition.

Our biggest issue with patches is that she seems to hoard toys. She has always had the tendency to carry around a favourite stuffy and keep a pile of things with her on the couch. She absolutely does not mind any people or my children touching any of her "stuff" and our usual greeting is when coming home is her coming to the door with her favourite stuffed mouse. She has always barked at the cat who happens to walk by her stuff occasionally (the cat has no desire to touch any of it). It is definitely with other animals. My other dog who is gone now just didn't really care and was ill in the end so I don't recall any issues then, they had their own system worked out I guess.

I am looking for suggestions on dealing with the toy hoarding issue. On one hand I believe that they need to work it out their own way, and that interfering too much could just prolong and increase the issues. Her response is a quick loud bark and the pup goes away when she is near a pile of her stuff when the pup comes too close. the other thing she does is just go over and take toys from the pup and bring it back to her pile. The biggest problem with this is that when the pup wants to chew a bone for example then she comes and takes it. then he wants to chew something else inappropriate because it gets to the point there are no more appropriate choices.

I want to deal with this issue properly so as not to increase any inappropriate responses in my older dog and make it worse and also to ensure that puppy has his bones and things as well.

One thing I thought would be good is to take control of all the toys and bring out a couple at a time so there isn't too much to hoard. The hard part is if I want the pup to have something then she takes it, if I intervene too much then I might make the situation worse, or if I don't intervene and the pup doesn't have a chance to have anything. The toy hoarding is worse with her absolute favourite stuffed toy, but she steals new toys and bones that were new as well.

They are having lots of separate play time, my parents have the new pups sister and we get together for a short period of time each day separately to let them interact. and we take the older one out for separate playtime as well. She does allow the pup to have some things sometimes it just depends.

If anyone has any specific tips that would be great. I am a huge believer in letting them sort it out in their own way, but I am wondering if I should tell my older dog to keep away from certain things belonging to the pup, and when to intervene.

January 25th, 2005, 07:47 PM
What would you do if it were an older child hogging all of the toys and not letting the younger child have any? You would step in and straighten things out.
You, as the parent/leader, have the right to tell Patches to 'leave it' when she approaches the puppy's toy. Patches should have her special toys that she can hoard, but there has to be balance. This means you are going to have to practice the 'leave it' command through out the day - not just when it counts with the puppy.
Patches nose could be out of joint with the new competition of a puppy in the house, and she dosen't share well with others. So this is an opportunity for you to start working her some more - all with added benefits. You become a better leader, she gets attention and work, and you are teaching her better manners.
We have 5 dogs of all ages - they do occassionally try to steal toys from each other - we allow it to a degree, but when we see it is out of balance then we step in.

January 26th, 2005, 12:09 PM
I have a year old gsd and just recently got a puppy gsd. The older one was a toy hoarder as well. He was doing reasonably well, but would growl when she wanted to play with "his" toys. So after talking to the breeder, I took away all but 2 toys (which were brand new) for each of them. At the beginning, they only played with their own toys. Once they started to share, and there was no snarling or growling,I slowly introduced the rest of the toys. It is much better now, they play together, and the older one doesn't get his nose out of joint when the young one wants to play with a toy. You are the pack leader which means you decide which toys they play with. Good luck! :)