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Help! lost toy and training issues

April 20th, 2007, 04:02 PM
:frustrated: Mako has hidden his favorite toy and I can't find it. He has others, but it seems he just wants to play tug of war with his other toys. I am trying to discourage that kind of play because I think it makes him act more aggressively. He still bites although he is getting a little better when we say no and stop play for a little while. The other problem I'm having he likes to eat paper. Toilet paper, paper towels, writing paper so I'm trying to make it to where he has no access to other rooms in the house. He likes to follow me throughout the whole house, which is fine with the exception he is getting into things he's not suppose to. And then when I try to get what he has out of his mouth, he runs. It's fun to him, but I want to teach him right.
Any Suggestions?

April 20th, 2007, 07:11 PM
Hmm, usually when my dogs lose a toy, they will sniff it out, and then if it is under furniture or something, they will paw at it and I will have to move the furniture so they can get it. If your dog is so attached to one toy, could you get an identical one, and maybe he wouldn't know?

As for the paper, yes, keep it out of reach and teach him "trade". Give him a toy or something else safe he can take in his mouth, and when he takes it, show him a treat or another toy, say "trade" and hold the treat out to him, when he drops the object in his mouth, say "good dog!", give him the treat, and then let him have the object back, right now he probably associates you taking things away with those things disappearing forever, which is why he is reluctant to give things up. If he does manage to get ahold of paper, get a really high value treat, and trade him for it, then give him an appropriate toy to play with. Don't chase him around the house, just show him the treat and encourage him to approach you and drop the paper.

Also, if you can give him something good and appropriate to chew on, a kong filled with food, or a raw bone if he can have them, that will keep him occupied for a while and out of trouble. When you are not able to supervise, keep him in a puppy-proofed room or crate.

Oh and good job on ignoring the inappropriate playing. If he wants something to do, you can play fetch, or find-the-toy (although apparently he's not so good at that! :D ) And do a few training sessions throughout the day, teaching good behaviors and tricks, that tires out their minds as well as their bodies!

April 21st, 2007, 09:38 PM
Hey! Thanks for the great ideas. By the way toy is found some adult in the house laid it down in a basket. He is so happy he sometimes gets overly excited with joy playing with it.

April 22nd, 2007, 02:21 PM
Hooray, the favorite toy was found! :D Silly human, putting the toy in a basket! I bet Mako is very happy to have it again. That's why I like to have an identical back-up toy, they do get so attached to specific ones.

April 23rd, 2007, 02:42 PM
Putting the paper away and keeping doors shut does not teach him a thing. It is just avoiding real life - lord knows you don't want to have to worry about paper and closed doors for the rest of his life.

Instead you want to actively teach him 'leave it'. Start with low value items and work towards the paper. You should be able to place several items of paper on the floor with his toys inbetween them. As he approaches the paper you say 'leave it', and when he goes for a toy you praise him. He needs you to teach him to make good choices and that is a great way to do it. Then you can have piles of paper all around and he doesn't even consider it an option. You are done!

Often times if you do the 'exchange' program he just learns to grab papers because it will get him a treat, toy or attention.

May 1st, 2007, 08:00 PM
In addition to "Leave It" we have learned "Bring It", which has worked great in the cases where she get a hold of something she shouldn't. I taught it as basically a trade game, but quickly went to random rewards so that she doesn't think that she will get a reward for thefting. She knows a lot of things that she is not to have, but when she get something that she shouldn't, it prevents the chase game.