- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Toy agression

June 18th, 2008, 08:43 PM
Hello, I have an issue. Hopefully I can explain it right.
First I have a husky/german shepard cross. approx 10 months old. Have had her for about 2 months. I have notice that in the last week or so, that when she has a toy that we are playing with and I go to grap it to throw it agian (still learning fetch) sometimes she pushes her head against my hand and just stands still. ( i really hope I am explaining this clearly)
Also I have 3 cats in the house and when we are outside the cats like to sit at the door and watch. The dog will grab her toy take it the door ( which is separting the cats from the dog) and lay down with her toy, sometimes she lunges at the door and barks at them. But alot of the time if she sees the cats at the door she will go and grab her toy and bring it to the door. Then she stares at the cats, Kind of doing the pushing my hand thing with the door.
She also usually waits until the cats are not looking to bark at them. But if she is coming inside, we have to get the cats out of the kitchen before she comes in because inside she is still kind of scared of them.
SOrry if this makes no sense. I am just scared/worried that she is being agressive, I am afraid that she will attack the cats when she are not home.
Also sometimes it looks like she wants to play with the cats, but I am not sure. I am just reading this signs wrong. any help would be great. I just don't want her to develop aggression and then when I have kids many years down the road, I don't want to be afraid that she may hurt them.
One thing with my dog, she is submissive most of the time. when you are telling her no when she is doing something wrong, alot of the time she will lay down and roll on to her back.
thank you all!

June 18th, 2008, 10:01 PM
Does she growl or snap when you try to take the toy? I may be misunderstanding what you are saying, but it sounds a lot like what my dog does. He doesn't quite want to give up his toy, but also wants me to throw it again so he pushes it hard into my hand...but still doesn't completely let it go. If that is the case I don't think I would read that as aggression at all...but as I said I might be misunderstanding. I'm sure others will be along soon to offer advice and help you out!

June 18th, 2008, 10:51 PM
no she doesn't snap or growl. I think I might be over reacting. That is what my husband keeps on saying to me. :)

June 19th, 2008, 08:46 AM
Pushing the toy at you sounds like she's inviting you to play tug. It's what our Penny used to do as well but rather than indulging her, I thought her how to "drop it" by offering her a treat in exchange for the toy. At first, I would show her the treat, she'd drop the toy (that's when I'd say "drop it" - as she did it), I'd put my foot over it then pick it up, and give her the treat. After only several practice sessions, she got it right away. Now we don't need treats at all, she automatically drops whatever she has when I ask her to.

I don't know about the situation with the cats though as we know we can't have any here with our Lucky. Have you gotten any help/advice with introducing your pup to the cats? She may be young enough to successfully socialize her to them.

June 19th, 2008, 06:16 PM
Her behavior could be read 2 ways - the first is what you are concerned about. She freezes and stands her ground over the toy. If you approached her she would be likely to snap or growl to defend her toy from you. But since you said she doesn't do that it could very well be the second choice which is her eager anticipation of you grabbing the toy for more play. Many collies do this, they get all excited and drop the ball at your feet and then place themselves in a ready stance for the next move. The ready stance could be 4 feet from you or right over the toy. I would have her back a few feet away from a toy she has dropped for you, so that there is never any question as to her intentions or your right to the toy.

Just make sure she is very good at 'drop it' and 'take it' drills. This exercise alone can prevent her from ever deciding to challenge you for a toy.

June 19th, 2008, 06:20 PM
thank you all for your advice and relieving my worries. i think she is just playing. i am slowly training her to drop it :)

as for getting her use to the cats, it has been about 2 months. she is still kind of scared of them. what can I do to make it easier for her.

June 19th, 2008, 08:24 PM
Have her on the leash in the house attached to you - always keep the leash loose unless you are directing or correcting her. This helps her to face her fears. Have your partner hold a cat, and walk her past the cat/person several times to desensitize her to it. Until she no longer reacts in any manner.

Then have your partner hold the cats hindend towards the dog and the cats head tucked into the person. Let the dog approach the cats hindend and sniff it to her hearts content. Praise her for all efforts in the right direction and repeat as many times as she is interested, until you see her get bored.

Then have your partner slowly release the cat off of his/her lap and let the cat go. Let the dog experience the cat moving and not hurting her.

This is all about her facing her fears and getting past them without putting anyone at risk. The leash is your emergency brake, guidance and communication. Use your voice in a soothing manner when ever she approaches the cat. Reward her attempts at curiousity and bravery.

June 23rd, 2008, 11:50 PM
one thing i noticed lately with my dog is that when she is outside and we are playing with her, she will take her toy to the door where the cats are sitting and watching and show it to the cats. sometimes she will bark at them it depends what cat is at the door. she has growled, but is not a mean growl, but one that is from the throat, she does this sometimes when she is playing with the toy herself. Some she will pounce at the door.
My question is, is she just showing the cats the toy because she wants to play with them or what is she doing?

June 24th, 2008, 12:12 AM
Sounds to me like she is trying to get the cats to play with her :shrug:.

June 24th, 2008, 10:47 AM
I vote for the playing behaviour too... Both Bobby and Amber (Golden Retrievers) will take their stuffie to the cat and shake it - and they just don't understand why Shadow won't play with them :D

Both dogs are good with the "drop" command too - it's an invaluable tool when we are out on the trail and they pick up something undesirable. "Drop" and "Leave it" are basics that, once learned, will make your life soooo much easier!

Good luck!

June 24th, 2008, 12:39 PM
i am thinking it is playing too. she is getting better every day with the drop/leave it.