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My dog always brings me a toy so we can play fetch and tug for many months now and wasn't all that concerned about it before. However, I have seen somewhere on the Internet that the human should initiate play and not the dog. How true is this? Should I ignore the dog if I'm not in the mood to play.

The reason that I force myself to play with her is that in my mind, it beats doing something that will get her into trouble. What are your comments, corrections and suggestions?
 

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if she brings you the toy and you want to play, go ahead. If she brings you the toy and you don't want to play then don't.
Unless your dog is having major behavioural problems I wouldn't worry about it.
 

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It really depends. For a dog who is generally more reserved, I encourage the soliciting to build confidence. For dogs who, like mine, would turn it into an endless sort of entertainment, I ignore it completely and I initiate all play. I think there certainly can be a middle ground, such as entertaining it sometimes but having a consistent word (ex. that's enough, take a break, not play time, etc.) that means 'stop pestering me'.

Also, there is a lot of grey between 'play with my dog' and 'ignore her and she will get into trouble.' It takes training for dogs to learn not to get into trouble, even if ignored. And if you are stuck playing with your dog OR she will get into trouble, then there is something else amiss here. When I don't want my dogs to bother me, they are either sleeping or chewing on their appropriate chew items. If ever I felt they were thinking of doing something I didn't want, into the pen or crate they go. I do this BEFORE they practice any unwanted behaviors so no habits form. It's up to you to find your balance. But I hope you are not at the mercy of your dog!
 

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I LOVE it when the dog initiates play with me. It means I am important to that dog and it shows the dog as pack drive. When a dog pushes a toy at you to initiate interaction, it means you have a relationship and that is worth a lot.

I have a bitch, 4.5 years old now, got her IPO 3 and her FH1. She does not care to be a partner. I had to work and work to get her to want me to be there to play with. If she was more my partner and less independent we would score better in Obedience (but probably not as well in Tracking!).

My 8 month old puppy automatically pushes toys into me. I love it. Totally.
 

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It depends on what you want. If you want to play, its fine to take the offered toy. If you don't want to play, it's okay to ignore, too. My dog will offer me toys quite often to take and throw, but if I ignore him or tell him "that's enough" he will go do his own thing, too. My dog is trustworthy, though, and knows which toys are appropriate to play with. If you have a pup that still wants to get into non-toy items, then a little more management may be required.
 
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