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Discussion Starter #1
We've had our rescued Peke for one week. She is about two years old, fixed, and thoroughly vet-checked.

We haven't had any issues with food aggression, but today she displayed the first sign of possession aggression when I tried to pick up her tiny tennis ball to throw it. She growled, snapped, and barked at me.

I understand that the worst thing to do is to remove the item because it reinforces her beliefs, and that's okay with a tennis ball. But what do I do when she's chowing down on a tissue and I don't have time to replace it with a better toy? She hasn't growled yet when it comes to tissues, but I'm guessing that will come next.

We are planning to start obedience training next month, and I can work with her when it comes to toys, but I'm at a loss when it comes to removing objects that aren't dog friendly.

Thank you for any advice! :)
 

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With my puppy, I always have a pocket full of treats, so when she picks up something she's not supposed to have, I trade her for a treat. She's gotten so good at it, she'll usually drop whatever she has as I'm reaching for it, then look up for her reward, lol. The theory is, they give up what they have willingly and they get something better in return.
 

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If your dog is disobeying and being aggressive when they shouldn't be, then one approach could be to firmly say "no!" to them, taking the object from your dog and being stern about the inappropriateness of such behavior.
Absolutely not. You will make resource guarding worse, and increase aggression.Plus, "No" is meaningless to dogs. Teach them instead, WHAT to do, not WHAT NOT to do. Give them an appropriate toy/treat/chew, and ask them Drop it, and then give the other thing. Play trading up games to teach them to drop something.
 

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If your dog is disobeying and being aggressive when they shouldn't be, then one approach could be to firmly say "no!" to them, taking the object from your dog and being stern about the inappropriateness of such behavior.
I'm with Spotted Nikes. The advice quoted above is very WRONG. Please do not do this. Doing this will teach the dog it needs to resource guard its favorite things so they don't get taken away.

Here, I linked this website in another thread but I think it is very useful. You need to teach her that when you come up to her when she has important things, it's a good thing. Play trading games, throw treats in her food bowl (from a safe distance away) when she is eating, there are more suggestions in that website link too. But in this case, what Bonesygirl says is good. Have a great treat in your pocket just for this. Start teaching the dog a "spit that out" command. Sometimes, if it's just something that isn't harmful to her, ask her to give it to you, treat her, then give it right back! She will be amazed and remember that even if she has to give something up, she might get it back.
 

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I bought some small, dry treats to keep in my pocket for occasions just like this. We normally do the moist stinky ones for training, but those are NOT pocket friendly!! Now that I always have treats on me, I can do a quick swap with him and he's quite happy with that. The trainer at our puppy class suggested we practice taking things away with the pups by giving them a treat for a toy, then giving the toy right back so they see that their stuff goes away and comes back again and you get a treat to boot! My pup is getting better at dropping things already! (He is very food motivated)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Original poster here. Thank you SO much for the suggestions. That all makes a lot of sense. Guess I need to get some pocket-friendly treats :)

Thanks again!
 

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This thread makes me miss my old part Chow rescue dog named barney that passed away about 3 yrs ago. He was SUCH a good dog that was so grateful for a home. His only bad habit was shredding tissues. To stop him from shredding them, I bought a small trash can for the bathroom that had a lid that shut, and you would step on the lever at the base to open it. Barney learned how to step on the lever. But he would reach in and only get ONE tissue, and take it out to shred...never more than one. I finally let him do it. He wouldn't eat them, just shred it. He was such a good dog, that had such a rough start in life (I found him when he was about 9 yrs old), that if he really enjoyed shredding them, I'd pick up the pieces. I hope he is in Heaven now, with as many tissues as he wants.
 

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Remove her access to tissues?
My pup likes tissues, and as hard as we try, he still finds them sometimes. All the small trash cans are off the floor, but tissues fall out of pockets (or are pulled out of them by fast moving puppies.. ahem) or he finds them under furniture, or I don't even know where because I think I've gone through everything and suddenly he has a mouthful of kleenex!!
 

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Just curious but aren't you telling your puppy to go get tissues then drop them for a treat??
Kinda. Some dogs get smart and will actively find things that they "know" are off limits and bring them to you for a treat. I think that when a dog does this, that is wonderful! You are teaching them that whatever cool stuff they find, if they bring it to Mom or Dad, they get something cooler! So, if your pup finds something that you accidentally left out that has the potential to be dangerous (tissue, trash, etc.), they will remember "Mom loves it when I bring her things and I get lots of treats for it!" and the puppy will safely bring you the item versus run to eat it. Does that make sense, kinda?

So in a way you are teaching the puppy to be comfortable giving you things that they get into or find. A much better alternative, in my opinion, then thinking "I better eat this quick cause if Mom sees me she will try to take it away" or "Mom is coming, gotta RUUUN!". (I am anthropomorphizing a lot)
 

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Just curious but aren't you telling your puppy to go get tissues then drop them for a treat??
No. A tissue was just used as an example of something that the dog shouldn't have, but gets his mouth on anyway, at which time rather than wrestle him to the ground and pry his jaw open, he trades it for a treat. It would be awesome if everyone lived in completely pristine houses with 100% puppy/dog proof rooms, but the fact of the matter is the dog is going to grab things he shouldn't, and when he does I want him to be willing to hand it over instead of running away or being protective of it. And heck if he wants to pick up my house for kibbles, I say go for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
OP here. Just wanted to report that things are coming along splendidly. No more possession aggression of any kind. She *almost* drops her toys for me to throw now. The other day she had a piece of splintered wood stuck in her mouth and I had to pry her jaws open to pull it out, and she let me with no problems. We've had her just over two weeks now and I'm thrilled with the progress that is being made. Thank you for all the suggestions, everyone, they're working great! :D
 
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