Here`s another great article:
We have 2 dogs in our house: My roommate's dog is Aussie (6, male, red heeler) and my dog is Lily (7 months, female, supermutt). Aussie is very sweet, very lazy, but also very obedient. His favorite thing to do is to lay down near you and be petted, but he also loves to please and perform on demand (sit, shake, etc). Lily is a puppy, loves to run, chase, and play, and is very submissive. She's also two weeks into a 6 week behavior training course. They get along really well, and until recently the only problem was Aussie would tire out and want to lay down, while Lily kept trying to play.
Recently, the last week or so, there have been 3 incidents that have escalated, and I've figured out the cause. Aussie likes to take toys that Lily is playing with, carry them back to his room, and then lay down next to them. Usually the toy is in a corner, and he lays in front of it. Lily will let him take it, then follow him, sometimes playfully trying to grab at the toy. Once he's situated with himself between her and the toy, he just lays there. She could easily grab the toy but she won't, and he's not doing much to stop her other than sometimes rolling over onto it.
At first this would elicit whines and yelps from her, and I would go see the situation and take the toy and give it back to her. Problem resolved for awhile. Lately it's gotten a little worse, and I've had to break up a scuffle between them 3 times. And a fourth time occurred when she was on the couch with a toy and did not want to let him take it. I was pup-sitting my sister's dog that day, so the presence of a 3rd dog might have had something to do with the slightly different situation. My roommate said we shouldn't separate them after a fight, let them go back to playing, and each time they've gone back to playing normally immediately.
I don't want to stop Aussie from taking any toys to his bed, that seems like a normal behavior. I don't think I want to teach Lily not to take back a toy Aussie took. It seems like stopping Aussie from taking the toy in the first place would be ideal, but I don't always catch that part. Everything I've read online is about aggression when the dog takes the toy, not when the "victim" tries to get the toy back (hence, the twist). What would be the best way to handle this?
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