Dog slow to release toy while playing (any advice?)
i work with my GSD for 15 minutes to an hour every day, reinforcing old commands and teaching new ones. i use throwing her ball or squeaky toy to motivate for most commands. she's very receptive to training and very obedient.
with one exception: she's a little slow (but not terribly so) to drop her toys (meaning drop them on the ground) -- she'll start to drop them but want to chew on them first for about 15-20 seconds before she drops. she has never not dropped, nor has she run off to another place to be alone with the toy. also -- and this is what i'm more worried about -- sometimes when i ask her to give her toy (meaning let me take it out of her mouth) she'll clamp down on it and refuse to give. she narrows her eyes when she does this, which i dislike. last night she growled at me briefly when i tried to take the toy from her.
she doesn't show any other resource guarding behaviors. when she's laying on the floor with a toy by her, you can always pick it up. also, sometimes when i'm watching tv on the couch i'll play with her a little by asking her to bring her toy and then give it to me to throw. in this situation, she always gives immediately. the behavior is limited to sessions where i'm standing up and purposefully training her.
things i'm doing to train her: 1) for the past week or so i've been holding up a piece of kibble before doing the 'give' command, having her sit and then give. she will consistently give it for kibble (last night was the first time in a while i had her give without having kibble in my hand first). i'm planning to do the 'give' command before pulling out the kibble, so that she learns that giving right without having the treat initially is the behavior that gets rewarded. 2) we play with two toys when we train; i put them out of her reach when she's doing commands, and when i throw a toy, that's the one she's asked to retrieve, even if she's more excited about the other one at the moment (and she's doing better all the time with chasing the one i choose to throw). 3) i rotate her toys, so that one of the two toys she values the most is always out of rotation and only comes out for training. i usually leave her one of them to play with when she's home alone so she doesn't get bored.
my questions are, am i doing the right things? is there something else i should be trying? is this really resource guarding, since it's specific to training sessions, or is there something else triggering it?
Last edited by MaggieRoseLee; 02-14-2011 at 08:08 PM.