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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, my 10 week old puppy wont give a stolen item back, like a dropped tissue or stone from the garden, he tries to bite if we attempt to retrieve it. Is this normal?
 

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It is called resource guarding and you need to learn to work with him rather than against him as otherwise it can become a huge issue. I really recommend you get onboard with an good reward based trainer sooner rather than later https://apdt.co.uk/find-a-trainer/

He is telling you what he has is important and the more you try to take things off him the more you are reinforcing that they are important. From his point of view you are being aggressive trying to take it off him and he is defending his treasure.

If you really need to take things off him then you need to swap for something high value so he is happy to swap. You also need to evaluate what you need to take off him and what you don't and stones are something pretty much all pups will pick up but the only ones who persist are the ones where the owners consistently try to stop them by taking them off them - every time you do that you are raising the importance of stones and increasing the likelihood of him picking them up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It is called resource guarding and you need to learn to work with him rather than against him as otherwise it can become a huge issue. I really recommend you get onboard with an good reward based trainer sooner rather than later https://apdt.co.uk/find-a-trainer/

He is telling you what he has is important and the more you try to take things off him the more you are reinforcing that they are important. From his point of view you are being aggressive trying to take it off him and he is defending his treasure.

If you really need to take things off him then you need to swap for something high value so he is happy to swap. You also need to evaluate what you need to take off him and what you don't and stones are something pretty much all pups will pick up but the only ones who persist are the ones where the owners consistently try to stop them by taking them off them - every time you do that you are raising the importance of stones and increasing the likelihood of him picking them up.
 

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Yes much better to just leave him be and if you have things you need to get back off him then much better to distract, so call him away to play with a toy, scatter some treats, get his lead for a walk, open the fridge door - anything which distracts him - or trade with something which is high value for him
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok great thank you for this, we will work hard on this now so it doesn’t turn into something. You think this can be turned around easily enough at this age?
 

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Yes it can be turned round but just needs a change of tack from all the humans. Really important if you have any children that they know if puppy has something not to try to get it off them and always ask an adult.

These are a couple of really nice exercises where you can see the change from a tense puppy starting to guard to a happy for owner to approach puppy


 
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