Use the Toy Behavior assessment item to identify possible possession aggression and any behaviors that could benefit from behavior modification now to prevent future problems. These behaviors include freezing, blocking access to toy with body, snapping, growling, or giving the assessor hard eyes.
Watch Item 6 in Action
Tips for Success
Make sure the food bowl and any kibble that was spilled on the floor are picked up from the Food Behavior assessment item.
The observer must watch to keep the leash slack throughout the assessment item unless the dog threatens the assessor.
The assessor should encourage play with a slight bend at the waist while shaking or, if possible, squeaking the toy. Be sure not to bend over the dog.
If a second toy is necessary, the shape and texture should be very different from the first one offered.
Verbal encouragement should be brief and should end once the toy is tossed.
Use a brusque tone when saying "Give me that toy!" but don't be overwhelming or intimidating.
Watch for how and where the dog places his body in relation to the toy/rawhide and the assessor. Especially note hunkering over the object (body blocking) and placing paw atop the object.
Use clean toys with each dog, if possible. Minimally, wash toys once a day.
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