Taking the toy back: Getting your dog to stop being possessive

It’s a situation we’ve all faced. You’re playing with your beloved pup, but their possessive nature over toys leaves you feeling frustrated and helpless. How to get a dog to stop being possessive over toys?

Don’t fret – there are ways to teach your fluffy companion how to share! Read on and find out!

We’ll show you some simple training methods that will teach your pooch the art of sharing.

With proper training, you can help them learn the joys of sharing.

Ready to get started? Let’s go!

Why is my dog being possessive over toys?

There are a lot of reasons why canines become possessive over particular items. Here are five of them:

1. Toys Can Represent Belonging

Dogs have a strong sense of ownership and see their belongings as part of their pack family.

If your pup carries a favorite toy around with them everywhere, it could be an indication that they feel connected to it. They view it as theirs alone.

2. Comfort in Familiarity

When dogs get familiar with their toy, it can provide them with comfort and security when times get tough.

This is especially true if they became attached to it during a difficult time in their life.

3. Territorial Instincts

Dogs are naturally territorial animals. They have the habit of chasing small animals, hiding food, etc. Unfortunately, this can carry over to their toys too.

If another pup tries to snatch away their favorite item, then your canine may become defensive in order. This is in order to protect what’s theirs.

4. Relieving Stress

Just like us humans, our furry friends can also become stressed from time to time.

Playing with their favorite toy can help them blow off some steam. It can also keep them calm during times of tension or chaos.

5. Showing Affection

Finally, dogs can also bond with their toys as a way of showing affection for their owners.

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If your pup is constantly cuddling or carrying around their beloved toy, it could mean that they’re trying to show you how much they care about you.

Signs of a toy possessive dog

If you’ve got a toy-possessive pup, you can tell the signs from miles away. Here are 10 common traits that could show your furry friend is feeling a little extra protective:

1. Growling: A low growl when someone approaches their prized possession shows how much they value it. And don’t want anyone else to touch it!

2. Snatching: If your pup snatches up their favorite chew toy and tries hiding it in a corner or behind furniture, chances are they’re feeling pretty territorial about it.

3. Body language: It’s not just the sound of their voice that speaks volumes. Their body language can give away how wary they are of anyone getting too close. If they have their ears pinned back, tail tucked between their legs or showing signs of tension in other ways, it could be a sign they’re feeling possessive.

4. Jealousy: Your pup might become jealous if you give attention to someone else and not them – even if that person is just playing with their toy!

5. Staring: If your dog is constantly staring at whoever is near their beloved plaything, it’s safe to say they’re not happy about the situation.

6. Refusing to Share: It goes without saying that one of the biggest signs of toy possession is refusing to share with others. Even when asked nicely, your pup won’t budge – because it’s theirs and theirs alone!

7. Resource Guarding: If you’re playing fetch with your pup and they refuse to drop the toy when asked or become aggressive in any way, there’s a good chance they’re feeling possessive about their precious possession.

8. Keeping Toys Close By: If your pup prefers to keep their favorite toy close by at all times, even while sleeping, it’s an obvious sign of possession.

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9. Stealing Toys: Some dogs will outright steal toys from humans or other animals, just to make sure no one else can get their hands on them!

10. Possessiveness Over People: It’s not just objects that some dogs can get possessive over; they can also become protective of people. If your pup growls or snaps at anyone who tries to approach you, it’s a sure sign of toy possession.

How to get a dog to stop being possessive over toys

If you have a dog that has taken ownership of every toy, it can be a bit tricky to get them to stop being possessive. We’ve got 8 tips and tricks to help make sure that everyone gets the chance to play with their toys.

1. Make Sure You Have Enough Toys:

The first step is making sure that you have enough of each type of toy for everyone who wants one.

You can also make DIY toys for your fur baby so that they have homemade options too.

This way, your pup isn’t feeling like they need to hoard all the toys.

2. Play With Your Pup & Their Toys:

Spend time playing fetch and tug-of-war with your pup and their toys so they know that it’s okay to share. This will teach them that they don’t need to keep their toys all to themselves.

3. Set Boundaries:

Let them know when enough is enough by setting boundaries around when they can and cannot play with their toys.

This way, they won’t think it’s acceptable to take all the toys every time someone visits your house.

4. Reward Good Behavior:

Show your pup that sharing is appreciated. Do this by rewarding them with treats or lots of praise whenever they let someone else play with one of their beloved toys for a little bit.

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5. Rotate Toys:

Keep things interesting by rotating their toys often. This way they won’t get stuck in a rut playing with the same ones over and over.

6. Hide Toys:

Try playing a game of hide-and-seek with their toys. You can do this by hiding them in different places around the house and see if your pup can find them.

This will get them used to the idea that things come and go. They will understand they don’t need to be possessive about what’s theirs.

7. Create Subscription Boxes:

Instead of buying all their toys at once, try creating subscription boxes. Like this, you can add new items into the mix each month or every few months.

This will help keep things fresh and exciting for your pup. Plus, it’ll encourage sharing since there’ll always be something new on the horizon!

8. Schedule Toy Time:

Finally, try scheduling “toy time” where everyone gets to play with the same toy at once.

This will help reinforce the idea that it’s alright to share and that toys aren’t just for one person.

With these tips, you’ll be able to get your pup to stop being possessive over their toys in no time!


The steps for how to get a dog to stop being possessive over toys can be done with persistence.

With patience, consistency, and understanding of dog behavior, you can help your pup learn to share their toys.

Rewards-based training with treats or praise is a great way to reinforce the desired behaviors and encourage your pup away from possessive behavior.

This process may take some time at first, but it will be worth it in the end when all family members can safely join in on playtime!

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