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Discussion Starter #1
I know I've posted on here several times about Bubba destroying all of the toys. I've finally given up trying to stop him, but if there was a way to teach him not to destroy them, I'd absolutely try it.

My problem now is that he always wants whatever toy my other dog, Addie, has. She loves to play with toys, though, and Bubba has managed to destroy all of her favorite ones. If she has a toy, he is beside himself. All he can think about is taking it, and he won't settle down or play with another toy until he gets what she has. I know this is pretty typical with dogs and from his perspective, if she has it, obviously it must be a good toy! I can tell Addie is getting frustrated, though, because she's started growling/snapping at him whenever she has a toy and he gets close to her. It's escalated into a scuffle a few times, although luckily nothing too severe.

The biggest problem is when we play ball. Addie's favorite game is catch, where I will throw the ball and she will catch it over and over and over and over. It's been difficult to play much since I got Bubba, though, and I hate that. He steals the ball almost every time she drops it, and I'm constantly having to wrestle it from him in order to keep playing. To make things worse, there are two types of balls that we generally play with: the smaller squeaky Kong tennis balls (I think they are 2" in diameter), which Bubba destroys in literally 5 seconds, or the smaller orange Chuck-It balls, which are a little more durable (although sill not Bubba-proof) and are Addie's favorite. The problem with those, though, is that Addie is much more protective of them and they are almost guaranteed to start a fight. Also, to clarify, all he wants to do is take the ball and chew it up, he doesn't actually want to play catch or fetch or anything.

I have tried giving them both the exact same toy, but Bubba only cares about the one Addie has. Generally, they will go back and forth between the toys until Bubba has destroyed them both. I've also tried offering him a more enticing toy when I take Addie's toys back from him, to no avail. I don't really have the option to separate them in order for Addie to play. If I try to put Bubba in another room, or go in another room with Addie, he would scratch a hole through the door if I didn't stop him. Occasionally I can get him to go outside so Addie and I can play, but it's not for very long.

I apologize for the long post and I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record. I'm just at my wits' end with the toy problems and I'm hoping to find a solution to this in particular, at least! Any advice would be much appreciated!
 

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I had a similar situation when my dog Annie was still around (and spry enough to play ball!), except both of mine really wanted to "play" ball, neither wanted to just destroy it. Pretty much the only time they ever tussled was if they both grabbed for the toy at the same time while facing each other- if one had it, the other would just loom nearby and try to swoop in to snatch it if the other dropped it, but that rarely resulted in a fight.

Really, the only way to avoid it is to only allow one dog to play at a time, and that's what I did for a long time with mine, until Annie got slow enough that Bus consistently beat her to the toy :), and I just used two, throwing his first, then hers in a different direction. You might try using 2(+) balls at once, getting her attention on one that you hold and throwing the other for him to run off and chew, then hers to fetch (however many times before he interferes). I'm sure that she doesn't enjoy having him badger her, so would bet that she'd figure out quickly that this is a hassle free way of playing. Or just put him on a leash and don't let him play since he's more interested in being a nuisance to her than actually playing the game. At first, I used to take both dogs out and leash/tie one, then the other, playing with the free one then swapping. You could even take a bone or chew for the dog in the tie out spot. If they have good obedience, you could put one in a sit or down, throw a ball for the free dog, then release and throw for the "restrained" dog. Or hold the collar if not. Maybe try a baby gate if you are in the house so that they can each have separate playtime? You could try separating him only when he harasses her in the hopes that he learns to not do it, but would have to be very consistent because if he ever gets the toy, it will reduce the effectiveness, plus it's still stressful for her to have to worry about him taking it/hovering before you intervene.
 

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Thanks for the advice! I've done the 2-ball method a couple of times, so I may try with that some more. He just destroys them so quickly, I'd have to buy a new ball every time we played!!!

I'm wondering, would it be mean to teach him not to play with the ball? He knows "leave it," although he's not great at it when it comes to something Addie has. Is it wrong to teach him he's not allowed to have the balls? If he had any interest in actually playing with them, I'd love for him to play, but all he wants to do his shred them (which I know is playing for him). He very rarely shows any interest in them unless Addie is playing with them, though. And he has about 700 other toys in the house to play with! :)
 
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