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Hi,

I have a 1 year old German Shepherd. I taught my dog as a puppy to run from me when he has an object (originally a dog toy) in his mouth.

I originally did this as an easy way to exercise him--I would give him a toy and chase him. It was a fun game and he LOVED it! It's much easier to chase him than have him chase me and so I was able to get him to run quite a lot this method. I thought by having a toy, he would only run from me when we were playing this game.

The problem is that he ALWAYS does this now. He will grab anything and everything he can get his mouth on so that I can chase him. He absolutely loves doing this. And it often turns out he will grab something he knows I don't want him to have and run from me. It's caused a lot of problems with him snatching things he shouldn't have and my inability to get him to drop it becasue he wants to play his game. I can't get anywhere near him when he has something in his mouth because he wants me to chase him!

What can I do to undo this? I want the behavior to stop completely-- I'm no longer interesting in even exercising him under this game.
 

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I would stop chasing him. When he grabs something and runs, just walk away and ignore him. If you can stop him before he runs offer him a treat in exchange for the toy. Work on this in the house to start with. It is going to take a while as he has been doing this for quite a while and enjoyed it.
 

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I agree with the above. Absolutely do not chase him, keep a high quality treat handy, the smellier the better to get his attention, and teach the drop it command. It can take a while but it will work as long as you never chase him.
 
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