Anyone have any suggestions for a golden (1yr old) who won't stop retrieving my son's toys, especially stuffed animals. He's got plenty of his own toys and they get rotated for him to prevent boredom. He's getting exercise and love and attention. Our dining room is my son's toy room and he has 6 large toy bins full of toys. Max (the golden) goes in there all day and brings out toys. If I don't catch him right away he'll play with them. I've tried telling him no then giving him one of his toys but it's not sinking in. None of Max's toys are anything like my son's with the exception of balls. Max thinks all balls belong to him, which I can understand. I just want him to stop fetching toys all day long.
Sarah
in thread "Sarah" (Email Removed) whittled the following words:
Anyone have any suggestions for a golden (1yr old) who won't stop retrieving my son's toys, especially stuffed animals. He's ... balls belong to him, which I can understand. I just want him to stop fetching toys all day long. Sarah

I have an elkhound that does this all day long. I simply take it from her, put it on my desk, and give her a cookie and tell her "THANK YOU" She never stops either Emotion: wink
As a result, my desk top looks like a disaster area, and when I can't find my monitor any more, I take a huge sweep of the arm and knock them all on the floor. Then she goes to work picking them all up again, insuring that NOTHING ever touches the floor.
I feel blessed. I used to have TWO compulsive retrieving elkhounds working overtime! Ahh for those days again! I want the original back! A full desk means I'm loved.
Try scenting the dog's toys with something safe (like vanilla extract) and only rewarding him for bringing those, ignoring him for bringing any others. You could even train this as a more formal scent discrimination game. That way he'll be far more motivated to bring only his toys. My guess is that even though the difference between the dog's toys and the son's toys is obvious to you, it isn't to the dog, so it'd be a good idea to give the dog a little more help.

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Anyone have any suggestions for a golden (1yr old) who won't stopretrieving my son's toys, especially stuffed animals. He's got ... thinks all balls belong to him, which I can understand. I just wanthim to stop fetching toys all day long.

You mentioned he gets exercise, love and attention. How much exercise each day? What about training? This sounds like a puppy who is bored and wants to have a job, but is just not getting the mental workout he needs. Plus, he's probably not getting enough physical exercise - at one year, he is probably overflowing with energy. I would suggest at least one long walk per day plus fetch games in the yard and several short training sessions - get him active and moving for an hour or so per day. Use that love of toys to your benefit by including them in training sessions.I'd also suggest restricting his access to those toys which aren't his, because frankly, a toy motivated dog will find anything resembling a toy to be his toy, and the temptation to play with things can be too great for a puppy to overcome. Even if the puppy is 3 - my youngest dog recently found a bag full of beanie babies I had set aside for donation, and proceeded to tear the bag open, take out the toys and neatly remove all the little ear tags that collectors worship - fortunately they are still fine for kids as he didnt leave a drop of slobber on even one! It has been rainy and he was BORED!! So - can you close off the dining room, or move the toys to a spare bedroom or den? That, plus sufficient physical and mental exercise, should make for a happy home with happy pup + child.
Christy
stop rotating: dog thinks it's getting new toys all the time... new toy is for dog... all toys are for dog..
I second the scenting solution. A dog can't be expected to always know which are his/her toys and which aren't. I use a drop of hazlenut extract (the kind used for flavouring icing etc.) My dog (Lab X) is really good at telling his stuff from ours. He has never chewed anything of ours after the first week we had him home, although he's gone through plenty of his own toys. Sometimes he even puts his toys away in his basket, if they are laying about. (His basket was also scented to make an association for him.) Once in a while I'll find a dirty dishrag in there, which he finds irresistable. Of course the fact that it is hidden under the rest of the stuff leads me to suppose he probably knew what he was doing. ;-)

I might not use vanilla extract. Vanilla is a very common scent and is used in candles, hand lotion, crayons, and other products. It may be a bit confusing for your dog to use a popular scent. I would also avoid using citrus scents as they are used a lot in cleaning products.
I second the scenting solution. A dog can't be expected to always know which are his/her toys and which aren't. ... toys away in his basket, if they are laying about. (His basket was also scented to make an association forhim.)

/snip/
I might not use vanilla extract. Vanilla is a very common scent and isused in candles, hand lotion, crayons, and ... use a popular scent. I would also avoid using citrus scents as they are used a lot in cleaning products.

I wouldn't use any strong, chemical sort of scent, even if humans like them. What about a less sweet, more doggy sort of scent? Something natural, from food maybe. Yeast?
The OP might also consider storing the child's toys in a net/hammock sort of thing that could be hoisted up out of the dog's reach when the child wasn't there.
Margaret
I just want him to stop fetching toys all day long.

I'd start with management. Put a top on the toy bins, close the door, use baby gates, whatever. Not that you shouldn't train him, but the first step has to be prevention. He already has a habit, it's self-reinforcing, and he does it when you're not there to address it. Not a simple training issue, and you'll backslide every time he gets a chance to do it again.

As for training, you have some choices. Do you want to train him not to go in that room? Not to touch the toy bins? Or to distinguish between his toys and your son's toys?
If you simply want to keep him out of the toy bins, there's a possibly easy solution. Take him into PetsMart or PetCo, and go to the aisle with Bitter Apple and other similar sprays. Put a little on your finger, and let him sniff or lick. If he goes, YUCK!!!, buy it. :}
Spray the toy bins with it. For a few days, I'd spray them daily, maybe a couple of times a day. He'll probably go check them out several times over a period of time before he accepts that they are now stinky and untouchable for keeps. Then he will give up, and you won't have to keep spraying them.

Though the behavior may resurface occasionally, so keep the Bitter Apple around. :}

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