Dogs are prey creatures and like their food and toys alive, not shoved into their mouth. So when playing with your dog – you want to keep the toy moving always away from him. This makes it more fun for your dog and reinforces the come command.
When playing with your dog you want to use your toy as a target for them. Great toys to play with are long and rectangular in shape. If you have a toy that has 5 different “arms” coming out of it, this will be much harder to target for your dog and get him to give back to you as he can self-satisfy on his own. Keep your hands on the two ends of the toy so that when your dog goes to get the toy, your hand will be out of the way and you won’t get bit. Many people don’t think about how they hold their toys for their dog, and because your dog is much faster than you are – it is common that he will bite your hand trying to get to the toy and then he is blamed.
When you want the toy back from your dog, we use an “out” command. Instead of pulling and taking the toy away from your dog – you want your dog to give his toy to you. To accomplish this, make your arms go limp and begin to move your two hands into the center of the toy. The toy will lose its fun value as it is no longer alive and there is only a small area left that your dog will not be able to self-satisfy on. Keep using the out command until the moment your dog releases it, then make it alive again right away! This will teach your dog that you are never taking his toy away from him, he is giving it back and knows he will get it back – it may be right away, it may be tomorrow, but he will get it back.
Always have fun with your dog and switch up the toys that you use so that your dog doesn’t become obsessed with only one toy.