Possession is nine-tenths of the law; right? Possession not only relates to humans but dogs as well. I love watching dogs play; especially when there are toys of some sort involved. No matter how many toys you fill your house with; it is the one in someone's mouth that is the object of desire. Last week I did a shoot with two beautiful Weimaraners; I did some individual shots and then we moved onto the fun. When they get to just run together; play and have fun and I not only get to watch but capture it as well.
One of the dogs had a stick momentarily; she was having some great chew fun with it when she put it down for just a split second. The other saw her chance; she had been watching out of the corner of her eye and swooped in and snagged the stick. Now it was hers and she was not letting go. Of course the girl who had now lost her stick did everything she could to cause a diversion which she hoped would result in her gaining possession of her stick back. She made her ball look as exciting as she could; didn't even get a glimpse from the stick chewer. The girl with the stick made an Oscar winning performance with this stick. This stick was the best stick in the world and there was nothing more fun than having this particular stick. The dog who lost her stick made one last attempt at a mock charge in hopes that the now owner of the stick might drop it, nope. She got a final communication on her last trip by and came to terms with the fact that she was not getting her stick back.
Dogs are amazingly smart and when they want something they can pretty much figure out how to get it. We have two two toy baskets in our home; both are spilling over with toys and yet when someone has a certain toy, Luke has to have it. He cannot stand that someone has something and he may be missing out on a great thing. But he is a smart boy and he has figured it out. When one of the other dogs has a toy he wants he simply goes to the front door and barks; he turns to see if they are coming and barks again. Of course the girls come running and barking to the front door to see who's there. Luke then turns on a dime and swoops in on the toy, mission accomplished.
The hierarchy of the dogs involved will factor in on how the toy is stolen or attempted to be stolen. There may the diversion tactics like Luke uses; he wouldn't dare try to just grab a toy from Jessie, he'd get his face chomped. There are the cute and innocent maneuvers where a dog crawls in so slowly and low that the dog with the toys doesn't see it as a threat. That is until the very last moment when the pirate gets their teeth on the toy. There are the ones who take toys by force; there is usually a scuffle where brute strength is used but it is not always the strongest who wins.
When we bring home new toys into our house we have rules; everyone gets a toy and must stay away from the others, works great. That is until the toys aren't new anymore and it is a free for all. This is when the robbery tactics begin. Of course there are times when we as the human leaders must step in and keep dogs from constantly stealing toys from each other but in general it is a wonderful time to watch the cunning mind of a dog at work.