"It's Mine!" is what I usually hear from my 3 1/2 year old niece who believes anything and everything that she wants is hers and is not yours. Same is true for a lot of dogs, especially shibas. I am lucky that Mika has been very good about her toys and food. However, she is still a puppy and I don't know if she will start to have resource guarding issues.
Lately, I've been taking Mika to the dog park so she can socialize with other dogs and people. She has been doing great. There is one thing I don't necessarily like about the dog park and can't seem to figure out why it's allowed. Toys, balls, frisbees. Why are owners allowed to bring in dog toys into the dog park? That may sound like a stupid question and I realize it is a dog park and many owners would like to play fetch with their dog at the park. That isn't always what goes on though. Many people bring toys to keep their dogs occupied. Yes their dog does end up being occupied. The dog is busy guarding the toy making sure no other dog gets close enough to take the toy away. I see it so often and I see so many dogs get into fights over a ball or frisbee. Just yesterday when I was at the dog park a little girl was playing with another dog and threw her frisbee to play fetch. Her dog who saw this got very possessive over the frisbee and almost attacked the other dog. When the girl went down to try to get the frisbee from her dog to throw it again, the dog snapped and growled at her. Then there was an incident where there was another dog guarding a ball that wasn't even his from everyone else. Mika saw this dog and wanted to play with him, she had no interest at all in the toy, but she wanted to play with every dog she saw and since this dog didn't want to play he wasn't very friendly to her. Before the dog locked his eyes on the toy he was running around with Mika and they were having a good time.
The atmosphere and attitudes change when toys are involved and fights usually break out and someone's play time at the dog park comes to an end earlier than expected.