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Martha Windisch
Martha Windisch, Certified Pet Dog Trainer
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 113
Experience:  17+ years experience as a pet dog trainer. AKC titles in obedience, tracking, field and agility.
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why does my dog bring me a gift when i return home

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Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Martha Windisch replied 6 years ago.
Customer

What do you mean by gift? Do you mean that your dog grabs something in her mouth and brings it to you? What type of thing(s) does she bring to you? How long have you owned her? Has she done this ever since you have had her? When she brings you a gift, what is her body doing? (i.e. is she wriggling and wagging her tail?)

Thanks for answering my questions. Your answers will help me to better answer your question.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
by gift i mean anything she can find ie socks ,bones , piece of paper.she is wriggling and wagging her tail. she has owned us for 8 years but only being doing the gift thing for about 2 years
Expert:  Martha Windisch replied 6 years ago.
Customer

This is a typical greeting behavior. Retriever and retriever mixes often do this. I actually use this behavior - that is encourage it - to teach a dog to do something other than jump up for greeting. Basically, I teach them to go find something to bring to their owner when the owner comes in the door. Thus, the dog cannot go find a gift and jump up at the same time.

Is your dog a mix that might have a retriever breed in it? (i.e. golden retriever, labrador retriever, chesapeake bay retriever, etc?). Some other breeds also like to retrieve, but retrievers definitely specialize in it. It is basically a "hard-wired" genetic behavior for some dogs. They naturally will grab things to retrieve and return them to you. Thus, when you come in the door they will bring a gift. My golden retriever, Misty, used to grab items as a "security blanket"/comforting method - she would grab a stuffed toy in her mouth if any of my other dogs would bark or if dogs outside would bark. Then she would bark and her bark would be muffled!

I'm not sure why your dog first started this behavior 2 years ago and she did not do it for the first 6 years. With the wriggling and wagging her tail, I'm sure that she is absolutely delighted with herself for greeting you and bringing you something. My guess is that she started the behavior one day (sort of by accident) and you or whoever thought it was quite adorable and made a big deal over it. Thus, your dog was highly rewarded for bringing you (or whoever) a gift and started performing the behavior more and more. Besides, it is quite cute as long as she actually brings the object to you and doesn't bring you things she is not supposed to have (or at least brings them right to you and delivers them to you).

I hope that this answers your question. Sounds like you have a great dog!

Martha Windisch, Certified Pet Dog Trainer
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 113
Experience: 17+ years experience as a pet dog trainer. AKC titles in obedience, tracking, field and agility.
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