Many families ask about toy confusion and their dog. Here are some tips.
1. Limit the number of toys (even to just one) that you direct your dog to. Name that toy. For example: Our shepherd Moose loved his ball. We had one special ball that we would always direct him to by saying "go get your ball." This allowed for many games as he would have to search for THAT ball. Naming a toy and only allowing that toy to be theirs is helpful as it limits confusion. That is theirs and the others are not.
2. If your dog loves fuzzy toys like Windsor (photo above) then you will need to "manage" your baby's toys. Keeping them out of reach is usually the best option. If you can again have ONE that is just your dog's then this is helpful. They will make mistakes and be interested in new furry toys so be prepared and play a game to reinforce that only their toy is for them.
Throw about 5 toys (4 of them being your dog's) and one being your baby's new furry one on the floor. Allow your dog to sniff and investigate. If he selects your baby's new toys....show him one of his and reinforce him for leaving the baby's alone. Repeat this game several times and then decrease the number of his choices. Use the name of your dog's toys and tell him to find bunny, find monkey or whatever. If he grabs the baby's toy....you can do one of several options:
1. give "leave it" command then redirect to his toy. Play for a minute as reward.
2. Redirect by showing him his toy and use it's name..."here's your bunny." Then remove the baby's toy.
New toys are always a novelty and for some dogs need to be introduced with structure. Other dogs don't care. Know your dog!
Dogs who guard toys....If you have a dog that guards their toys, space or people please seek the help of a professional! Guarding behavior and babies must be dealt with very carefully. Don't assume it will get better. Get help!