Mathan doesn’t play like other dogs. In fact, he’s utter crap at Fetch. Oh, he’ll go get the thing if you throw it, but he will NEVER drop it or give it back to you, because what he wants isn’t for you to throw it again, it’s for you to chase him around while he runs from you with it in his mouth. Forever. You will definitely tire of chasing him long before he tires of being chased. And if you put on your Stern Voice and say ‘Mathan…DROP IT’ or ‘PUT IT DOWN’, his tail will go into a wagging frenzy, like it’s a huge thrill for him to be in trouble.
And then there’s this. This is Mathan’s FAVORITE GAME, and it consists of you making eye contact with him and occasionally reaching out while he holds a toy in his mouth and growls at you. I don’t even know why he likes it so much - at first we thought he was actually being mad/aggressive, but it really seems like he’s enjoying himself. His tail wags the whole time, and every once in a while he’ll decide he needs a break, walk about ten feet away from you, put the toy down where you can’t get it, and then, wagging his tail the whole time, come over to you and nuzzle in for pets and rubs. Oh, and with a larger toy with a better chance of you actually grabbing it, he’ll start playing Tug-of-War. You have to pretend it’s really hard for you and occasionally let him yank it out of your hands, at which point he’ll attack it by himself for a few seconds, get hold of it again, and walk back to you and shove it against your hand so you can grab it again. And he growls the whole time.
Such an odd little duck.