3 Games to Play to Help with Dogs Who Steal

Is your canine a sock burglar and are you always ready for him to tug his subsequent huge heist? Has your canine turned his post-crime caper right into a recreation he performs with you, chasing him round the home attempting to get him to let go of a stolen treasure, just like the Keystone Cops?

It doesn’t should be that approach. There are video games you possibly can train your thieving pup which might be additionally preventable safety measures in themselves, so these different behaviors develop into a part of our lives collectively as a substitute of caper after caper. Check out these three video games.

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  1. Always commerce up

Start a historical past of buying and selling objects along with your canine as quickly as you possibly can and keep buying and selling up with him for all times. (However, don’t harass a canine whereas they’re consuming a meal or chewing on a secure object.) During play with an object is once we can safely introduce buying and selling up.

First, work out what your canine’s favourite toy is after which get a second similar toy to start buying and selling with him. Also, work out what meals objects you should use to commerce up for toys and totally different objects your canine has in his mouth. Will a biscuit work? Will or not it’s value buying and selling for a sock to your canine, or do you want a chunk of meat to encourage the commerce to occur? Ask your self and work out, “What is my canine’s motivation? What do I’ve to encourage my canine?”

Trading up is straightforward: When your canine has one thing in his mouth that’s of worth to him, get one thing of larger worth and commerce up for it. The subsequent time your canine takes one thing like a sock, get one thing to commerce up. Then, as a substitute of chasing your canine, get his consideration and present him what you must commerce. At the precise second your canine drops the sock he has in his mouth to take what you’re buying and selling for it with, mark that with the verbal cue “Drop it” and reinforce that with what you’re utilizing to commerce up with as a reward.

The nice profit to all the time buying and selling up is predictable outcomes. I do know many canine that once they have one thing of their mouths will run away. I additionally know a larger quantity of canine which have all the time been traded one object for an additional that don’t run away, and out of these canine there are a handful of them that can get one thing of their mouth and go to the place the cookie jar is.

Seven-month-old Cirneco Liberty Belle is the quickest shoe thief on the East Coast. But she does love turkey bacon and is keen to drop the shoe and commerce up for that meaty goodness.
  1. Take it/Drop it

First, in case your canine has a favourite toy (a rope toy, a ball, no matter he enjoys) get two of them. To begin, give your canine one ball and as he takes it in his mouth say, “Take it.” Next, current your canine with the second ball. As your canine lets go of the primary ball in his mouth, at that very second say “Drop it” after which hand him this second ball. When he takes the ball in his mouth say, “Take it.”

Repeat this as usually as your canine is having enjoyable buying and selling one ball for an additional with you as you narrate the motion with these two verbal cues. I’ve two guidelines with this recreation: The first is that we’re all the time constructing a reinforcement historical past and the second is all the time having enjoyable with out frustration.

For some canine, the primary merchandise could also be of nice worth to them and they don’t discover motivation in taking an actual comparable merchandise in alternate from you. This is the place you could work out what motivates your specific canine, that means you must elevate the worth of the merchandise being traded for what’s in his possession on the time. That means attempting several types of values of meals reinforcers/motivators (beef, rooster, fish and cheese, for instance), so we perceive what holds particular person worth to our canine.

Helpful trace: If you play fetch along with your canine and he doesn’t drop the ball when he brings it again to you, use two balls and play the Drop it recreation talked about above, however with out the take it half, as a result of it’s fetch.

  1. Leave it

Leave it’s not a menace. “Leave it” is a promise that if you don’t contact it, you get one thing else as a substitute. There is zero want for intimidation (yelling, threats, scare techniques or startle results) to show a canine to not snatch one thing. “Leave it” shouldn’t be about panicking, it’s about defending your canine from presumably ingesting one thing that might hurt him.

I train “Leave it” as an preliminary approach of permitting my canine college students to study naturally occurring disengagement and reinforcement. When a canine disengages from the goal object (in or beneath my one hand), I hen reward with one thing from my different hand (usually from behind my again). We progress to the place I can drop an object and quietly request a canine to “Leave it” and he anticipates the next reinforcer. This affiliation helps canine study if they don’t contact it, they get one thing else as a substitute.

About reinforcement

You get what you reinforce. If a canine enjoys being chased, then chasing him reinforces that habits. If the canine enjoys buying and selling up, that reinforces that habits. Reinforcement each drives and builds habits.

Do not snatch issues from canine — this isn’t a lot a rule however an ideology. If we by no means snatch something from a canine, and we all the time commerce up, the canine won’t ever really feel the necessity to keep away from us when he has one thing that he shouldn’t. We will even have a historical past of buying and selling up with our canine for objects, and our canine learner will affiliate this habits with us as a substitute of escaping from us after his subsequent huge heist. By doing this we are going to stop stealing and operating from ever taking place in any respect, and our canine might even anticipate buying and selling up with us and reliably achieve this for all times.


“Leave it” is used to request a canine to not contact one thing and “Drop it” is to drop one thing they have already got. These are two various things: one for not touching one thing and the opposite for dropping one thing they have already got.

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