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Puppy Steals Everything

November 1st, 2006, 09:23 AM
My one year old "cockapoo" gets a kick out of stealing items around the house and having us chase him to get them. His faves are toilet paper, paper towel, undergarments and shoes (whenever he manages to get them). He's quite fast and agile so we have a hard trying to catch him and get our things back. He also likes to hide underneath the table to make it even harder for us to catch him. How do I deal with this behaviour? Does he think that it's just a game? It's driving our family crazy (especially my mom who didn't want a dog to begin with). Please help :)

November 1st, 2006, 09:45 AM
when you chase him, he's getting REWARDED with attention. even if you're mad, it's STILL attention. best way to fix this is to limit his access to such things - close doors, keep items out of reach, etc... also train the commands DROP IT, LEAVE IT, and GIVE.

drop it for things you want him to drop immediately- he grabbed something icky from the trash and is about to ingest it...

leave it for things you want him to not touch at all - i.e. he's headed towards the roll of TP... LEAVE IT! when he does, reward him w/ praise and/or treats.

and Give is for those times he does get something but must give it up.

it's up to you to teach the dog. he won't instinctively know what items are off limits.

ETA: instead of chasing, calmly (yet firmly) walk up to him, grab his collar, and take the item. (preferably work on commands such as drop it and give). reward him when he gives up the item. not while he HAS the item.

another way to do this is to play "trade ya!" when my dog gets something he shouldn't have, and is being particularly stubborn, I offer up a cookie in exchange for the item. he only gets the treat when he gives up the item though.

November 1st, 2006, 11:55 AM
Also you could leash him in the house so you have a better grab. If you chase him and give up, you teach him that he can win, and that will definitely cause problems later on.

November 1st, 2006, 12:08 PM
yes, good advice! I have a little stealer as well. I find that ignoring him is best. He eventually comes to me to 'taunt me', and then I can grab him. If I chase, it's all over. Another thing with the trade me... it only works if you have something VERY high value for him (squeeky, or tasty). Leave it was the best command I ever taught my dog; he's so good about it that even if I drop food on the floor he'll leave it instead of dashing in to snarfle it up. (and he's part lab so that's saying something). Good luck with your pup training! It does eventually get better as they grow up.

November 1st, 2006, 12:09 PM
If he has something that isn't going to cause a problem then you could just ignore it and he will get tired of it when he finds out that he isn't getting the desired attention he wants.

That is what I do when Hunter takes a sock. I know that he is doing it for atention, so when he figures out that the sock isn't going to do anything for him and he leaves it alone, I wait awhile and then offer a play time, or a walk or something fun for him. Being a student and having a full time job sometimes causes me to ignore Hunter, (especially if I am on a deadline for my thesis :frustrated: ), so I like the fact that he lets me know when he needs me:cloud9: and he offers me a much needed break:D

If though, it is something harmful then you could offer a cookie while telling him to drop it. Hunter used to steal the tv remote, so rather than chase and he discover how smart he is :rolleyes: I would offer a cookie and tell him to drop it. Now if he gets in that mood, which doesn't happen very often anymore, I can just say drop it and he does.:)

pug lover
November 4th, 2006, 03:43 PM
chasing the pup is a game to them and your pup probably loves it

at least u have half a chance at retrieving your items my pug runs the items into her "house" then gurads them we have to wait for her to get bored before we can get our items back

November 4th, 2006, 05:20 PM
Cooper was really bad with this sort of thing--especially if he could get his hands, or um, his mouth, on anything paper--paper towels, napkins etc. I keep an old wooden spoon through the handles of the doors under the sink--that's where the trash is. But sometimes it's open and unattended when we're busy cleaning up or something and he grabs something out of there.

For a long time I would have to bribe him with a cookie, but I always said "leave it" in a stern voice. I gave him the cookie AFTER he dropped what he had. Now he will drop it on command. He's a year old and he just now is getting good about the command, so don't give up. It may take a bit but if you're consistent, and he hears a firm tone, you'll be able to train him.