How to Stop a Dog From Stealing Items & Running

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All dogs, mostly when they are puppies, steal garbage, clothes, shoes and different items from around the house. This is something natural, but you will want to put a stop to it. The best time to teach them how to behave is when they are young. In that way, they will be ready for the future. This thieving problem can also be dangerous, because they could eat something poisonous. Here are some ways you can stop your dog from stealing things and running off with them.

  • Keep food away from your dog's reach. To prevent your dog from stealing food, put everything on top of cabinets, away from them. Also, keep your garbage locked away.

  • Always give food to your dog in his plate. Never throw food to your dog. Throwing food can create a bad habit for your dog, potentially encouraging him to start barking to ask for food or stealing food.

  • Distract your dog from stealing things with fun activities that will tire him out, such as long walks or throwing a ball for him to fetch.

  • Never chase, hit or yell at your dog when he steals anything. This encourages the response he is looking for, which is attention. Instead, use unpleasant noises to correct him. A good technique is to fill an empty glass bottle or can with stones. When you see he is taking something, shake the bottle vigorously. The noise will be so unpleasant for him that he will associate the sound with his action. Remember to do it when he's not seeing you. This also works if you put the glass bottle at ground level, near something he is going to take. He will move it and the bottle will make the dreaded noise when toppled down.

  • Reward your dog with food or dog treats when he behaves well, such as sitting calmly and not barking for food when you are cooking, or not taking your shoes when you leave them nearby. In the future, this behavior will continue because it is connected to a treat.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always supervise your dog. Remember to give him positive and negative reinforcements depending on its behavior.
  • A dog's behavior, in some ways, depends on the dog's breed. Remember that some breeds are harder to train than others, so don't lose patience with your dog.

References

  • Photo Credit Puppy image by Ludmila Galchenkova from Fotolia.com
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