My puppy is a thief!!

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My puppy is a thief!!

This is a discussion on My puppy is a thief!! within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; Seriously ...she steals everything..Willow is a 7.5 month old german shepherd collie cross so is a big girl, this means she can reach everything and ...

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Old 02-22-2015, 01:51 AM
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My puppy is a thief!!

Seriously ...she steals everything..Willow is a 7.5 month old german shepherd collie cross so is a big girl, this means she can reach everything and nothing can be put 'out of reach' because she just stands up on her back legs to reach whatever she has her eyes on !. we now have cupboard locks on all the kitchen cupboards, we have a fridge lock because she has learnt how to open the fridge, she can open internal doors so my husband has turned all the door handles upside down. Im sure she wont be long figuring out how to open them again though. when im cooking and i throw the pots and bowls in the sink till im finished, she just climbs up and licks what ever takes her fancy, she is going to think her name is get down willow not just willow. Ive tried distracting her so im not just saying 'no' or 'willow get down'..so if she jumps up i will shout 'come see' and offer her a toy or something...but there is only so many times this works for. My son is disabled and we have had a downstairs bed room and bathroom built on to the house for him so we access his bed room through the living room now...we have had to put a bolt on the door to stop the pup going in his room because she was caught with her head in his drugs drawer!!!..i have to explain to all the nurses that visit that we do not lock my son in his room, we lock the puppy out!!!!. her fav spot to sit is the living room window sill, we have kind of resigned ourselves that this is 'her spot' but she has already started playing with the window handles to wont be long before she figures out how to open them. Today we are going to the DIY store to get window locks...nothing is safe from her, you turn your back for a second and she has pulled all my knitting out, eaten a shoe, or buried the tv remote in the garden. i was making a sauce the other day, the kitchen joins onto the living room, so i didnt crate her, i just moved my knitting onto the top of a tall shelf out of her way..gave a quick look around to check there wasnt anything she couldnt have...i gave her a carrot to munch on and went into the kitchen, i could hear her munching away and i was chatting to her her..then everything went quiet..i came in and the monster was stood on her back legs on the arm of the chair pulling my knitting off the top of a six foot shelf!!!...im sure in a year she will be a fantastic dog, we are putting so much work and love into her ...but i understand now why so many dogs bounce into rescue at this stage. At this moment in time she has just been put into her crate so i can have 5 mins peace on here and drink my coffee and she is woo woo wooing at the top of her voice (lololol)...so for everyone who has gone through this , please please tell me this dosent last, and for everyone going through this ..you are not alone, there are other puppy owners sat rocking in the corner with a bottle of Jack Daniels too
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Last edited by fruit loop; 02-22-2015 at 02:00 AM.
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Old 02-22-2015, 01:07 PM
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Oh @fruit loop, it does get better, I promise, but safety locking things is a great idea. It's like baby proofing your house and then some, always one eye on them at all times.
I have a like problem that Sam has been doing since puppy hood. He's a pickpocket. He steals things out of people's pockets if left unattended. I've seen him run around with paper money in his mouth.
So you are not alone. Be thankful you don't have a thief living with you. lol.
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Old 02-22-2015, 01:44 PM
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It may be worth teaching them to bring you the ill gotten gains for a very high value treat. They may still steal, but at least they won't be destroying the stuff.
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Old 02-22-2015, 01:48 PM
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A pick pocket...how funny! ...i would never in a million years be without her, she is fantastic in so many ways...but i have had 4 children, been foster carers for years, worked in animal sanctuarys and had all kinds of animals pass through here including foxes, squirrels lambs and kids..we have had a giant street dog with fear aggression issues and i have never been kept on my toes as much as i have with Willow. i think its because she is sooo clever and obviously a puppy..but boy am i glad when bed time comes around
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Old 02-22-2015, 01:54 PM
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Rain, what kind of high value treat?..she isnt food orientated at all, she has a special squeeky toy we use for training..she dosent seem to be destroying things as such, she just has an awesome time bouncing round with my wool.. as for the chewing, she dosent chew furniture, she does eat shoes but eveyone in the house knows this so if a teenager leaves shoes around its their own fault if she eats it she loves to chew and gets alot of pleasure from it so will sit quite happily with a chew toy x
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Old 05-14-2015, 10:22 PM
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I agree with Rain. My puppy seemed to be developing this tendency, until she started to love "Drop It!" (she saw it as a game). Ever since then, as soon as she got her mouth on something she thought she wasn't supposed to have, she wouldn't chew or destroy it, just immediately run over to a family member in the hopes they'd tell her to drop it and she'd get a treat when she did. She still takes things, but since she doesn't chew and just brings it to a human immediately, it's actually like she's self-puppy proofing!

How to make her love "Drop it" is, of course, the rub. How to get a dog to want what we want them to want? If it had an easy answer we wouldn't need these forums! I got lucky, it happened accidentally when she grabbed a leather glove and when I yelled "Drop it!" and she obeyed immediately (I'm not even sure it wasn't an accident on her part). I was SO surprised, relieved, and pleased that I completely fawned over her, it was obvious I was REALLY REALLY happy with her (and gave her treats). Ever since then she was hooked.

You say Willow isn't food-oriented at all... how many different kinds of treats have you tried? My friend's family had the worst time training their second poodle for over a year until they finally realized that he was actually ambivalent about his treats. They started trying him on different treats, and managed to hit upon several that he DID like and training became a lot easier. Have you tried enough different kinds of treats that you're absolutely sure there aren't any that might be high value for her?

If you have tried out an exhaustively long list of treats, then your job is a lot harder. You need SOMETHING to act as a reward when training a dog. I think it's a matter of figuring out what she wants most, and figuring out a way to control her access to one of those things. She has to really want something, and only be able to get it when you give it to her, for positive reinforcement to work. Is there any way that you could only give her chew toys as a reward for bringing you a stolen item, maybe? Or is there something else Willow really likes that you could use to your advantage?
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Old 06-02-2015, 09:35 AM
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Press charges!!
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