Why are some dogs true cat burglars?
Cat burglars are very quiet and creep around at night, so it’s not unusual for them steal your personal property when you are sleeping.
Dogs do this, too. They’re very quiet, cunning—and, sometimes, sneaky–and will even turn their thievery into a game of “catch me if you can.” Dogs will take anything from your shoes to jewelry to money. They’re even been known to take toys from other dogs! It’s natural behavior but also something you’ll want to stop. Besides, the stealing problem could end up being dangerous, since they could pick up sharp objects or toxic items.
Here’s how to stop your dog from thieving:
• First, try to determine the reason. After all, dogs have no idea of the value of some items, especially money. Maybe they’re bored need extra attention or play. Maybe it’s instinctual; their ancestor, the wolf, had to find food, carry it and then hide it—so, if she’s stealing food, maybe she’s concerned about a constant supply. If she’s stealing to chew, perhaps she’s teething or has some dental problems.
• Put all food out of reach and off cabinets; the last thing you need is for your dog to rummage through the garbage or counters.
• Supervise. Admittedly, there will be times when this just isn’t possible, but the more the dog hears you say “No” in a strong, firm, authoritative voice, the more she’ll understand that it’s unacceptable behavior.
• Teach her the commands, “drop it” or “leave it” and use them the minute she picks something up. Then, reward her immediately when she drops the object, with an extra “good girl,” pet or a tiny bit of some healthy treat.
• Never, ever yell, chase or punish the dog! Not only will they give her attention she seeks (even negative attention can be better than none); she might also thinks it’s a game of chase or tug-of-war.