Last week, we talked about what not to do if your dog steals something you don’t want her to have. This week, we’ll concentrate on how you can teach your dog to “trade” an object in her mouth for something she would rather have. The “something” you trade will most likely be food, although certainly some dogs (not mine!) can prefer to trade for a much-valued toy or ball. If your dog would most likely choose food over a toy or ball, here’s a suggestion on how to determine what foods your dog considers most valuable.
Food rewards range in value [...]
Is your dog a thief?
What does she steal?
Dogs carry objects in their mouths because they have no other choice. If they want to take it with them, they’ve got to grab it with their teeth, pick it up, and hold onto it. For many dogs, carrying objects is an innate behavior bred into them for practical purposes.
For many owners, though, having a dog that carries objects in her mouth can be a real pain. Often, those objects should be off-limits to the dog—for example, your underwear, when it’s dragged out in front of company!
Dogs grabbing off-limits items can result in [...]
Coming When Called
You and your dog have practiced Walking On A Loose Leash.
Your dog is learning that forward progress—going where he wants to go—can happen only if he does not pull on the leash at all. If you feel any pressure on the leash, stop and wait for that pressure to release—for the dog to stop pulling. When he stops pulling, you move forward again.
You are teaching a default behavior—something the dog should always do unless you cue him to do something else. If you think that someday you might have a reason for your dog to pull—maybe he’ll learn [...]