my dogs steals everything
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  1. #1
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    Defaultmy dogs steals everything

    I know this is normal for puppies. He takes shoes remotes,phones,books,important files,Lego's, and so on. I have begun to puppy proof all of the house. I started saying "bring it to mom" when he has something he is not supposed to. He comes about five feet toward me and the challenges me to chase him . So I began rewarding him with a treat when he brings it to me. I don;t know if this is sending him mixed messages .He is five months and 52 lbs we play with him and walk him. He has allot of toys and we spend almost everday with him because we work from home. I was wondering if he might just grow out of this stage. Oh and his big boy teeth are coming in.
    I think we appropriately named him "RAIDER" the Pirate Lab.

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  3. #2
    Chester B. Dickens is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: my dogs steals everything

    You're doing the right thing in NOT chasing and by training him to bring things to you. If you want to get away from treating for every retrieve, trade a lego for one of HIS toys and 5 mins of good playtime!

  4. #3
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    DefaultRe: my dogs steals everything

    Thanks for the ideas!! ;D

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  6. #4
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    DefaultRe: my dogs steals everything

    LOL I've been there

    You have great advice here

    good luck!

  7. #5
    CoCosMom's Avatar
    CoCosMom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: my dogs steals everything

    I sympathise with you 100%!!! CoCo is the master of stealing things and running away, trying to get us to chase her.

    I find that if I grab the clicker and say LEAVE IT she'll drop it, so then I click and then give her a treat (we haven't weened off the click'n'treat yet). But if I don't have the clicker in my hand and say LEAVE IT she won't listen!
    ~Jo & CoCo


  8. #6
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    DefaultRe: my dogs steals everything

    So I began rewarding him with a treat when he brings it to me. I don;t know if this is sending him mixed messages
    What kind of mixed signals are you concerned about?

    Many dogs are food motivated. They do things we ask in hopes of getting food for the task.
    I would continue to do whatever works to reinforce the wanted behavior of getting your dog to bring things back to you when you ask.
    If your dog is also motivated by other things like toys, retrieve, tug, etc, sure you could use other life rewards.

    what's the big deal with using food rewards? is this a bad thing?

  9. #7
    CoCosMom's Avatar
    CoCosMom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: my dogs steals everything

    Quote Originally Posted by crystal
    So I began rewarding him with a treat when he brings it to me. I don;t know if this is sending him mixed messages
    What kind of mixed signals are you concerned about?
    I can't say for sure, but I understood her to mean that giving the treat may be rewarding the stealing behavior... as in the dog thinks they should steal something so that they'll get a treat for leaving it... I often wondered that myself...
    ~Jo & CoCo


  10. #8
    Chester B. Dickens is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: my dogs steals everything

    Quote Originally Posted by crystal
    what's the big deal with using food rewards?* is this a bad thing?
    When ill-timed, food rewards can quickly devolve into bribery.

  11. #9
    theoconbrio is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: my dogs steals everything

    With rewards, "back-chaining" is always a possibility if you have a really bright dog. For example, dog realizes, "Hey, when I steal a toy, somebody trades a treat for that toy. So I'm gonna steal a toy in order to get a treat!" If your dog is smart like that, then good for him! Use it to your advantage.

    When you train with rewards of any kind (food, tugging, squeaky toys, retrieves, life rewards like going outside) it's important to understand the distinction between a bribe and a reward, as dweck points out. If dog comes when you call and you whip out a treat and give it to him, you have rewarded him. If the dog does not come when you call and you start waving a treat over your head, that's a bribe, and not a good idea. Ideally, you want to get to a differential or variable schedule of reward, so that you're only rewarding the BEST responses, or you're randomly rewarding responses (I've heard 25% on average from various trainers). But you only start fading the reward when you know the dog is really clear on the connection between their behavior and the reward.

  12. #10
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    zoesmom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: my dogs steals everything

    Nathan wrote in part, "With rewards, "back-chaining" is always a possibility if you have a really bright dog. For example, dog realizes, "Hey, when I steal a toy, somebody trades a treat for that toy. So I'm gonna steal a toy in order to get a treat!" "

    Yes, that's exactly what happened to Zoe at our neighbor's house. She NEVER steals anything from our coffee table; however, at Lady's house, she would take a highlighter, glasses, scrungie...whatever ... and bring it to me. I'd treat her and put the object back. Eventually she figured out that if she "stole" something from the table, she'd get a treat.

    So we quickly extiguished that behavior by not treating.
    Linda and Zoë, the Umlaut
    Honolulu, Hawaii

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