How to get puppy to stop grabbing the TP
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Thread: How to get puppy to stop grabbing the TP

  1. #1
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    How to get puppy to stop grabbing the TP

    Anybody have any advice on how to get our puppy to stop stealing the toilet paper.
    She loves to run around with a fat roll in her mouth.

    We can't close the door to the bathroom because she knows how to "push" in.
    We don't want to take the TP out of her reach because we want her to learn not to take it.

    She does steal a lot, still. And most times it takes two of us to surround her before she will give us the object or a tasty treat.. But I don't want to reward her for stealing by coaxing her to give it up with a cookie.

    Sometimes though, if alone, and she has something she shouldn't have, sunglasses, paper, remote controls, if there is no one else to help, the only way to get objects away from her is with treats..

    So I'm just looking for some more ideas..

    Thanks.

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    Super Moderator Curbside Prophet's Avatar
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    Re: How to get puppy to stop grabbing the TP

    Put the problem behavior on cue. That way you can impart some control over the behavior when teaching "leave-it". That way you can reward "leave-it" and not have to bribe her.

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    Re: How to get puppy to stop grabbing the TP

    I'm not sure I understand CP ??

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    Senior Member gingersmom's Avatar
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    Re: How to get puppy to stop grabbing the TP

    It sounds like in general your puppy needs to learn the "leave it" command:

    http://www.dogstardaily.com/training...ff-and-take-it

    You can also teach "drop it" by trading the puppy one fun toy for another. It is good to have a basket of toys that the pup *can* chew or carry around.... and that you can use to redirect if the pup picks up something inappropriate.

    In the meantime, you could try booby-trapping the toilet paper (hide some coins inside that will clatter loudly if the puppy moves it) or putting something citrus-smelling inside the roll (dogs don't generally like lemony smells). You can also try completely ignoring her when he does it, to see if that makes it less attractive. Try giving her ample praise when she's playing with actual dog toys.

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    Super Moderator Curbside Prophet's Avatar
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    Re: How to get puppy to stop grabbing the TP

    I'm suggesting you make TP stealing part of a game to teach "leave-it". If the TP is reinforcing it should be easy to put a cue on a retrieve for TP, and use it to Premack "leave-it". You'll may have to sacrifice a roll or two of TP, but it sounds like your dog doesn't know "leave-it" or "drop".

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    Re: How to get puppy to stop grabbing the TP

    Maggie knows leave it.

    I will sit down with a handful of kibble and put the kibble on the floor. If she goes for the kibble, i quickly cover it with my hand and say, "Leave it". If she sits down and waits patiently, I feed her kibble from the pile.

    She gets "Leave-It". And when we play fetch, she drops the ball right in my hand with a "drop-it."

    The problem is not that maggie doesn't understand LEAVE IT or DROP it. The problem is, she is being a typical PWD CLOWN. She purposefully grabs stuff she knows we don't want her to have. She does it for attention and she knows she is being mischevious. Her tail actually curls and she struts around the house/office when she has something we want her to put down.

    She will trade the item for a tasty treat but otherwise, she likes to be chased.

    So even when I tell her LEAVE IT and DROP IT, she kind of looks at me and says, "Yeah, I know I'm not supposed to have your iPhone in my mouth, but too bad, catch me if you can."

    So it's not a problem with her learning the commands, it's more a problem of her testing the boundaries. Just like her jumping on the couch. She knows, "OFF THE COUCH", but that doesn't stop her from trying.

    I know persistance will pay off and it's a smart, puppy thing, testing the waters, but in the meantime, she already destroyed a VERY expensive pair of sunglasses.

    So what do you do when they know the commands but don't want to listen?

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    Super Moderator Curbside Prophet's Avatar
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    Re: How to get puppy to stop grabbing the TP

    Quote Originally Posted by B-Line View Post
    So what do you do when they know the commands but don't want to listen?
    What you're suggesting is that the dog is demonstrating an ability that we know is unique only to humans. Doesn't "want to" listen translates to "doesn't know" the behavior to a trainer. Either way, what you do is remedial training. Maggie may know "leave-it" for kibble, eating is highly reinforcing to most dogs. Maggie may know "drop" for a game of fetch, fetch is reinforcing for most dogs. However, dogs do not generalize well and they are highly discriminative. Leave-it for kibble and drop for ball does not mean leave-it and drop for TP. You need to teach leave-it and drop with TP.

    Now if your dog doesn't find "off" more reinforcing than jumping on the couch, of course she will continue to jump on the couch. A dog will always choose that which is more reinforcing to them. This is a training enigma, not a dog issue. The onus is on you to find the right reinforcement for the desired behavior, and give your dog a long history of reinforcement *for* the desired behavior - for a couch issue maybe the desired behavior is jumping in their own bed. There are no boundaries being tested, the dog doesn't know the value of TP, couches, or sunglasses. She just knows she prefers the comfy couch, sunglasses have a good crunch to them, and eviscerating TP is fun. This is the nature of the beast. Well known and respected animal trainer Bob Bailey says it best. He says training is simple...but not easy. The what to do part is simple, teach the desired behavior. Finding the right reinforcement is not easy, but no reason to blame it on a doggie issue.
    Last edited by Curbside Prophet; 06-24-2008 at 11:02 PM.

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    Senior Member jesirose's Avatar
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    Re: How to get puppy to stop grabbing the TP

    You should also stop leaving expensive things where she can get them.

    (I've already lost a game headset, sunglasses, cds, a roll of TP, and countless other things to Sadie. You just have to keep things out of reach.)

    If the dog can open the door just by pushing on it, you might replace the doorknob. Or store the TP somewhere she can't get it for now.

    She also needs to be supervised more it sounds like.
    Reed: Wirehaired Vizsla, 10-18-09
    Sadie: American Eskimo Dog, 2-2-08
    Madison: Cocker Spaniel x Schnauzer? 12-2010

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