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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I know I"ve put up posts about Kali's thievery before, but I have to put a stop to it, it's just getting to be too much, and I am horribly stumped on how to fix this problem. We have a doggy door for our three dogs, and I can't leave it blocked off because of our other two dogs, so it's time to put and end to the stealing.
Kali's a year old now, and we've had problems since she was around six or so months old. For a while I thought I fixed it, she stole very little, or only took her toys, then it came back full force. She steals laundry, toys, toliet paper rolls, garbage(rarely), pillows(her new addiction, their from my mom's room). We broke her of taking shoes by making her afraid of them, cause she used to chew them inside sometimes...not the brightest thing to do but I couldn't make her stop chewing on them any other way.
I have two weeks off at the end of July before work starts again, and I really need to get this started, but I have no idea what to do about it shy of keeping her locked outside, or locked inside, both of which are not an option. No one ever sees her steal these things, so I can't even change it so she'll bring them to me instead.
So please help me ><, I'm hoping for some new insight on how to fix this problem.
 

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The only option I can think of is 100 percent supervision & being confined to a crate or dog proofed room when she can't be watched and corrected.
Sorry I know it's not what you wanted to hear but she needs to go back to puppy 101
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Actually Kelli, I'm glad to hear it. That's what I was thinking of doing, but I needed to hear it from some others. It's time I did it, and did it right, along with working on all of this, we're going to go back to eating flat kibble. I've spoiled my dogs with added canned food for too long. It's annoying, and it's expensive, so let's hope it works out.
 

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Not sure what the kibble/canned food has to do with thievery...lol.

I also recommend supervision and puppy proofing. She's still an immature dog, many don't fully mature til 2 or 3 years of age..a lot depends on the individual dog. Close the bedroom doors, pick up anything you think she may "steal" and put it out of reach. Don't leave out too many toys, rotate the ones you do have so she has what feels like "new" things every once in a while.

When she steals the things does she bury them? Eat them? Render them into pieces? She may just need some REAL chewies like big bones to keep her mouth busy. Building training sessions into the day to work on LEAVE IT and DROP IT with lots of rewards will come in handy when you catch her in the act (which I know is rare..lol).

YOu can also incorporate "search" work into her training and play time. Keeping her busy with appropriate things is key to breaking her stealing habit.
 

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Make sure that you're not 'rewarding' her by paying too much attention when she steals things. That alone can make the problem much worse....the stealing becomes a game where she gets lots of attention from you.
 

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Is she a husky? :)

I only ask because Ilya will do similar things when he's bored and wants my attention. From the day we took him home from the shelter, everything in the house is 'mine' and he can have only what I give him. It seems like the previous owner had followed this idea too because he didn't object.

Every now and then, Ilya will test this boundary and start collecting all of the things he likes around the house and then give the biggest sly pouty smile while he's surrounded with a sleeping bag, balls, and a bunch of stuffed animals from the kids room. I put all of those things back and gave him his toy box and he had the tenacity to pee on all of his things :mad: which were thrown away now, so he doesn't have anything to play with.

I've found similar stories with other husky owners.




I liked Cracker's suggestion with training the LEAVE IT and DROP IT. Keep her underfoot until she earns your trust.



edit to add: I didn't see TD's post when I wrote mine but it would be rewarding to Ilya if I reacted.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
She is a Husky, and no I don't react to her stealing things, I know better.
She has a fine leave it, and drop. Our main problem is often times she only steals when I'm not around or when I'm not looking. She's very sneaky.
We have a woman come to our house during the day to watch my grandma(she's 88 and has alzhiemers) when my mom or I can't, she's a home health nurse, just like my mom, and most of the problem happens when she's here. But It's not her job to mind my dogs, and I know that, but for the sake of ease, my mom would leave Kali with full run of the house, hence the worst of the thievery happens then.
Though I"m not sure how to approuch the whole issue of her when I'm not home, because it's usually for several hours, and the woman who watches my dog won't either:
A: bother to let Kali out if she's in her ex-pen, meaning no water(it's too small for her to have water) and no potty breaks.
B: Won't bother to put her back into her ex-pen if she lets her out.

I am lucky though that I have this week left for work, then two weeks off. So I really need to figure this stuff out by then, or at least get it underway. After July I have to work at least 3 days a week, sometimes more if it's busy so Kali get's left home with the other woman alot.
I solved our probloem of the laundry thing, as we didn't have hampers before, I'm going to hamper them and work hard on teaching her to not touch the hampers. We used to have the laundry blocked off, but my mom took the block down for some reason and refuses to put it back up.
One more Question:
How would I go about working on Self control stuff? All my dogs have done some of Doggy Zen with treats, but I"m stumped as how to move past that to other things. Any tips? (I clicker train btw, don't know if that changes anything, but thought it might be good to know.)

Oh and Cracker, she doesn't render the objects of thievery into pieces, she rarely hurts them unless they have food on them. She just steals them, and on occasion, if it's a dish towel or something that has food on it she'll rip it up. Though Recently she got a bra from the laundry and ripped it up...fun to explain when we had company over and my dog comes streaking through the house dragging it over to one of the guys.
 

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I'm not a dog expert but here's my take with my husky. He scans the room for something that will make one of us chase him. He's clever enough to figure out my purse is highly valued by me and the Xbox controller is highly valued by my son. LOL So these things we've learned to put out of sight and reach. The only object we will chase him for is a rope toy that is sometimes left out.

This only works so long because..... he liked the quick reaction he got when he ran off with my purse and game controller much better (it was hard not to react the first time you see your dog prancing with your purse across the room).

Place things she can't resist up or locked behind a room and make everything off limits except for 2 or 3 toys. Those are the only ones she may touch. Ilya was getting pretty good about putting his toys away too until we had to throw them away. Every time she attempts to take an item... take out a favorite toy. Ilya's was a sqeaky wubba and the sound would distract him enough to pick up whatever it was he was going to play with.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks JustTess, that post totally makes sense to me. But I wish it would work with Kali. She never ever does it when we can see her, I might try and set her up a few times maybe, but she rarely touches things she knows she can't have when anyone is watching.
I'm not sure if she steals to get attention, because it doesn't really get her attention. I think it's because she has no outside toys, so I'm going to go to our local pet supply store, get a few hard nylabones, and maybe a jolly ball for our yard, and another food toy. We have a kong, but I have yet to make myself stuff them often. I think giving her some toys like that, and some more training sessions would be good for her.
 
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