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Discussion Starter #1
I debated where to post this question, but I think you guys who frequent the training section can help me out.
Before I got a puppy, and as i prepared, I decided never to get her a stuffed toy of any kind, thinking that would be very hard for her to learn that "her" stuffed toys were ok, but my kids' were off limits. Daisy is now 7 months old and her favorite thing is to wander off and find any stuffed animal (her faves being my daughter's Chipmunk collection) and bring it back. We are quite puppy proofed and close all the doors when she is in the house, but obviously that never works 100%, especially with kids around.
She is good to drop it, often she will just bring them to me. We have never given her the chance to really chew on them, mostly it is just slobber and then we take it away.
The new thing, now that we can leave the door open for summer, is she wants to take them outside, away from us. If we are not quick, she will do that.
So, my question is, should I change tactics and allow her to have some that are hers (my first idea being the Christmas cow Grandma gave them, which sings Deck the Halls, like "moo,moo,moo,moo,moo,moo,moo,mooooo") and just let her go at it. Or should we completely keep it shut down?? Like I said, she hasn't been (allowed to be) destructive yet, but it is frustrating, especially when she gets the kids faves, and wants to play keep away. Obviously we will continue to do our best to keep them out of reach. Another question, any time frame where she may lay off a little as she matures? or is this just going to keep on forever. I am pretty positive she knows she shouldn't, she just can't resist. Any training tips on keeping her from retrieving them are also welcome. Thanks!
 

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All my Neices and Nephews toys are at our house in toy boxes. Leeo could get the lids off of them and open them. He would steal toys ... but he tore up stuffies all except one special "Benny" stuffie? :/

I made a toy box just for the dogs with one of those square clothes baskets at the time. I showed the dogs that their toys were in there and redirected them to their own toy box when they thought about or went for the childrens toys.

Leeo did however insist upon stealing the rubber duckie from the tub. I gave up and bought him his own rubber duckie ... and he never touched the one on the tub again. :/

I now use a big red bucket for all their stuff! I keep it in the living room only.

I do however have a spare toy bucket in my bedroom for Eddee ... and somehow all the toys from the LR end up there? Lol! :)

If your dog doesn't destroy the stuffed toys ... I would give her some of her own in a designated container. She may need something to call her own. The most it could do is not work. :)
 

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I say give her her own toys but NOT any that make sounds/music, she may unstuff it and end up swallowing the noise box!! Garage sales and your local thrift stores are great places to find stuffed doggie toys !
 

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I used to be the same way with my dogs, because of my siblings. I was so afraid my dogs would chew up my siblings' stuffed animals and then I would have really upset siblings' so I didn't get my dogs stuffed animals, just "dog" toys.

Well, I have found that if I just show my dogs which stuffed animals are theirs, then they stay away from the kids' stuffed animals. So, it may take a bit of training, but I think it's a definite possibility.

Good luck! =]
 

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IMO, not giving your dog stuffies does nothing to take away her desire to play with stuffies. So if she likes them I would just buy some specifically for the dog so she doesn't have to steal your kid's toys. She'd probably go after them regardless, so it just comes down to training and most importantly management or your part.

Just a little anecdote regarding my dog who used to chew pens-- I've noticed that if she has a nylabone (or something similar) she does not chew on pens she finds on the floor. If she doesn't have one because I've thrown her old one away and haven't gotten a new one yet, she pretty much always starts chewing pens again. It's like she has an itch to chew on plastic and if she has an acceptable way to express the urge, she doesn't need to do "bad things," if that makes any sense. Who knows, maybe this will be the case with your dog and stuffies. Maybe it won't, but regardless, keeping her away from the kid's toys unsupervised is probably just a good idea anyway.
 

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Aidan has lots of stuffed toys -- the kind made for dogs. He loves them, especially the ones that make noise. This does not stop him from stealing my daughter's stuffies. He doesn't destroy and/or bury them. He is always gleeful when he manages to snag one -- probably because the chase is on!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the input, guys. Over the years we have acquired enough stuffies that I think we can donate some to the dog. So I will look around and pick some without anything dangerous on them, start a basket and see if it helps. I don't know if it is more fun to sneak to the basement and snatch something, or if she just wants the toys, so it will be an experiment. Maybe one day when she is allowed in the basement unsupervised I can leave her toy box down there! still don't know what to do about her wanting to take them outside, but maybe if we are not taking "her" toys away she will feel more comfortable staying inside with them, cuz toy+slobber+dirt is not a fun combination.
 

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Thanks for the input, guys. Over the years we have acquired enough stuffies that I think we can donate some to the dog. So I will look around and pick some without anything dangerous on them, start a basket and see if it helps. I don't know if it is more fun to sneak to the basement and snatch something, or if she just wants the toys, so it will be an experiment. Maybe one day when she is allowed in the basement unsupervised I can leave her toy box down there! still don't know what to do about her wanting to take them outside, but maybe if we are not taking "her" toys away she will feel more comfortable staying inside with them, cuz toy+slobber+dirt is not a fun combination.

Leeo always took his toys outside with him on potty breaks. I just used to hold them and say "Momma will give it back ... Go Potty!" ... and he learned to trust me with the toy until we got back inside. :) I think he did this to be sure they did not disappear or end up with the other dogs. Needless to say ... I was very well trained.
 

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1. Puppy proof the house for 3 - 6 mos and she will decrease stealing. Otherwise, she may not grow out of it.
2. Set aside toys for her as you described, but only give her 2 - 3 at a time, and rotate to a new one every month or so.
3. Some dogs just munch toys non-destructively, and others chew and swallow... mine swallows :)
 
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