While your dog may never steal your money (unless there’s some peanut butter on it), other household objects that are lying around like your brand new heels are attractive chew toys for your canine companion. If possible, avoid leaving these valuable objects lying around for the taking. If it cannot be avoided, realize that the motivations behind your dog’s behavior are far simpler than you would think.
Entertain and Engage
If you’ve already physically and mentally stimulated your dog and she still goes after household items that are better left alone, there are a few techniques you can try in order to nip that behavior in the bud. Resist the urge to run after her screaming when she steals your fabulous new throw pillows. This can be extremely hard, but if you do, she will think you are playing a game or that whatever she has is in her mouth is very valuable, (it might be) and is worth holding onto. Instead, walk the other way or turn around and ignore her. Part of her motivation is to capture your attention, so don’t reward her with it.
Create a Diversion
If all else fails and your new shoes are one step away from being destroyed, give your dog a treat or distract her with food. Just remember that this behavior may reinforce the behavior, so be diligent in your efforts!
Pat Miller, CPDT-KA, CDBC, is WDJ's Training Editor. “Five Things to Do the Next Time Your Dog Grabs Your Stuff and Runs.”