When it comes to theft probably the biggest canine criminals are gun dogs. Golden Retrievers, Labradors, Springer Spaniels etc, are the most obvious culprits and then to add insult to injury they proudly strutt around the house just out of reach! To be fair this is instinctive to gun dogs and after all we humans created this type of dog for this very purpose! There is, however, a positive side to this, we learn to be tidy!!
Now regardless of breed of dog there are certain responses we must avoid, we never chase the offender, we never try to prise the dogs jaws open unless the item stolen is dangerous and we don’t play tug of war in order to retrieve the item.
We must also understand that in our world we consider stealing as a criminal offence, it is our property, it belongs to us but to a dog it is a discarded item, there for the taking. It goes back to what I said earlier, be tidy, the only things that you should leave lying around are toys that our canine companion can legitimately pick up.
So what to do.
Well, having taking the opportunity to have a good tidy up around the house and removed temptation from the offenders path we know that the inevitable will occur and we need to be ready.
The old maxim “Exchange is no Robbery” comes into play.
We need to be ready so we can offer to exchange the stolen item for a tasty titbit or a toy. It doesn’t take long even for the most delinquent felon to work out that bringing the proceeds of crime to us brings its own rewards.
Stealing off tables an work surfaces is slightly different. We need to find a way to discourage this delinquent behaviour and the following should only be tried when you are at home. It is an old fashioned dog trainers trick that was regularly used but has fallen out of favour these days.
You need 10 empty drinks cans, the modern light aluminium variety and stack them in a pyramid at the edge of the table or worktop. A line of 4 in a row a small space in between 3 on top followed by 2 then one in the very top. Tuck a tasty titbit behind the middle two in the bottom and wait. In trying to retrieve the tasty morsel the consequences will be the tumbling down of the cans. This very often discourages the thief from repeating the offence, the cans are so lightweight they cannot harm and with your gentle admonishment adding to his surprise you may find that in future just putting one empty can on the edge a table or worktop should be enough.
Don’t litter, neuter.