If your favorite slippers suddenly vanish and mysteriously reappear in your dog's bed, you might be dealing with a sneaky thief by the name of Fido. Your pet companion can steal for many reasons -- he might want your attention or maybe he's just bored. If you yell and chase after him when he snatches your slippers, he might enjoy the attention or get scared and defensive. To avoid this, learn how to stop him in his tracks and reinforce good behavior. Before you know it, your slippers will be where they belong -- on your feet.
Items You May Need
• Chew toys
• Food-stuffed dog toys
• Empty soda can
• Dog treats
Tip #1 - Provide your dog with daily mental and physical stimulation to prevent boredom and to keep him from misbehaving. Give him chew toys and food-stuffed dog toys to play with and schedule daily obedience-training sessions in which he gets rewarded with hugs and treats for good behavior. Increase the amount of exercise your pet companion gets to ensure that he's happy and tired and less likely to look for your slippers.
Tip #2 - Put a leash on your pet companion and observe him closely so you can catch him before he gets hold of your slippers. When you see him ogling the slippers, say "leave it" with a firm tone of voice. If your dog still goes toward the slippers, say "leave it" and tug the leash to correct his behavior. When he looks at you and gives you his attention, reward him. Do this each time you catch him going for the slippers.
Tip #3 - Booby-trap your slippers to startle your dog so he leaves them alone. Put several coins in an empty soda can. Use string to tie the can to your slippers. Place your slippers on the floor near a table and put the can with coins on the edge of the table. When your pet companion grasps your slippers, the can will fall from the table and the noise will startle your dog. Use this trick when you're unable to watch your dog.
Tip #4- Bribe your dog into giving you back your slippers. Say "drop it," when you catch him with your slippers in his mouth. If he refuses to do so, show him a dog toy or a treat and again say "drop it." When your dog drops the slippers on your command, give him the toy or treat and praise him for listening. Do this consistently and over time eliminate the treat. He'll continue obeying your command in anticipation of a reward.
By Kimberly Caines
Dog Academy: How to Stop Your Dog From Stealing Things
Quick and Dirty Tips: Dogs Who Steal Your Stuff
Dog Training in 10 Minutes; Carol Lea Benjamin
Sit! Stay! Train Your Dog the Easy Way; Gerd Ludwig
Dog Lover's Companion; Paul McGreevy
About the Author
Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. Caines holds a degree in journalism from Mercurius College in Holland and is writing her first novel.