Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Help needed for chewing & stealing!

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by SAH, Mar 6, 2017.


  1. SAH

    SAH PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hi
    Wonder if anyone has any advice.
    We have a lovely 19month old female Westie x Bichon.
    She is a lovely natured lively girl.
    She is well trained and socialised but we have one problem with her.
    In the house she steals anything and just destroys it, shoes, headphones, phones basically anything left lying around.
    We live in a bungalow so all on one level, quite open plan and we have to put everything away from her, and keep all doors shut,
    Have two teenage girls who are now really fed up with having their stuff stolen and destroyed.
    It's not the puppy stage chewing, and she does not chew furniture.
    She even steals the toilet rolls out of the bathroom.
    Have tried punishing her, rewarding her when she does not do it.
    Just wondered if anyone had any advice?
    She does the stealing chewing while we are present not when she is left alone.
    Any advice greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Mirandashell

    Mirandashell Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2017
    Messages:
    6,533
    Likes Received:
    7,605
    How much exercise and stimulation does she get?
     
  3. SAH

    SAH PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    At least 1 1/2 hrs excerciae per day.
    Lots of play time, never left on her own for more that 4 hours.
     
  4. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    24,041
    Likes Received:
    35,692
    Punishing her won't help but will likely create more issues.

    When my mum's dog was a pup she chewed my new pair of shoes that I had left on the stairs. I soon learnt not to leave my stuff lying around - mum had been nagging me for years! ;)

    Seriously though, she has got into the habit and you need to stopped allowing her to practise. That means removing the temptations completely for the time being.

    Keep doors shut and put stuff away. She doesn't differentiate between a toy she is allowed to play with and something precious that has been left lying around.

    Do some obedience training with her and teach a "leave" so she can learn some impulse control.

    Redirect her onto something else that she can play with.

    Has her mouth been checked recently at the vets?
     
    Sairy and Bobbie like this.
  5. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2016
    Messages:
    6,011
    Likes Received:
    18,672
    I agree with Lurcherlad - you need to remove the temptations. Invest in some storage boxes with lids or something similar for shoes, keep the bathroom door closed or the toilet rolls out of reach. The more she practises the behaviour, the more ingrained it'll become. Make sure she has plenty of different types of toys that she can play with and encourage her to play with them. Also, teach the "drop" or "leave" command so that she will leave an item when you don't want her to have it. Avoid chasing her to try to catch her if she steals something as she will find this a lot of fun and do it all the more
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  6. SAH

    SAH PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1


    Hi thanks for advice.
    Yes mouth has been checked and she has lots of chew toys.
    She will " leave" something if we tell her to, and she knows to leave things when told.
    She tends to wander off into another room when we are distracted, and grab something to chew.
    Will have to keep everything away from her if posible.
    T
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  7. SAH

    SAH PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
     
  8. SAH

    SAH PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks for the advice
     
  9. Laney_Lemons

    Laney_Lemons PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2016
    Messages:
    718
    Likes Received:
    804
    I have a very sneaky dog that steals everything as well and he's around the same age, I just have to keep all temptation away.. Constantly do a sweep of the rooms when being left unattended and keep doors closed :/ socks are his Criptoynite .... I'm just living in hope he will grow out of it as he's still a big puppy

    I am just reinforcing the leave it cue
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  10. SAH

    SAH PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
     
  11. SAH

    SAH PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hi
    Glad someone else has the same problem as most others I know dogs this age have grown out of it.
    Let's hope ours do?
     
  12. Sarah1983

    Sarah1983 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    Messages:
    15,301
    Likes Received:
    7,118
    Mine's 6 this year and hasn't grown out of stealing. I taught him to bring me whatever he found in exchange for treats though which means things don't get destroyed any more. Hasn't stopped him stealing things but at least now his stolen goods get forced upon me rather than ripped to pieces.

    I'd look into the "it's yer choice" stuff on youtube rather than leave it. Leave it only works if you're there to give the cue, it's yer choice teaches a sort of default leave it which is a lot more practical. I've worked on it with the important things I really don't want Spen stealing.
     
    Laney_Lemons and Lurcherlad like this.
  13. SAH

    SAH PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thank you, it's really nice to get some practical help, I will look on you tube.
    Quite happy if she "steals" things but brings them to me before destroying them!
    It has become such a habit now.
    Thanks once again
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice