The antics that go on in the home of a dog owner is nothing short of crazy – as those thieving dogs of ours can turn an otherwise ‘normal’ day into a three ring circus. These well trained dogs steal shoes, clothing, water bottles, phones, the kid’s toys, remotes and everything else they can fit in their mouths and run off with – followed by a barrage of, ‘Drop it! Give me that!’ What is their fascination with our stuff anyway?
The Good News!
Dogs are logical creatures by design. There are no mysteries to what motivates them if we only dare to look closer at their behavior. Actually, the reasons are very basic. Stealing stuff from you could be ‘getting their wiggles out’ when they have unspent energy built up or, they are bored stiff. Could be the object tastes yummy just like you or it has just the right chewiness they crave. Perhaps they’re lonely or it tastes like the cheeseburger you just ate. When we think about it, stealing your stuff isn’t sounding like such a mystery after all now does it?
Exercise and Activity
Exercise can accomplish two things: burn out physical energy and give positive attention to your pup if you can exercise with him. This doesn’t mean to bring your dog to the gym. It means to participate in interactive exercise and play – like throwing a frisbee, swimming at a lake or agility courses. Dogs are social animals, so socialize them with other people and dogs. However, pay mind that not every dog is friendly and accepting. Introduce them only if there are no ‘red flags’ indicating aggressive behavior.
We all need mental stimulation. Even our dogs. So to get the old noggin thinking, we need to challenge their minds. Try introducing your pup to food dispensing toys and puzzles. It’s stimulating and fun for your dog, but entertaining for you as well. Some highly recommended treat dispenser toys are Kongs®, and puzzles from Nina Ottoson®. Additionally, 5-10 minutes of reward based training before toys or puzzles helps to capture and refocus their attention – giving you attention as well.