By Al Longoria
Does your dog steal toys from your kids, your other dogs, and maybe even you? If this is the case, then I have some tips that may help reduce this problem behavior.
Make the Crate Valuable
One of the best tips I offer is teaching the dog to enjoy being in its’ crate. Many pets do not like being placed into a crate but it is hard to argue that it doesn’t prevent so many of those unwanted behaviors. Well to make it enjoyable for my dogs I introduce them to the KONG. Each time that I grab one of those things my dogs eyes just light up. I like to make sure that the Kong is just the best it can be. I typically will take the Kong and fill it up with a conglomeration of yogurt, peanut butter and moist dog food. With this in hand I will then take my dog to his crate. Once he is in there I will then give him the Kong. For an added affect you could also try freezing the Kong before you give it to you pouch. My dogs really enjoy the frozen Kong after they have come back from a good walk.
Walking with your dog, playing a game of tug or playing fetch can be yet another way to keep your dog from stealing toys. Most dogs that are stealing toys are really just looking for some way to interact with you. Having some one on one play time with your dog goes a very long way. I’ve said it in the past but I will say it again, a tired dog is a good dog. 15 minutes of play can result in hours of calm behaviors.
How to put this to use
One of the things I like to recommend is how to put different training tips in a sequence that works best for the dog and for you. Here is how I use these techniques. First I would make sure that the Kong is loaded and in the freezer. Next go grab the leash and head out for a quick ten minute walk. When I get home or to a park close by, play tug with my dog for 5 minutes. I would walk home next and have my dog get into his crate and then give him that icy cold Kong filled with tasty goodness.
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