Dog training problems: Why Dogs Steal

Dog training problems. What a challenge. Does your dog take things that do not belong to him?

You’ve probably asked yourself a hundred times, “Why does my dog steal? He knows he’s not supposed to have those things.”

Dogs don’t use logic the way humans do. They take some action and watch to see how you respond. They soon discover which actions get your attention and which do not. The ones that do are those that your dog will persist in doing.

But you’re still left wondering, “Why does he do that?”

If your dog is stealing things, there’s a high probability that he is stressed, anxious or just plain bored.

Boredom is easy to correct. Give him more exercise. Get him outdoors. Chase him around the yard. Take him for a good long walk every day. Dogs were not designed to lie around the house all day and night. Their natural instincts are to keep moving, to hunt, to follow their noses as it were.

That’s exactly what the dog wants from you when he steals things. He knows you will chase him to retrieve it, especially if you have done so repeatedly in the past.

If your dog is anxious, this too can be the result of boredom. Yes, a dog needs mental stimulation, just like we do.

How do you fix that?

Simple. You train him to do different things that are not just obedience focused. Agility training is ideal for this. You don’t even need to join and pay for an agility training course. You can build your own runs with obstacles for your dog to scale or jump.

Unless you have a very big dog, you don’t really need that much space. The benefit is in exercising the muscles and the mind, more so than in traveling great distances.

Build a series of obstacles around your yard based on our dog’s size and abilities. For small dogs, use short objects. It’s best if they will topple easily if your dog accidentally hits them. A heavy object can cause injury if he hits it the wrong way.

Teach him to climb a ramp, jump over a bar, run through water, make his way through a long tunnel made from soft, flexible material that allows light in.

Your dog will enjoy it immensely, and in all likelihood, so will you. Agility is a great fun activity for the whole family.

Want more tips? My Dog Talk Weekly newsletter provides loads of ideas and interesting facts about dogs. It’s free to join. Go see!

Next time you’re faced with dog training problems, consider giving him exercise to release his energy and expand his mind.

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