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Discussion Starter #1
Our V is almost 2 years-old and is generally well-trained and behaved except for one bad habit we have allowed her to establish. She has learned over the months that when she wants our attention, or something fun to do, that if she steals something she shouldn't have off of a counter, bookshelf, table, anywhere, we will often chase her to get it back. And as you know, catching her is almost impossible.a She knows "drop it" and how to recall but will not respond in this situation. She knows there are two better possible outcomes. We will chase her to recover the object, which is fun for her. Or we will ignore her and she gets to destroy or consume the object. We know we should never chase her, but unfortunately we allowed this to happen repeatedly as she was stealing and eating a child's toys or food. And it's spiralled out of control from there. Are there any suggestions of how to untrain this habit? We've tried ignoring, squirt bottles, treats for dropping, and more.
 

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Our pup, Baxter did this briefly until we started leaving a variety of worthless items around the place for him to steal. When he did we ignored it and once he got bored of playing with it we returned the item to its original location. He stopped within a week or so. Worked for us. Good luck.
 

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Thanks. Fortunately/unfortunately I think we're passed that point as she well knows what she is doing, which things are for her and which are not and are important to us. Tonight she jumped on the counter and stole my wallet while my back was turned. I thought briefly about ignoring her, but I had just visited the ATM.
 

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Fortunately for us Merc only got as far as stealing the cats toys and once we stopped chasing him for them he got bored with it. I've started playing hide and seek with one particular toy which is only for hide and seek and he seems to like that as a replacement activity.

I did read somewhere that to stop the fun of the chase you can leave a leash on the dog indoors and then when they take something and trot past you with it you just step on the leash and quietly take it off them so you spoil the game and get your things back.

Good luck.
 

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I would just walk right up to her and take it away. Even if you have to chase her, don't talk to her, don't look at her, don't give her any emotion. Follow her until you take the object and then ignore her for 10-15 minutes. Or put her in a different room and isolate her for that amount of time.

The key would be to not talk or show weakness. Just take it from her and go on with your business. She should figure out that she will not get the reaction she is wanting from you.
 

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I would set your dog up with something you didn't care if it got destroyed - then totally ignore him when he steals it for you attention.......the thrill is in the chase so no chase no thrill - hope that helps as it worked for us.
 
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