Cocker Spaniel Stealing!
My Cocker Spaniel Is Always Stealing Things!
How can I stop my cocker spaniel stealing items and running off with them? My dog steals everything she shouldn't have, from clothes and shoes to remote controls and anything left on tables.
How can I stop her doing this?
Reply from Pauline (Web Owner)
Domesticated dogs no longer need to scavenge or forage to survive, however, the instinct still bubbles to the surface for some dogs.
Your dog may 'steal' for many reasons and if you understand why she's stealing you may be able to resolve the problem more quickly. For example, if she's underfed (highly unlikely) she'll steal food. If she's just given birth to puppies she may fear for the survival of her newborn and so will steal food to ensure she can feed them.
Your dog may pounce on a sock and run away with it in a bid to get you to play with her, or chase her - pure attention seeking behavior!
If your cocker is stealing items, ie remote controls, socks, food, etc. the best advice I can give is to tidy up. Keep the TV remote out of reach, place food in the refrigerator or covered and at the back of the counter, out of reach, and socks safely in the wash-basket!
The less there is lying around the better.
Your dog must learn that these items are not for him. If you catch him with something you don't want him to have, get him to drop it and exchange it for something he can have, like a chew toy.
If you haven't already done so, teach your dog the Leave It! command and use it as you see him approach something you don't want him to have.
Use these commands regularly and consistently and your Cocker will soon learn what he's allowed to have and what is out of bounds.