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Hi,

Any advice on how to stop Truffle stealing things? He doesn't do it when we are looking, but if I pop upstairs for a moment when I get back he'll have taken something off the table/side board/sofa/kitchen surface and be outside chewing it. He doesn't just take food either, it's cups, paper, clothes. I refuse to chase him round because otherwise it's a game, but if he's got my son's toy rabbit there are hysterics (he takes rabbit out of my son's hand while he's watching TV or walking round the room, which is going too far!!!) and the rabbit has to come back in one piece otherwise he won't sleep again! He won't come when called because he know's he shouldn't have the object, and often he won't give up the object for food either. He know's a command to drop things, but goes suddenly deaf when told to let go. I'd rather stop him taking things in the first place than be trying to work out how to get them back. I can't crate him every time I have to pop out of a room because it's impractical for me. How do I teach him that he can have his things but not mine? Help.

Cat and Truffle
 

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We have a theiving little toad here too...and its anything he can fit in his mouth.

Anyway i havent;t a ckue how to stop him stealing but i now get everything back with no fuss.

We are swapping the stolen item for something that he can have using the leave it command and bring it back, i did worry i was training him that stealing was ok....but now he is getting the leave it or bringing it back its not so much about running around the garden anymore. He happily sits in the same room, takes something and when you tell him bring it, he comes over and he knows he doesn;t get a treat ot his most fav toy til he leave's it and goes back a bit...its a week so far an he's getting really good.
 

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im not sure if im doin the right thing but if meg takes something usually one of the kids toys i dont tell her to drop or leave it i teach her to give it to me and praise her for helpingme find the item that was not even lost!!! by doin this she does get bored and she dont pick up stuff all the time but things that she does i just praise her for handing it to me if you get me!!
 

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You're right not to chase him around. Luna is similar with the running outside with something and I think the only solution I have is to leave everything non-Luna friendly high up! I will also on finding her with something she shouldn't say 'what have you got!' in a sing-song fun voice and then insist she brings it to me with 'fetch it' 'bring it' for a treat. I find sometimes that Luna will come and find me with the thing she has stolen now which is preferable to it being chewed!!! If he is refusing to drop the object try getting him to bring it with you and him walking together to his biscuit barrel!! I find that Luna thinks that bringing something with her ie doing a job is worth a treat. She's not easy to bribe!!!!

Luna likes the small rawhide twists, you could try giving Truffle one to take outside just before you dash out of his eyeshot. It could distract him from stealing something.

TOY RABBIT! Does Truffle know the command OFF or LEAVE? Even if he does I would spend a couple of times or more a day practising it with Truffle and the Rabbit whenever possible. Start with a smelly treat in your hand so that Truffle is attracted to your hand and as soon as his nose moves away from your hand say OFF and release the treat. When he's getting good with OFF with treat change to holding Rabbit in your hand and have treats near by. Offer or walk around or dance or just hold Rabbit in your hand such that Truffle is interested and reward and praise profusely if he gets OFF when commanded. You could move to having Rabbit on floor and then involve your son in training sessions so that Truffle learns to OFF at his command also. Was so chuffed when Luna listened to my 3 year old cousin when he said OFF because she fancied playing train tracks with him!!

I have found that objects I had to say OFF a lot to when she was small I rarely have to tell her OFF to now so I think gradually the objects become uninteresting.

Good luck!
 
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