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Resource Guarding When Stealing


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Joy is a wonderful girl. Her primary issue is with resource guarding but only when she steals something. If she has her bedtime bone, I can walk around her and she ignores me. However, if she steals something or gets into something she's not supposed to have, such as the bag from her bedtime bones, she growls and snarls to prevent my taking it from her.

 

Does anyone have any suggestions to deal with this? Thanks.


Carol, missing Magic (1/5/01 - 4/15/15) but welcoming Fuzzy's Joy Behar (Joy) into my life on 5/31/15.

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Yep. Search this forum for "trading up" and you'll get lots of advice. The basic idea is that you "trade" her something really good for what she currently has (i.e., give her some good stinky cheese, hotdog piece, etc.) in exchange for the stolen item.

 

Good luck :)


Meredith with Heyokha (HUS Me Teddy) and Crow (Mike Milbury). Missing Turbo (Sendahl Boss), Pancho, JoJo, and "Fat Stacks" Juana, the psycho kitty. Canku wakan kin manipi.

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

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The chew bone is something that you've given her, so it has less value than the thing she got for herself.

 

Keep some treats in your pocket or near her bed. If you need to walk around her, throw her a treat first. You're not rewarding her for growling. You're trying to stop her from growling in the first place and distract her from her prize. Then do the "trade up" for whatever she has. Make sure to throw the treat away from what you want to take away. I always use my foot or a yardstick to move the treat out of teeth reach first. Throw her another treat and then reach for what you're taking away.

 

When she is calm and receptive, you need to teach her a "leave it" or "drop it" command. It will really help. Though, I have to confess, that it doesn't work with my Toni all the time. If she has something she really wants, I still have to trade up with her. But Toni is much better now than she was in the beginning.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Guest PiagetsMom

If you're talking about the bag with the bedtime bones in it, might be hard to trade up and beat that. If so, and it were me, for the moment until you can teach her a reliable "leave it or drop it", I'd just eliminate the problem and find a better place to stash the bone bag. :dunno

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If you're talking about the bag with the bedtime bones in it, might be hard to trade up and beat that. If so, and it were me, for the moment until you can teach her a reliable "leave it or drop it", I'd just eliminate the problem and find a better place to stash the bone bag. :dunno

 

She got most of the bag of those bones a week or so earlier and I got a "vittle vault" for her treats. This was the empty bag that I hadn't thrown out yet.


Carol, missing Magic (1/5/01 - 4/15/15) but welcoming Fuzzy's Joy Behar (Joy) into my life on 5/31/15.

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As others have said, you need to teach a "trade" cue. You can probably find instructions elsewhere in T&B threads by searching for that word. One of these days I'm going to right up a thorough step by step description because I haven't really found one I like, but who knows when that will happen. FYI, when you teach trade you practice it frequently, always reinforcing with something higher in value than what the dog has and 99% of the time, you give the original item back. That was on the rare occasion when you need to actually keep the item, it's not a big deal.

 

But more importantly, while you're working on the cue and even after, you need to manage better to prevent her from stealing in the first place. Babygates, closed doors, crates or x-pens, tethering her to you or plain supervision are all options. Also consider why she's stealing - is she hungry (could she have intestinal parasites that are making her more hungry than usual), is she bored (give her something she can have to work on like a stuffed kong or exercise her more), etc. - and address that underlying issue.

 

Last, but not least, in emergency situations when you need to get something away and she will not drop it, I find meatballs work very well. I buy the pre-cooked frozen meatballs from Costco, but you can get them in any grocery store and you can just keep a few at a time defrosted in the fridge. If she steals something successfully despite your management efforts, don't even bother trying to take it if you haven't worked on the "trade" cue diligently for some time. Just go straight to the fridge, grab a couple of meatballs, make sure she sees you toss them and throw them far enough away that you can safely pick up the stolen item while she eats them.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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