Puppy Thievery

We have talked of Scout’s thievery before, her habit of stealing things and delivering them to us like unrequested gifts. “I found your gloves, Mom!” Sometimes though, like this morning, Scout chooses not to deliver her discoveries, and instead to destroy them.

This morning I was getting ready for work when I heard a noise. I called Scout’s name and she didn’t come, so I went in the direction of the noise, the office. There on the floor were three photo-booth strips taken when B and I were freshman in college. We’d gone on a spring break trip to the coast with a friend, and taken three strips of photos in a photo booth by the coast. She’d shredded them. Tiny little strips of B’s face and my face and our friend’s face dotted the carpet. Scout slinked out of the room when I entered. I sat on the floor and called her quietly back in. She came and sat next to me, her head lowered. It was obvious that she understood she’d disappointed me.

I told her, firmly but without raising my voice, No and Bad Dog, and then she watched as I picked up each piece. She looked devastated, but I didn’t pet her. I set the shredded photos on the table and closed the office door behind me.

She followed me back into the bedroom and laid on her bed, looking miserable. A few minutes later, I gave her some loving, and she cheered up.

I’m not anticipating this little moment of understanding to rid Scout of her stealing habit. To be honest, I don’t really know how to handle the habit at all. Most of the time, at least when she chooses to deliver her objects instead of devour them, Scout is very proud of herself and no matter the amount of admonishment, her tails keeps on wagging. But how to get her to leave the important things, like my computer’s new wireless Apple mouse, which she has stolen twice, alone?

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4 responses to “Puppy Thievery

  1. Donna and the Dogs August 10, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    That’s awful, and I totally empathize. Think prevention rather than cure. Maybe baby gate her in the same room where you are, or tether her to you, so you can correct her the moment she goes for something she shouldn’t have? Toby needed direct supervision for nearly a year, otherwise the moment he was left alone he would find something to shred. He did grow out of it though, or learned, or whatever – so there is hope!

  2. puppymakes4 August 10, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    I think you’re right, Donna. It’s hard because right now when she acts so grown up I want to give her space, but then she proves that she isn’t ready for it yet.

  3. ForPetsSake August 10, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    hmm…. tough one. I think you handled this just right. Calm, assertive – a closed door = restriction. Give it time and keep being patient. I agree wholeheartedly with baby gates!!

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