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Is My Dog Robbie a Kleptomaniac?

Terry Morgan/

My dog Robbie, a 7 month old Border Collie, is a thief. He grabs things from around the house or the yard and “steals” them. He stashes all of his treasures in the back corner of the yard near the shed.

He’s stolen Jack’s toys, plastic shovels, my work gloves (out of my back pocket), my lighter, my wife’s glasses, and a myriad of other odd little things.

Why is my dog a kleptomaniac? Check out what I learned.

It turns out that Robbie’s condition is pretty common. A dog’s motives are usually pretty simple, but aren’t always that clear to us. According to an article at Veterinary Partner, Robbie’s actions are generally caused by three factors:

  1. Attention. Robbie steals our things so we’ll play with him.
  2. Chewing. He’s still a puppy and needs to chew. He’s collecting a stash of tasty chewable things.
  3. Interest. Sometimes dogs steal things because they find them interesting.

Generally I think it’s pretty funny that Robbie steals things, but there are easy ways to correct this behavior. Don’t chase, corner, or yell at your dog when trying to get back your things. Instead turn the opportunity into a lesson of “retrieve,” or make the dog happy he gave the item back to you by substituting the stolen item for a treat, or his favorite toy.

My name is Terry, and my dog Robbie is a kleptomaniac. And it really makes me giggle.

Terry Morgan/

(Training tips via Veterinary

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