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Hello all,

 

Bob is now 14 weeks old and turning into a fantastic buddy. It's probably naive of me but even after the research before picking him up, he's a lot sharper than I ever expected and thanks to all the advice from you guys on this forum he's generally a well behaved and lovely puppy.

 

One thing I just don't get though is he won't leave my damn tea towels alone. He doesn't chew or steal or play with them, just rearranges them. He pulls them off the handle in the kitchen and puts them in the lounge, doesn't do anything with them in the lounge, just puts them in the middle of the floor. I don't particularly mind as its not destructive but its just plain weird - I'm missing something here and can't figure it out. Usually he picks up on a corrections within a couple of days and if I say 'no' to him when he goes to move them he'll leave them be but sure enough 5 minutes later he's back attempting to tidy my tea towels where he clearly thinks they look more fetching.

 

Has anyone any theories or seen similar behavior before?

 

Photo - https://goo.gl/photos/r8W3Ed6FnFF3Kxya6

 

 

 

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There is a reason I ultimately taught my BC to pull clothes out of the dryer for me while I folded and to move dirty clothes from the basket into the washer (once she was old enough to reach). In both cases that reason was 'likes to carry fabric around'. Socks, face clothes, dish towels, whatever - putting it to use helped stop it happening randomly and as a bonus? Job for the dog who wanted one.

 

I will admit freely that one took a little while though.

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I would set him up for success by not putting the towel on that hook for a few months, at least until he is older. To me this is way easier and clearer to the dog than correcting him in the moment but then leaving the desirable object out so he can do it all over again.

 

Think of it like getting into the garbage can- if he keeps doing it then make it so he can't do it anymore. He is so young and of course will go right back to it if he can. It's self rewarding.

He will most likely outgrow it if he isn't allowed access to it while he is still so young. My recent pup loved taking socks out of the hamper or if she found one on the ground. She would chew the tiniest hole in them or put them in her crate to hide them. We just made sure she couldn't access any socks and in several months we realized socks were no longer of interest to her.

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There is a reason I ultimately taught my BC to pull clothes out of the dryer for me while I folded and to move dirty clothes from the basket into the washer (once she was old enough to reach). In both cases that reason was 'likes to carry fabric around'. Socks, face clothes, dish towels, whatever - putting it to use helped stop it happening randomly and as a bonus? Job for the dog who wanted one.

 

I will admit freely that one took a little while though.

 

 

That's genius, I love the idea of using it as a job for him to do and controlling the behavior at the same time, occasionally he gets a bit huffy without a direction so this would be another for the toolbox.

 

I would set him up for success by not putting the towel on that hook for a few months, at least until he is older. To me this is way easier and clearer to the dog than correcting him in the moment but then leaving the desirable object out so he can do it all over again.

 

Think of it like getting into the garbage can- if he keeps doing it then make it so he can't do it anymore. He is so young and of course will go right back to it if he can. It's self rewarding.

He will most likely outgrow it if he isn't allowed access to it while he is still so young. My recent pup loved taking socks out of the hamper or if she found one on the ground. She would chew the tiniest hole in them or put them in her crate to hide them. We just made sure she couldn't access any socks and in several months we realized socks were no longer of interest to her.

 

As you mention it, he has actually done that once with a jumper from the hamper, similar behavior to the tea towel but as he's only had access to the washing once I didn't notice it as part of the same pattern and just attributed it to him exploring something new. When he first started I attempted to move the tea towel out of his reach to the oven handle but I was being rather dense and didn't think it through - he managed to grab it and pulled the oven open at the same time, thankfully it wasn't on but still caused a minor heart attack.

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I agree with both replies above. Removing the desired object for a period of time (months?) should allow the behavior to extinguish on its own - unless it has become so reinforcing that the re-appearance of the object will cause the behavior to start again. Because your dog is young and playful, I think that some maturity will solve the problem ( as long as he is not allowed access while maturing.

 

I like the idea of training a useful skill. Depends on the time you want to invest.

 

My youngest (2 years old) will find socks on the floor and carry them to a different room. She has very seldom chewed them. The problem in my house is that I can't train my husband not to leave his socks around, but even worse, I have a cat that can squeeze through the smallest spaces to find socks - which she then carries from the upstairs bedroom closet, down to the kitchen or living room. She can also fish socks out of my sock drawer if I forget to close it completely. Even a tiny 3/4 inch opening is enough for her to drag a sock out of my drawer. I don't know how it is possible.

 

So I have been a failure at removing the desired object in order to promote extinction of behavior (dog getting socks), because other beings are working against me. :-))

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Jovi, your animals are teaming up against you. That's a very dangerous sign! ;)

 

Agree with all the ideas above. My Sammi loved to 'help' me load the washer, and would get a little upset w/me if I tried to do it without her.

 

Ruth & Gibbs

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I have had 2 dogs as puppies fixate on socks or washcloths and carry them around. I taught them both a formal retrieve at that point (pick up, carry, hold and release on command) figuring that was a good time to do it, and rewarded them bringing me the socks and washcloths.

 

Eventually they both grew out of it. My Papillon will still occasionally bring me a sock if he is feeling ignored.

 

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My advice is not popular, but I would enjoy your dogs quirk.

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Ben turned out to have a fascination with slippers. After he almost destroyed one, I read a tip online to spray some deodorant on them. It stopped him even picking them up and broke the cycle. I no longer spray them but he doesn't touch them. You could try this with one towel left out and see what happens.

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Reading the topic title my first thought was, what kind of problems Tea could have with her towel...

Exactly. :lol: :lol: :lol:

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I don't want to jinx things but we might've cracked what was going on...

 

The tea towels covered the oven window, he's been running in front of it to look at his reflection :)

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Too smart. Watch out for him. :-)))

 

He's a cunning bugger, its really difficult to not laugh constantly at his mischief when he wants attention. I'm fairly certain he spends his spare time plotting new ways to manipulate a situation to his advantage. He knows not to chew shoes, he knows I know he knows not to chew shoes, you can surround him with shoes and he'll be completely disinterested 98% of the time yet on occasion when he desperately wants a slice of your pizza he'll run off and drop a shoe in front of you, start biting the laces and look to see if you've noticed. The funniest one yet was dropping a treat ball in the middle of my plate, I had to leave the house to wet myself laughing just to not let him know he'd won that round.

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Well I reckon I now have the perfectly trained dog. After he has dropped the ball at my feet several times with no result, he starts throwing it to himself.

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He's a cunning bugger, its really difficult to not laugh constantly at his mischief when he wants attention. I'm fairly certain he spends his spare time plotting new ways to manipulate a situation to his advantage. He knows not to chew shoes, he knows I know he knows not to chew shoes, you can surround him with shoes and he'll be completely disinterested 98% of the time yet on occasion when he desperately wants a slice of your pizza he'll run off and drop a shoe in front of you, start biting the laces and look to see if you've noticed. The funniest one yet was dropping a treat ball in the middle of my plate, I had to leave the house to wet myself laughing just to not let him know he'd won that round.

My dog does that with eggcups or fragile things.

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