Pillow theft?

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sourced from: https://www.reddit.com/r/puppy101/comments/9v0ydq/pillow_theft/

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Ok. So I’ve run into a problem that I can’t seem to find an answer for after searching YouTube, google, etc.

I’ve been trying to train my 10month old Golden Retriever using positive reinforcement. He does great at the basics (sit, stay, lay down) but I’m having one issue I just can’t seem to get a handle on.

Tobi is a pillow and blanket thief. If its on the couch, he will have it. My couch is bare 95% of the time because he will steal everything.

If I drop a treat in front of him and tell him to leave it, he will until I say. If he grabs a pillow, and I tell him to leave it, he will drop it and give his attention to me, and I’ve been rewarding this behavior with treats.

However, the problem is, as soon as he drops it, 15 seconds later he picks it back up. Same with anything on the couch. I’ll say “leave it” he’ll look at me and stop. And then 15 seconds later he goes right back to his stealing. I’m wondering if he’s noticed that when he drops it, he gets a treat. So now I feel like he’s grabbing it, knowing he will get a treat when he stops. This seems to have backfired on me, but I can’t find any methods that are different? All the videos I’ve watched say to reward when they do a desired behavior/stop bad behavior. I feel like he’s cheating the system or I have done something completely wrong.

Please help! What can I do to fix this? Or should I just keep doing what I’m doing?

submitted by /u/AndersonEm
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