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I have a problem with my 4 yr old BLM grabbing towels and washcloths and other things and won’t let go. How can I stop him from doing this? I have tried to spank him when I get the towels from him finally and he keeps on doing it. Any ideas how to stop this behavior?
 

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One possibility is your dog may think this behavior is a game. Conditioned responses are not easy to
get rid of. You may need to create more structure in the dog's life which basically means defining what
is expected every minute of the day.....with no nonsense. What is his regular day like?

The problem is he has become this way over a period of four years, I am assuming that his OB is "sketchy"
at best. How is he on the end of a leash? with distractions?

Then there is this (from a previous post) which you wrote, "Whenever he gets a new toy or treat, if I
reach down to touch it he starts growling."


The last issue can be unnerving and suggests more problems than the playing tug nonsense.

My suggestion is to consult with someone that can provide personal, specific hands on advice.
 

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I agree with the above. Nothing I suggest here obviates your need for a consult with a canine behaviorist. That being said, if you want to just want to avoid towel keep-away, the lightest, most minimal touch (think of how you spray expensive perfume) of DEET on anything (like towels) will make a dog ignore said item.
 

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Spanking him after he does what you want will always be counterproductive. In his mind he got spanked as a result of losing the game.

The growling bit from the post KwickLabs referenced seems worrisome. I agree you ought to seek help from a pro with a record of success with that kind of stuff. If he growls at you, he might do something far worse to someone he has less respect for. There’s currently a post in my local hunting forum about a dog that developed food guarding/aggression and attacked the poster’s wife over a summer sausage, resulting in significant injuries to her and their other dog, as well as tremendous heartbreak over having to put down an otherwise healthy and loved member of the household.

Besides getting professional help, don’t play the game. Never pull/tug back. Unless you are concerned the dog will attack you, stand firm, hold the towel, tell the dog to sit, then drop. If that doesn’t work, break the conditioned expectation; hold the towel and push until the dog lets go. Don’t punish him after he lets go, but a time-out might help him process what just happened and eventually adjust his behavior moving forward. You will not fix this in a day.
 

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why don't you kennel the dog when you or out of the house and see it grabbing the towels seems to be looking for more attention
 

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if grabbing towels while you are at home just put the dog in a kennel and air the dog outside but make sure it dosn't run to where you have the towels or the dog while think it's the pack leaderj ust a idea as the above thought not a blame on how you train or deal with your dog just an idea on to deal with your problem
 
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