Sunday, February 22, 2015

My Dog Is A Kleptomaniac!

I did not want to believe it. It couldn't be true. Could it? My precious Ali a thief? Not just a thief but a kleptomaniac!

A Border Collie laying with a ball.

She Has A Problem.

There is no such thing as my ball and your ball. They are all her balls. Try as I might I cannot get her to understand some things are not her things.

It first happened a few months ago. We were out on a walk. Ali is a good walker so I let her walk off leash most times. She usually walks ahead of me a little bit, sniffing around yards and fences. She will get distracted occasionally by an inticing scent and fall behind. I continue walking as she always catches up before I get to far.

This time she did not catch up. She had disappeared into the yard. I called her as I walked back and could hear her in the yard. "Ali! Here! Nowww!", I said. Over the fence she jumped, proud as could be, with a tennis ball in her mouth.

It was cute, I won't lie. Only my Ali would sniff out a ball in someone's backyard.

A Border Collie carrying a stick.

The Ball Thief Strikes Again!

Then it happened again. Same scenario. Out on a walk and like a cat burglar (pun intended) she slips into a yard and returns with her prize. This time a plastic treat ball. The kind you can stuff with tasty treats to keep your canine friend occupied for a while.

It is difficult to describe the sheer pride in her eyes when she does this. "Dad! Dad! Look! I found a ball! Now we can play!", is what she is saying to me I am sure.

This has happened on two more occasions. A rubber ball from a yard and a plastic ball she found at the park. While finding a ball left at the park is not exactly stealing I have to wonder if Ali has a problem.

Is It Time For Therapy?

Perhaps Ali has some issues she needs to talk out? Maybe there is an underlying reason for her need to claim all balls as her own? Is she trying tell me something? Or is she just ball obsessed?

This is written in jest of course. And I find it quite amsusing that she is so resourceful. I mean, how does she even know there is a ball in a yard? It is not like she goes searching in every yard. She knows which yards have a prize.

A ball is a bigger reward to Ali than treats are. She is ball driven. I redirected her instinct to herd onto fetching. I guess ultimately her problem is my fault. I worry about walking through the neighborhood one day and seeing posters of lost balls.

Does your dog do this? Does your dog have any behaviors that make you wonder if they have a problem? Leave us a comment and let us know.

© Irwin McNeely & Border Collie Corner, 2015. Unauthorized use or duplication of this material without written permission from this blog’s author or owner is strictly prohibited. All pictures are my own & property of Irwin McNeely & Border Collie Corner.

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