A Review of the New ’10 Days to Stop Stealing’ Dog Training Course From Lauren Langman’s Absolute Dogs

Every dog owner has likely experienced it at least once: the moment when you turn your back only to turn around and find your lunch missing from the counter, a sock gone from the laundry basket, or your favourite slipper spirited away to a secret hiding spot. Dogs often engage in these light-fingered habits, swiping food, clothing items, or even toys from other dogs. While it can sometimes be amusing, frequent stealing can become a frustrating behaviour that disrupts the home and causes embarrassment when guests are around.

This is the focus of one of the most recent courses developed by the massively popular online training resource Absolute Dogs: “10 Days to Stop Stealing.” was co-developed by Lauren Langman, (a canine training expert and agility competitor with over two decades of experience) and Absolute Dogs Pro Dog Trainer, Sam. Lauren Langman’s philosophy for training centres on using positive reinforcement to build a trusting and enjoyable relationship in dog training, while her lighthearted approach and strong community focus emphasise laughter alongside learning.

“10 Days to Stop Stealing” offers a comprehensive approach, focusing on both the underlying reasons why dogs engage in stealing and practical strategies to modify their behaviour. The course promises not only to help owners understand the “why” behind their pets’ pilfering actions but also to change these behaviours through engaging, game-based learning. Being entirely online, it allows participants to proceed at their own pace, fitting training into their lifestyle without the need for extensive preparation or special equipment.

Why your pup might have ‘sticky paws’

Dogs engage in stealing behaviours for a variety of reasons, each influenced by their natural instincts, environmental factors, and learned behaviours. Lauren Langman emphasises that understanding why dogs steal can help owners address these behaviours more effectively and foster better communication and training practices.

  1. Natural Instincts and Curiosity: By nature, dogs are curious explorers and opportunistic eaters. In the wild, canines must scavenge and hunt for food wherever they can find it, which often leads them to explore and take advantage of any available resources. This instinctive behaviour can manifest in domestic settings as stealing food from counters or tables. Additionally, dogs use their mouths much like humans use their hands—to explore objects—and this can sometimes be misinterpreted as stealing.
  1. Boredom and Lack of Stimulation: Many dogs steal objects like slippers or remote controls simply because they are bored and looking for something to do. In the absence of sufficient physical and mental stimulation, dogs may turn to mischievous behaviours to entertain themselves. Stealing items often leads to a chase or a game of keep-away, which is much more exciting than lying around with nothing to do.
  1. Attention-Seeking Behaviour: Dogs quickly learn that certain actions will earn them attention from their owners. If stealing an item results in being chased or scolded, they perceive this as interaction and may repeat the behaviour to gain more attention, even if it is negative. For some dogs, negative attention is better than no attention at all.
  1. Reinforcement and Reward: If a dog steals food and eats it, the act of eating is a natural reward for their behaviour. This immediate gratification reinforces the stealing behaviour, making it likely to recur. Similarly, if a dog learns that stealing leads to playtime or any form of engagement with their owner, they will see it as a beneficial activity.
  2. Anxiety and Stress: In some cases, stealing can be a manifestation of anxiety or stress. Dogs that are anxious or stressed might steal and hoard objects as a way to comfort themselves or as part of a compulsive behaviour pattern. This is often seen in dogs that lack secure attachments or have experienced changes in their environment that lead them to feel insecure.

Langman encourages understanding the underlying motivations behind behaviours, as this allows for more effective and compassionate interventions that enhance the well-being of both dogs and their human families.

Dual training for better engagement

Structured into 32 lessons, the course is divided into two main components: Skill Ups and Game Ups.

The Skill Ups provide the theoretical backbone of the course. These lessons are crucial for understanding the underlying causes of stealing behaviours and formulating strategies to address them. They cover essential topics such as the psychological aspects of why dogs steal, the concepts of disengagement and impulse control, and how to identify and modify “Stealing Zones” in your home. The Skill Ups also delve into “Creating Suction Zones”—areas that attract and keep your dog’s attention away from forbidden items. This theoretical knowledge is essential for setting up practical applications that prevent stealing behaviours.

The Game Ups are practical sessions where owners learn a variety of fun, interactive games to play with their dogs. These games are not just entertaining; they are designed with a purpose—to teach dogs where the value lies, which is away from temptations such as kitchen counters or the shoe rack. Some of these games include Boundary Games, which teach dogs to respect set limits, and Disengagement Pattern games, which help dogs learn to voluntarily move away from temptations. Additionally, these practical lessons incorporate an “Attention Noise” to interrupt unwanted behaviours effectively and a “Toy Switch” game to foster impulse control.

Together, these two types of lessons form a complete curriculum that not only educates dog owners but also empowers them with the tools to make significant and lasting changes in their dogs’ behaviour. The dual approach developed in part by Lauren Langman ensures that participants not only know what to do but understand why they are doing it, leading to more effective training and a deeper connection between dog and owner.

A personal success story

Meet Kylee,who faced a playful challenge with Oakley, her sock-stealing English Springer Spaniel:

“As the owner of a Spaniel, I had the typical sock thief. Every chance my English Springer, Oakley, would get to snatch socks, she took them. When I saw that Absolute Dogs had created a specifically targeted course to stop stealing, I knew we had to jump in and I was not disappointed. I would always have to ensure that I didn’t leave any socks lying around and also ensure my visitors didn’t leave their socks out. It was quite embarrassing when I had visitors over and the next thing I would see Oakley with one of their socks in her mouth.

Sam, the trainer in this course, has so much knowledge about a pup thief, and she explained things in a way that really made sense to me. Sam also has an incredible energy about her and really makes you feel as if ‘you’ve got this!’

What I really loved about this course was the mix of theory and practical demonstration videos within the course. The Skill Up videos are about the game and why you play it. You also get to learn what makes your dog want to steal, which really helped me understand my dog so much better. In the Game Up videos, Sam teaches a student with their dog how to play the game step by step. If something didn’t go to plan with the game, Sam would take the time to explain what happened and would show what you needed to do instead to achieve the result you were looking for. It is so refreshing for a dog training organisation to not only show you the good bits but also show you that things can (and do) go wrong. I also really enjoyed seeing the games played at different levels, as it helped us to really take our training to the next level.

Because of this course, my socks are now safe, and my little thief has definitely changed her ways. I no longer have to worry about leftover socks and wonder if she would steal them.

Another really cool thing I discovered while doing this course was that it not only helped with Oakley stealing socks but it also helped with the disengagement struggles I am having with her. Games-based training is so adaptable that way; all the games can help with so many different struggles.”

Game-based training for lasting results

The course also comes with supplemental resources like eBooks and access to the Circle community for extended support, making your training journey not just about correction but about transformation. These tools are designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills to foster a harmonious living environment and a deeper connection with your pet.

If you’re a dog owner struggling with a furry friend who seems to think that what’s yours is theirs, especially when it comes to socks, snacks, or other tempting items, then the “10 Days to Stop Stealing” course by Absolute Dogs might just be the solution you’ve been searching for. Lauren Langman’s approach is not only about stopping unwanted behaviours, but also understanding and improving the bond you share with your dog.


I'm Harry, the passionate founder of My goal is to share insightful and engaging content with our readers. Enjoy our diverse range of articles!

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