Advice needed on a counter/trash can surfer - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 12-06-2013, 12:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Advice needed on a counter/trash can surfer

Our dog adopted from the military was so polite for the first few months. Apparently he's comfortable now because I wake up in the a.m. to a mess.

He counter-surfs looking for food and knocks down everything. When I started completely clearing the counters, he went for the trash can that is covered. It's one of those flip, aluminum type cans that has a lid that flips up and down.

We had a Lab do this and we once outfitted the can with a Darth Vadar mask! I wish I could have seen him when he came around the corner -- we were gone -- and saw Darth!

I think our GSD is too smart for Darth to scare him plus it only works once or twice.

How do you train a dog out of this behavior? Because right now he's just training me to clean up really, really well. And hide the can.

Alley
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't have any real advice other than to buy the kitchen trash can that I got at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Sage, who is my trash thief, can't open this one. It has a slide lock on the front.

Simple Human trash can
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Managing the situation is best cause he's doing it when you aren't in the room. So removing all food from the counter and putting the trashcan in a closet? And/or keeping the dog out of the kitchen at night (or in you room? babygate?)

No matter how mad you get when you have to clean up the mess, punishing the dog at that time is too late for any training. Specially cause the dog already more then rewarded itself the entire time it was eating everything and making a mess.

Plus he can get really sick going thru the trash. So not only are you mad at the mess you may have and expensive vet bill on top of it all.
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Crate him and clean up the counters. That's how I learned.
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I agree -- I don't punish him when I wake up to the mess. You're right, I forgot he could get sick

Our house is very "open" so babygating would be tough.

Wolfy: I don't mean to "yes, but" you. . . but for safety reasons I like that he can roam the house. My husband leaves really, really early for work and it gives me a lot of comfort knowing our dog is walking around.

Dogfaeries: I'll look into that can!!

Thanks everyone,

Alley

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggieRoseLee View Post
Managing the situation is best cause he's doing it when you aren't in the room. So removing all food from the counter and putting the trashcan in a closet? And/or keeping the dog out of the kitchen at night (or in you room? babygate?)

No matter how mad you get when you have to clean up the mess, punishing the dog at that time is too late for any training. Specially cause the dog already more then rewarded itself the entire time it was eating everything and making a mess.

Plus he can get really sick going thru the trash. So not only are you mad at the mess you may have and expensive vet bill on top of it all.
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alley View Post

Wolfy: I don't mean to "yes, but" you. . . but for safety reasons I like that he can roam the house. My husband leaves really, really early for work and it gives me a lot of comfort knowing our dog is walking around.
Alley
I see, I had them in my closed bedroom for those nights. They were crated when hubby was home. Later I got the best dog proof garbage can and they could be free in the house:
Even the most notorious scavenger was never able to crack the code. B,B&B expensive but so worth it.
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Old 12-06-2013, 01:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I put weights on the trash can lid. Counter surfing we are still working on.
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Old 12-06-2013, 01:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Wall off the kitchen with a baby gate or x-pen
You cannot correct what you do not catch. If you are not actively paying attention to the dog, remove temptation by containing the dog. During the day, when you are around, correct the dog as soon as you see the behavior occurring.
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Old 12-06-2013, 01:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qbchottu View Post
Wall off the kitchen with a baby gate or x-pen
You cannot correct what you do not catch. If you are not actively paying attention to the dog, remove temptation by containing the dog. During the day, when you are around, correct the dog as soon as you see the behavior occurring.
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Old 12-06-2013, 02:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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We had problems with Gunner getting things off the counter if left unattended and would get in the trash if we weren't home. We put the trash can under the sink in hopes to fix the problem, but Gunner learned how to open the cupboard. We invested in is trash can and it literally is amazing.

Trash Can

We have had this trash can for about a 1 1/2 years and he no longer gets in the trash because he can't. He has tried a few times when we first got the trash can; he would knock it over, tried to chew on it, but with the locking system, he could not get in it.

For counter surfing, if there is a way to block off the kitchen, then I would do so. With our kitchen, there is only one opening and Gunner is not allowed to go in the kitchen ( he probably does when we aren't home but we keep everything up so he doesn't get into anything ) at any time. My previous Shepherd use to counter surf but we put pennies in a tin can and would shake it every time he would put his nose to the counter. You could also try a squirt bottle but with these to things, you have to be there to catch the behavior.
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