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Thread: How to teach: No Counter Surfing Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-17-2013 05:16 PM
Sitz&Platz I've never had a dog counter surf for 2 reasons. 1. There is no food on the counter unless I'm cooking. 2. One of the first commands I teach is "move", which means you're in my space. I don't want to hurt my dogs when I'm cooking and spill something hot on them, so they learn early on not to be in my way when I'm busy in the kitchen. It has worked well for me so far, and none of my dogs find counters appealing.
12-17-2013 01:43 PM
Sri Some one please tell me if I am doing this wrong.

When I am cooking or we are eating the dog is usually nearby in the settle position. I used to treat him once in a while.. Now during the whole mealtime he might get a couple of small treats. More often than not, he has fallen asleep. I'm actually liking this because it is nice to have him around food and people eating and be calm.

For counter surfing, I am redirecting him, like asking him to come away from the counter or dining table and 'down', he doesn't get anything right away but might get something if he stays there for a bit. He jumps up a lot less, its not completely gone though.
12-17-2013 12:31 PM
Originally Posted by SummerGSDLover View Post
I grabbed his scruff, said no firmly and made eye contact with him. He immediately sat. I told him "Yogi look at me" and as soon as eye contact was made I told him "OFF!"
Summer, just reading that had me quite confused so I can imagine that your puppy is equally confused and maybe that's why this is still happening. If you say "off" at the precise moment that he's 'offing', like exactly when you're grabbing him by the scruff, then he'll learn that word so much quicker. If you wait until he's making eye contact - then he's not learning what it means since he has no idea that you're talking abut what you wanted him to do way back a few moments ago. Make sense?

I agree with the rug idea: don't give him a choice of what he could do - show him what you want him to do. I trained my pup to go into his crate whenever I opened the fridge. I gave him some cheese every time and voila, perfect. He's not underfoot or mooching at the counter. Yay!

Teaching "leave it" is wonderful too, so when he does wander over to the counter then you can direct him away from it with that command. Good luck!
12-17-2013 10:37 AM
Something else to try

Hi Summer,

I have the same problem with my dog, 7 months and big enough to get stuff on the counter, and has been successful which makes it worse. That said, after months of the "nag method" described here, it is getting better, slowly. Which leads me to believe it could get better quicker if I was more consistent about it. We have had some success with "go to your rug" (a rug in the kitchen counter" when I am cooking or eating.

Anyway, my dog class instructor said to line the edges of the counter with duct tape; the dog won't like the feel. While I've only tried it once which was worth nothing (I've got to work on my consistency!!) but this makes sense to me as a deterrent for the dog to even touch the counter with her paws in the first place. Good luck!
12-08-2013 04:50 PM
SummerGSDLover Thanks Boomer and Bailiff!

12-08-2013 04:16 PM
boomer11 i too wouldnt use any type of correction tool on a pup younger than 6 months but its not really about nagging or yelling at your pup to listen. that is just a battle of wills and who can outlast who. what you need to do with a pup is teach it what will get it a reward. before the pup was self rewarding itself because when it counter surfed, it found food. when your pup jumps up you need to give him a stern no, pop its collar and drag him down or push him off or whatever. once he is down you need to give him a command that he knows well (sit or down). once he sits you should reward him with whatever you're cooking or if you dont want him to eat human food then have a bag of his treats with you. the dog will learn that jumping up gets him nothing but mommy's angry voice. if he sits then he actually gets a reward. you can then add duration in his sit before you reward. reward the dog for listening instead of yelling at him for not listening. eventually your dog will learn if i sit maybe i get a piece but if i jump up i get yelled at and i get nothing.
12-08-2013 03:47 PM
Baillif You sound like you're already adding pressure to the pup in places and really you are going to want to a certain extent, where it needs to happen. Usually I start this with leash pressure training for a sport dog, but for a pet I'd do it with other stuff. If you go too long without a little pressure on the dog the feisty ones have a tendency to try to fight you when you finally start. You probably already saw the tendency even at that young age where you say no and give em a little tap and they come back at you with teeth and get all vocal.

Don't scruff. My personal go to with a pup that age is a thumb to the space between the ribs. If you have ever been poked there you know it is sensitive but doesn't really hurt. It doesn't necessarily have to hurt to get the desired effect. If you grab a feisty one by the scruff (unless you do it super hard) they often go to play fight mode and you might as well have brought out a toy. It works for the jumping on people thing too, although you'll find strangers won't want to do this to your dog so you have to monitor interactions closely to do it for them.

I'm telling you though. Management. Use that crate.
12-08-2013 03:34 PM
Originally Posted by newtexas View Post
Totally agree with the nag approach until 6 months then go to e collar when he is fully aware of what he is doing.
Thanks for your input and advice.

12-08-2013 03:03 PM
newtexas Totally agree with the nag approach until 6 months then go to e collar when he is fully aware of what he is doing.
12-08-2013 02:56 PM
SummerGSDLover First of all, I thought this was the correct place to put my post. Next time I will place it in puppy behavior - sorry for that. Yes, Bailiff does know how old my dog/puppy is. I know they are puppies for a long time but most of the people posting in puppy behavior aren't posting about counter surfing because their puppies are tiny. Now that my pup is big enough to jump up and grab stuff off the counter, I thought it'd be appropriate to ask here.
I have been taking a lot of Bailiff's advice lately and it has all worked thus far but I wanted it public rather than PM to see what other people are doing.
While I agree that optimally it would be best to either have him tethered to me or in a crate, it does not work well for me here with another dog and three small children running around. I feel bad leaving him in the crate all the time. He is in there when I can't watch him 100% but I'm always in the same room as him. Our kitchen and livingroom are connected with no wall. While I was making dinner last night, Yogi was running around the island and suddenly stopped and sidled up to me, proceeded to jump placing his paws on the counter. I gave him a firm no, placed him into a down and proceeded to ignore him. He did it again and so I did the same thing but then placed him in his crate while I resumed dinner. This morning while making breakfast he jumped up again. I grabbed his scruff, said no firmly and made eye contact with him. He immediately sat. I told him "Yogi look at me" and as soon as eye contact was made I told him "OFF!" (that is what I have been using for when he jumps on people, he knows it well). I'm not sure I am doing this right. He's not scared of me or anything after scruffing him. That is the second time I've done that. The first time was because he bit the back of my leg, leaving a four inch gash...which drew a lot of blood.
I will take the back"nag" approach for now but once he turns six months I may try the stim collar if he is still testing the counter rule. Does that sound fair? I think it does but I don't know. I feel like I'm way over my head today. He is really trying my patience the last few days. I'm doing my best here. Be patient with me please.

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