Methods for dealing with counter-surfing, please! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-14-2012, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Methods for dealing with counter-surfing, please!

The newest guy in the house is a counter surfer. The kitchen is around the corner from the dining and living room areas, so he occasionally gets out of eyesight. I hear him and I'm on top of it, but I'm tired of corrections. They're not working. I'm very careful to never leave anything on the counter, so he's never actually "benefited" from his surfing (until tonight, anyway), but keeps doing it.

Tonight was the FINAL straw. I was sitting at the computer desk around the corner. It was too quiet in the kitchen. I peeked around and Tucker was ON the counter, all fours!, chowing down some kitty food in a bowl. I cannot believe that big dog got ON the counter without any noise or commotion!

Agh! I do have a gate I can put across to keep him out of the kitchen, but I want a method, not just management.

Advice??
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-14-2012, 08:45 PM
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My lab mix used to do this ALL the time until one day I came home from a run with the other two pups to find her the same way you found Tucker... except she had eaten an entire roasted chicken!! I had pushed it all the way to the corner where she couldn't reach it but she figured out a way... Rushed her to the vet and luckily she was fine but boy did I learn my lesson!! From then on, unless I could directly supervise her, she was blocked off from the kitchen. She was a smart little cookie and with the exception of the time I caught her on the counter I never saw her so much as put her paws on the counter. I truly believe some dogs are just too smart for their own good. Being that this was the case I never had the opportunity to actually correct it so it was all about management for me. Good luck! It's a tough habit to break unless you can catch them in the act...

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-14-2012, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chelle View Post
I do have a gate I can put across to keep him out of the kitchen, but I want a method, not just management.
Sometimes you have to do both! It's very hard to train a dog not to take advantage of unattended food. I'm not sure it would ever be possible to train Halo not to eat off the counters if we left food there and walked out of the room. When we're right there - sure. But not if we're not. My husband has learned that the hard way (hopefully for the last time ). I make sure that if there's anything left on the counter it's way up high and out of her reach, like on the shelf in the greenhouse window over the sink, even if I'm just leaving for a second and coming right back.

Unfortunately if it works even one time and they get rewarded for counter surfing, it's going to be that much harder to train them out of it, so the single best thing you can do at this point is to make sure that there is never, ever, EVER anything for him to get into. The garbage can is in a cabinet under the sink, and food goes into the fridge.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-14-2012, 08:59 PM
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Gates and crates.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-14-2012, 09:01 PM
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My older dog is notorious for this and getting in the litter...I sometimes have gates everywhere I have never caught her on the counter and I don't believe she has gotten up there, but she has a cat that is her partner in crime and I have witnessed him knocking stuff off the counter to give to the dog So how do you train a cat not to counter surf(he can jump a gate) I've learned to keep everything off the counters, in the microwave, no garbage in the house...my kitchen is pretty clean

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-14-2012, 09:02 PM
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take sometime out to train him not to counter
surf, table surf or to take food from anywhere you leave it.
for counter surfing and table surfing i use to leave food
on the edge of the counter and on the coffee table. when my dog went for it i would say "no" or "leave it". people told me i was sitting
my dog up to fail by leaving food on the counter, table or floor.
i thought i was teaching him not to take food. the end result is
he doesn't take food no matter where i leave it. i didn't set him
up once a day. i use to leave food out all the time for training purposes.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-14-2012, 09:18 PM
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What doggiedad said plus what msvette2u said.
Dogs are animals and tempting them beyond their limits is asking too much.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-14-2012, 09:42 PM
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I agree with what doggiedad said. Sometimes you have to purposely create the situation to correct it.

It's training, sort of like teaching recall. If you just turn a dog loose and tell them to come, it would be rare for them to respond. That's why we control the training. First short leash then long line. Setting them up so you can teach the behavior.

You already know all this anyway. Good luck.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-14-2012, 11:01 PM
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I just managed . Daisy now doesnt get on the counter now just the trash but god what a ride it has been. I agree w/ the teaching them to leave it as it is the best way so they dont get into bad things.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-15-2012, 12:12 AM
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i bought a small trash can that fits on top off the refrigerator.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daisy&Lucky's Mom View Post
I just managed . Daisy now doesnt get on the counter

>>> now just the trash <<<

but god what a ride it has been. I agree w/ the teaching them to leave it as it is the best way so they dont get into bad things.
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