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Our 7 month old Jackson is a complete pig. He eats EVERYTHING. And its becoming a problem. He eats whatever is not nailed down. But, its becoming a problem because I am afraid of him getting something stuck in him.
But as of lately, him stealing food is a pain. My dh was making lunches, he had food in the lunch boxes, he walked into the garage to get more snacks, and in that minute-Jackson stole apples out of the lunches and ate them. He has no manners. But, we are not sure the correct way to teach him not to do this. He jumps on the counters and kitchen table. What do you do to curb this behavior? His food drive is probably the highest I have ever seen in a dog...
 

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You can only really teach your dog to not counter surf when you are right there. It's almost impossible to teach them not to do it reliably when you aren't. If you don't want something eaten, you have to put it safely away.
 

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Of all my dogs, Dante is the only one who was a counter surfer. I say was, because he's 99% cured of this horrible bad habit. He discovered one day that he was tall enough to look around up there and it grew to stealing things (food), and it got out of control FAST.

We could catch him in the act and he would stay up (front feet on the counter) till you got within reaching distance. He would actually stay there and watch as you approached.

Finally resorted to the e-collar (remote trainer) and set him up a couple of times with yummy treats on the counter. Left the room but could still see in the kitchen. It was like fishing with live bait, only moments before he'd jump up.

Now he seems to think the counters are electric and he stays off them.
 

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With fosters that countersurfed, I let them drag a leash around with a prong. I leave something tempting on the counter and then give a swift correction when they try to hop up. This doesn't teach them not to countersurf when you're not there though. You just have to put the food out of reach when you're gone.
 

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A cattle prod, also called a stock prod, is a handheld device commonly used to make cattle or other livestock move by striking or poking them, or in the case of a Hot-Shot-type prod, through a relatively high-voltage, low-current electric shock.

Just kidding:). I have no idea how to discourage this behavior unless you were physically there when he does it, then you could correct on the spot. Curious to see what others say.
 

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Work on leave it and once it is mastered use it just before walking away from food- it really does work even if your not there. My lab was a terrible counter surfer until we initiated the leave it command with food and slowly but surely he began to respect my food resources even when out of the room. I can and do leave food on my counters, tables, night stand, or wherever I am eating and when I walk away I give a simple leave it and he does. The GSD is 14 months and 99% there....she did steal some pork chops a few months back but none since then:)
 

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Work on leave it and once it is mastered use it just before walking away from food- it really does work even if your not there. My lab was a terrible counter surfer until we initiated the leave it command with food and slowly but surely he began to respect my food resources even when out of the room. I can and do leave food on my counters, tables, night stand, or wherever I am eating and when I walk away I give a simple leave it and he does. The GSD is 14 months and 99% there....she did steal some pork chops a few months back but none since then:)
:rofl: Never heard that term before. **whew** I'm catching a cramp!
 

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Rem started doing the same thing - I've taught him "off." It's very simple, say "off" firmly, treat and praise when he obeys. But here's the trick - I also taught him "up." Maybe it'll come in handy one day, but really I just wanted to drive the "off" concept home - if he knows what up is, he knows even more what off means. And it enables me to practice by telling him up and then off. He's mastered it. He'll still attempt to jump up, but a quick "off" and he's right back on the floor. He's only 4 months old, so I expect with more training, he'll stop it completely soon.

Combined with leave it, it's highly effective. So even if he does jump up, "leave it" and then "off" will ensure he not only gets down, but doesn't touch anything. Rem knows leave it well, so he has never eaten or grabbed anything off of a high surface. He just investigates, xD.

I would know if it happened if I were in another room because I'd hear it - he's a big, oaf of a puppy and he makes a lot of noise just doing anything. I have never heard him do it when I wasn't around. But I also make sure I do not leave food of any kind on my counters. But I have so many other pets that such a thing would be foolish of me, anyway. I have left chews and stuff on them - and off must work, because he knows they're there, and leaves them alone. If the command was a failure, I'd keep finding him with the bones, but so far, I haven't. :)

My late Great Dane, Scout, who I lost in August, truly couldn't help it - his head naturally stood taller than the countertops! He didn't even have to jump up! Always had things disappearing when he was around!
 

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we have the same problem with Riley. We leave nothing on the counter and he figured out how start opening cupboards. He has to follow us when we leave the room and if he doesnt he's crated. I've considered getting a static mat and putting it on the counter when we leave but also putting the static mat at the trashcan too so we can reliably leave him out the crate. He stays out of trouble except for the counter surfing, pantry surfing and the trash diving. hide the trash and threaten his life if he counter surfs and he's good! like a freaking teenager.
 

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Hondo is big enough that he can walk by and give our counters a serious once over - if I had left something near the edge, it would be gone. But he has never jumped up on the counter. Sometimes I will leave something tempting on the counter and tell him to leave it when he sails by. So far no counter theft going on....
 

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I have a solution. Tie a bunch of aluminum drink cans together with some string. Leave some slack between cans. Tie something tempting to the end of the string and leave it close to edge of the counter but push the cans back from the edge a ways. When the dog steals the goodie, the cans will fall on his head and bang around him. Having the "sky fall" a couple of times, in conjunction with a big yell from you should help considerably.
 

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I blame the counter surfing on my husband. He taught both of them to do it. One time he was trying to get Zella to do it and he jumped on the counter and she walked around. I wasn't home at the time and when I got home he said " let me show you how Zella can jump on the counter" I said noooo I don't want to see it and told him he's responsible for this counter surfing behavior. What a tard!
 

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you could use a throw chain to help curb her behavior, you can go to home depot and get about 6 links of chain, go home put some treats on the counter, leave the room but stay where you can see her, and when she's about to jump you throw the chain NEAR her, be sure not to hit her with it. or if you're not comfortable using a throw chain you can use a can of pennies and shake when she's about to jump, make sure you treat her when she leaves it alone so she learns staying on the ground is much yummier than the things on the counter.
 

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You can only really teach your dog to not counter surf when you are right there. It's almost impossible to teach them not to do it reliably when you aren't. If you don't want something eaten, you have to put it safely away.
What she said. While it may be possible with training to get him to leave food alone when there's nobody around, making sure that you don't leave food within reach is a 100% reliable way to ensure that he's not rewarded for counter surfing.

Keefer used to be bad about putting his paws up on the counter - he had horrid manners around food when he was a puppy. When I was busy cooking and couldn't watch him every second (I literally couldn't turn my back on the counter to stir something on the stove, and I have a VERY small kitchen), I put him away. In the meantime I taught him impulse control around food and trained the "leave it" command and "off", and what "ah ah" meant. :D

Then I started leaving him out while I was in the kitchen, and if he put his paws up I said "off" and gave him a hip check to bump him off. If he stretched his head up to sniff at the edge of the counter I told him "leave it". You can also boundary train your dog to stay just outside the kitchen while there's food around. I'd still remove accessible food if you leave the room though.

Now Keef is fine in the kitchen, he wouldn't dream of putting his paws up when I'm there, and he always follows me when I leave a room, so I actually could leave stuff right there on the counter and he'd walk away from it. Halo is another story. She knows not to counter surf when I'm there, but she cannot be trusted in the kitchen if there's food around. Even if I call her with me if I have to leave the room she'll double back, the sneaky little snot, lol! :nono:

So I either put the food in the fridge, in the far inside corner of the counter, or up on the shelf in my greenhouse window, the only places she can't get to - managing the environment so she has no opportunity to fail.
 

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I taught my dog first to stay out of the kitchen when I was in there and I taught him leave it. He is 14 and I can leavea steak on the floor and he will not touch it. I trust him as I have and do it all the time. I like to eat on the floor a lot them get up to use bathroom and he wont move. He is very very good.
 

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I had this problem with Skylar when she was younger. Basically, if we didn't leave food where she could get it, she'd jump on the empty counter, not be rewarded with the food sitting there, and just lost interest. I might have been lucky, but all we have to do is keep food away from her. My family throws a fit because they "shouldn't have to worry about a dog eating their darn food" but, that's the way it is- and it's really not hard to do haha. If we're eating something off a plate and she comes around, we tell her leave it, it helps to teach them that!

Now she leaves hotdogs on her paws and right in front of her nose, haha.
 

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What she said. While it may be possible with training to get him to leave food alone when there's nobody around, making sure that you don't leave food within reach is a 100% reliable way to ensure that he's not rewarded for counter surfing.
I have to respectfully disagree. Dante went from never on the counter to realizing he could get up there and being caught on it all day long non stop, back to back corrections.

The e-collar halted it almost immediately.

The problem with all the corrections listed above for a determined counter surfer is that, as pointed out, the dog figures out quickly that if you aren't there or aren't within quick reach, he can surf and steal things. We left the room entirely and Dante had no idea we could even see him. Thus, he doesn't steal when we leave the kitchen anymore.
 

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I have to respectfully disagree. Dante went from never on the counter to realizing he could get up there and being caught on it all day long non stop, back to back corrections.
I don't think we're saying different things here. My point was that if the OP doesn't want her dog to steal food off the counter the best way to assure that won't ever happen is to never leave food on the counter unattended. Her dog is continually being rewarded for counter surfing because he's been able to steal food. Remove the food, you remove the reward. I didn't say it was a 100% reliable way to keep him off the counters, just that it guarantees he can't be rewarded with food when he does it.

It sounds like for Dante, going on the counter is self rewarding, food or no food, which would be a separate issue. He's having fun! :rofl: The e-collar is apparently making it "not fun" anymore, so the behavior has extinguished. Do you know if he still tries it when you're not around to correct him?

ETA: Never mind that last question, I just saw that you already answered it. :)
 

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I have to respectfully disagree. Dante went from never on the counter to realizing he could get up there and being caught on it all day long non stop, back to back corrections.

The e-collar halted it almost immediately.

The problem with all the corrections listed above for a determined counter surfer is that, as pointed out, the dog figures out quickly that if you aren't there or aren't within quick reach, he can surf and steal things. We left the room entirely and Dante had no idea we could even see him. Thus, he doesn't steal when we leave the kitchen anymore.

So true, I did the same thing with several of my dogs and the great thing about it is that the dog thinks the counter is bad, he has no idea you gave the correction.
 
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