How do I stop counter surfing

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How do I stop counter surfing

Postby jholly » Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:21 pm

Lewis has turned his attention to counter surfing. We started to feed him canned food and he's gotten the empty cans a few times when we forget to throw them into the recycling box. He only did this once before when we first got him about 4 years ago. Lewis is larger than the standard for a Britt. When he is on his hind legs his head can almost touch our range hood. Since Bailey's death (Good Bye Bailey, I love you) on Jan. 28th I thought Lewis seemed to cope very well with losing his playmate. But now he's bored without Bailey and finds our kitchen counters amusing.

How can I stop him from counter surfing?

Today (Sunday Feb 26) when DH and I came back from shopping, Lewis had managed to get the kitchen garbage out from underneath the kitchen sink and spread it all over the kitchen. I don't know how he managed to get the cupboard under the sink open. He's becoming a very bad dog lately. I don't know if he's acting out because of the loss of Bailey or he's bored or it's anxiety because we aren't home with him. Right now he's running up and down the stairs, I'm in the basement and DH has gone to work. Almost at the end of my rope coping with Lewis' antics!
Last edited by jholly on Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How do I stop counter surfing

Postby janet909 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:44 am

Two thoughts come into my mind though one involves a vibration collar which I know a lot of people are against using. We trained two of our britts to the e-collar because they HAD to be trained to run off leash but not bolt. We used the electric function in the early days but quickly moved to vibration only. We are lucky that they don't counter surf but always thought if they did, we would use the vibration function to give a little bit of negative reinforcement. Of course, you have to be there and catch them in the act. You also have to be proficient with the use of an e-collar....that is imperative.

The other thought I have is some counter surfing mouse traps that I bought for when we babysit the neighbors dog who is an awful counter surfer. If you're interested, I can find the name and website. It's a regular mouse trap that you put on the counter but it has a big red, plastic flipper. When they jump up on the counter, they trigger the trap and it flies off the counter creating quite the scare. If their paw is near the trap, the flipper prevents them from getting snapped with the actual trap. I have triggered it with my own hand and know that the dog WILL NOT get injured in any way. It just scares them providing negative reinforcement. They are (or at least were) around $5 for a pack of two traps. You can set them up when you leave the house. Of course, some dogs will come back despite being startled but for some, it is quite effective.
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Re: How do I stop counter surfing

Postby Ron » Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:42 pm

On the mouse Traps, If they know how set the traps off. What can you use??? I have seen Chance do this.( set the traps off) He gets on the counters and the table!!! :twisted: :twisted:
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Re: How do I stop counter surfing

Postby jholly » Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:42 am

Hi Janet

Can you send the website for the mouse traps? I hope I can get them shipped to Canada. Luckily Lewis doesn't jump up on the counters. I don't think there is room for his whole body up there :D
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Re: How do I stop counter surfing

Postby Cindy » Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:46 am

I think it's called the Snappy Trainer: http://www.snappytrainer.com/
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Re: How do I stop counter surfing

Postby Lisa » Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:23 am

Counter surfing is a really hard thing to train a dog not to do, once they realize that food can be found up there. You need to be able to catch your dog in the act to be able to correct them, and usually, dogs are sneaky about it.

I honestly just gave up on training Buster not to counter surf. I've taught him to do or not do lots of things, but in this one, I have just had zero success. The variable reward is too great...he may luck out and get a huge jackpot and I just can't compete with that without resorting to some pretty harsh corrections, which I prefer not to do. Instead, I've decided to just manage the behavior by making sure that my counters are cleared off, and the cabinets have child locks on them to keep Buster from opening the cabinets. My kitchen counters seriously do not have anything edible on them, unless I am standing right there, cooking or something. Absolutely nothing is left out...because if it is, I know that there's a better than 90% chance that Buster will get it and eat it.
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Re: How do I stop counter surfing

Postby Barb Wright » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:11 am

Dog counter surfing is really quite easy to control.....all humans in the house will make sure that there are no food items left on any surfaces, counters, dining/end/coffee tables, etc. Penalties for humans who leave food out to attract the dog should be established, tough penalities that really "hurt". Dogs won't surf if there is no reward, it's as simple as that :wink:
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Re: How do I stop counter surfing

Postby janet909 » Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:17 pm

Yes, Snappy Trainer is the website. I honestly can't praise their success because I'm using it on the neighbors dog if and when I remember. Therefore, if I remember, I'm securing the counter first anyway and so he doesn't seem to set the traps off. I agree that no food on the counter is the best solution. I'm just lucky that, while they do other "naughty" behaviors, they don't seem to have learned that one. It might be worth trying though.
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Re: How do I stop counter surfing

Postby AuntieMom » Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:52 am

I set up a pyramid of cans once because one of our dogs liked to counter walk. That cured him.

Barb is right, though. We have been trained now to not leave anything within reach. :P
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Re: How do I stop counter surfing

Postby PCTech01 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:01 pm

I have not had the need to work with OSCAR on this problem (should start a new thead about kitchen garbage can surfing) :lol: but I had my trainer tell me about putting Duck Tape down on the counter with the sticky side up. It seems Man's Best Friend doesn't like getting his/her paw hairs caught in the tape, particularly when they move their paws to get a better sniff :!:

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