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Hi folks - it's been a while - I hope you're all doing well.

Astro, our 18 month old male, is tall enough to eat things off our kitchen counter as well as our kitchen table. Needless to say, my wife isn't thrilled - especially as of yesterday when she baked a dozen muffins, stepped outside to chat with our neighbor, and then returned to find 8 of them missing. Any ideas on how to stop this behavior?

Thanks,
Tim
 

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Good morning, Tim, nice to have you back!

I have read about many good ideas for this problem on this forum...I know that folks will chime in, but since I don't have any serious problem with counter surfing, I don't have many answers.

If you check the archives of this forum for "counter surfing" I think you will find some great threads...in the meantime, here is an article that does address counter surfing (see #2) and I think that it is good to understand why dogs do what they do...this article might help:

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Conten ... C=0&A=2262
 
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This just became a recent issue with Bella, so we are going to try the 'mouse trap' method soon. You put some mouse traps on the countertop and lure them into surfing. The snap scares them away. I don't think they should or will snap closed on them.
I tried the cookie sheet method (balance a cookie sheet on the edge of the counter, and it falls with a loud bang when they jump up). Sad to say, it did not work, except now when I bake cookies, Bella runs away with her tail between her legs. :lol:
I look forward to more helpful hints.
 

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The good news is: counter surfing is easy to stop. The bad news: You have to keep things off the counter :) Counter surfing is self rewarding. They learn that by jumping up on the counter, they get the most amazing treats! The easiest way to stop it is to not ever leave anything on the counter. I know, easier said than done! But really, if they aren't successful at getting whatever is on the counter, the counter surfing will end. You can also just make sure that food is in a tighly sealed container (Tupperware) so if the dog does get it off the counter, it won't be able to open it up and eat it. The cookie sheets with metal spoons on them, or pennies in a can used to startle them can help, but the clean counter method works much better in my opinion.

Bridget, Summer, and Duke
 

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I agree Bridget. It is easier said than done, but really I think the only way of stopping counting surfering besides telling them no 100 times a day is just keep the counter clean....but I might be wrong.
 

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One of my doods SNEAKS (I mean it...stealthy and silent, like a cat) up to the counter right behind my back and takes things. So far, no major disasters, but my old dog (when he was young) once ate a pound of cream cheese and was extremely sick for a couple of weeks. My long term approach is to teach the doods to keep their noses down whenever they're around people food. I just tell them, "Nose down" and they know what it means. This is a very simple command that serves a number of purposes....but by learning that they're not supposed to demonstrate interest in people food, you end up with a dog who won't steal off the table, the coffee table, the barbeque, the kitchen counters, etc. However it takes a very long time to for them to be reliable about this. In the meantime I set them up with noise makers (the "bagel bopper" is a good one. You tie a bagel to a big can or anything that will crash and not cause harm. Put the bagel near the counter edge.) and cayenne temptations (butter wrappers or cheese wrappers coated with cayenne). Every now and then we have a problem - yesterday Grace jumped up on the counter where there was a small juice glass. It shattered on the floor and before I could reach her she had a large shard of glass in her mouth. She dropped it, but had cut her tongue on it. Thankfully it stopped bleeding right away and no serious harm was done....but it was scary. Hopefully she'll remember it, but I think you just have to keep working on this, and like everybody else says, keep the counters clear.
 
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