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  1. #1
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Default How to correct counter surfing/food stealing?

    I have a 5 month old Pyr who is actually very sweet and well behaved in general. My biggest problem with him is reaching up to the kitchen counter to nab anything he can that's edible. I can get him to sit if I'm prepping food but as soon as I turn my back he's up there getting into whatever he can. Any suggestions on how to stop this behavior? Penny can with loud shake doesn't faze him. Neither does a verbal scolding.

  2. #2
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Christi's Avatar

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    My boy is a notorious counter surfer, when he was young and just didn't care if i was in the kitchen and he did it I found that giving him a nice meaty soup bone in the living room was enough to keep him out of the kitchen. Now that he is an adult he is far more sneaky about it. He waits till I am in another room and goes scrounging for crumbs. I eventually had to train the humans not to leave food on the counter.

  3. #3
    Road Dawg rx4bills's Avatar

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    Wow, a 5 month Pyr and if that's your worse concern, I am envious! Our Kali is 5.5 months and really keeps me on my toes, when she's not standing on them.

    When Kali was younger, maybe 3-4 months she went through a period of realizing she had a pretty long body, and if she stood up she could look onto the counter. I started with positive response action, telling her to sit (reward), or down (reward), when I caught her doing it. Minimal results, maybe I confused her as we already were doing exercises with treats for sit and down, and she may not have connected it to the counter surfing. I even tried stepping, gently, on her rear paws when she stood up, no use. So next I started slapping the countertop with my hand (it's granite) as soon as she put her paws up. Yes, a loud noise, along with a firm "no". Got her attention. Enticed her to go on the counter again, treats on counter as bait, slapped the counter again. Now, I understand this is a bit on the negative, but the way I look at it, I still reward her for sitting near the counter, and she does associate the counter surfing with a uncomfortable response. She can learn pretty fast if she wants (Pyr side of her). Can't trick her more than 2-3 times, she remembers.

    Anyway, others will offer suggestions. I'm new at the Pyr kingdom of fun, and still learning, but I have never tried so hard to accomplish a task as this pup training. I retired early so time is ok, but I'm teaching myself 10x more than I am teaching Kali.

    Oh, btw she hasn't been on the counter in weeks, and I don't currently consider it a problem.

  4. #4
    Road Dawg rx4bills's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christi View Post
    My boy is a notorious counter surfer, when he was young and just didn't care if i was in the kitchen and he did it I found that giving him a nice meaty soup bone in the living room was enough to keep him out of the kitchen. Now that he is an adult he is far more sneaky about it. He waits till I am in another room and goes scrounging for crumbs. I eventually had to train the humans not to leave food on the counter.
    Oh yes, keeping counters clean and less attractions is step one! Our house is a bit messy right now, and I tend to forget what an orderly home looks like!

  5. #5
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    Ren told me at 10 weeks old that he was aspiring to be a countersurfer... He kept practicing... I think he was just about 4 months when he finally got his feet squarely on the counter...

    Some people put a baking pan filled with water and place it just over the edge of the counter so that when the dog goes for the counter, the pan will flip and water will spill and the pan clatter to the floor hopefully in a spectacular manner.

    Others use a scat mat to deter the behavior.

    Another way is to put a camera in your kitchen and leave, then when the dog goes for the counter, come in behind him and make a big ruckus, such as bang two pots together. The trick is to catch the dog just as it gets on the counter a few times in a row so that the dog associates feet on counter result in unpleasant consequences.

    Lucky for us, once Ren got big enough to countersurf, the novelty seem to have wear off. He's now 7 months and while he still does it, he's not very persistent about it.

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