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I have a new challenge with Sasha who is 6 months old now. She's a big girl and very food driven. Her latest "trick" is to put her paws up on the kitchen counter to check out what we are cooking. Yesterday she stole three baby cucumbers while my back was turned. Any suggestions on how to break her of this? While I'm at it, she's still stealing socks and underwear from our laundry basket and destroying them. I wish I could catch her in the act of taking things.
 

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I will tell you what I did with Benny. ( that is not Abbylynn in the pic ) He was doing this constantly!

Every time he jumped up and put his paws on the counter ... I gave him an " Off " command. Then a " Sit " command. When he sat I gave him a treat. He soon learned after about a week that sitting was more rewarding than standing on the counter tops.

As you can see the other two dogs were looking at him like he was crazy! Lol! :)



For things I did not want chewed ... I kept them put of reach and gave him a replacement such as a toy or distracted him with a game of tug.
 

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I have a new challenge with Sasha who is 6 months old now. She's a big girl and very food driven. Her latest "trick" is to put her paws up on the kitchen counter to check out what we are cooking.
Food stealing is obviously a self-rewarding behavior, especially if your dog is highly food motivated. The best way to curb counter-surfing is to follow a two prong approach. (1) FirmlY correct your dog EVERY time she put her paws up on a counter, table, or ANYPLACE ELSE that contains or MIGHT CONTAIN food. Do this every time she puts her paws up. Teach her that OFF means OFF NOW. (2) Remove food - or make it inaccessible - from every place that she might get to when no one sees her.

This will curb that behavior, it won't cure it. Nor will it do anything about other types of food stealing - you'll have to deal with those on a case-by-case basis. A highly food motivated dog is always looking for food - that's what the term means.
 

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Thanks for your ideas.

A highly food motivated dog is always looking for food - that's what the term means.
Sasha always acts as if she is starving. I did discover that she had tapeworms; the Safeguard I dewormed her with didn't treat that, but she's good now. I wonder if her appetite will settle now or if food will always be her thing. Her weight is good so I won't give in to her desire for more food.
 

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Try YouTube and search for Kikopup Counter Surfing....she's got a great tutorial on dealing with counter surfing (sorry my internet is a little slow this morning to find the link...ugh). It helped us a lot, although we didn't keep it up as long as we should have so Caeda still counter surfs a little bit. If we are leaving the room we push things to the back, and if we are there we tell her off and it generally works.
We have a laundry issue too. We are now pretty well trained at making sure that the laundry is well in the hamper. We still miss the odd thing though, so I would recommend training a "leave it" specifically with laundry, though what I did was to NOT use a command, if she walked by without grabbing the sock or whatever, she gets a treat. Dirty socks are pretty irresistable though! I've also worked on "Give" specifically with laundry, so at very least if she does give in and grab a sock it isn't a fight to get it back.
Good luck, these two behaviours I've found to be quite the pain in the butt to extinguish. Not perfect for us, but we've got it to an absolutely reasonable level for our household.
 

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Try YouTube and search for Kikopup Counter Surfing....she's got a great tutorial
Thank you!

Actually, Sasha's level is ok for me as far as laundry goes. She likes finding socks laying around (I have three teenagers) and bringing them to me if I'm home. If I'm not home, however, the item is fair game for destruction and Hubby has zero tolerance for that, so I need to work on it.
 

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Sasha always acts as if she is starving. I did discover that she had tapeworms; the Safeguard I dewormed her with didn't treat that, but she's good now. I wonder if her appetite will settle now or if food will always be her thing. Her weight is good so I won't give in to her desire for more food.
I doubt she'll ever be less than OMGIMSTARVINGFEEDMENOW! at all times. Food motivated dogs are easier to train, but harder overall to manage. My dog manages to look starving while eating.
Actually, Sasha's level is ok for me as far as laundry goes. She likes finding socks laying around (I have three teenagers) and bringing them to me if I'm home. If I'm not home, however, the item is fair game for destruction and Hubby has zero tolerance for that, so I need to work on it.

The issue isn't Sasha, it's the kids. Either teach the kids not to leave socks around or teach Hubby to zero tolerance the kids. I mean, c'mon, the kids are human, the dog is a dog. I'd expect the kids to understand a little better. The rule at my house is if you leave a toy on the floor, the dog will get it an destroy it and that's that. No crying, no getting another toy. It only took my nieces and nephews one destroyed toy each to figure that out. (Although I suppose socks aren't as compelling as toys.)
 

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The issue isn't Sasha, it's the kids. Either teach the kids not to leave socks around or teach Hubby to zero tolerance the kids.
Agreed. The kids are teenagers and their brains are not quite what they should be yet. ;-) Hubby does zero tollerance the kids, however he believes that kids are human and dogs are below that in the pecking order of the home and that dogs should not rule us. Socks are more compelling than toys when they are dirty and stinky. (Remember, I have teenagers.)
 

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Agreed. The kids are teenagers and their brains are not quite what they should be yet. ;-) Hubby does zero tollerance the kids, however he believes that kids are human and dogs are below that in the pecking order of the home and that dogs should not rule us. Socks are more compelling than toys when they are dirty and stinky. (Remember, I have teenagers.)
But, even the under-developed teenage mind is more competent than that of a dog. And, finding/chewing/destroying a stinky sock, just like food, is a self rewarding behavior, because the dog enjoys it. When there is no one home to reinforce the expectations of "leaving it" it's pretty much a lost cause.
 
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