Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ozzy, my 5-month old brown Newfie, was never was one for counter-surfing, though he sometimes jumps up on our inside gates to greet me. Thank goodness for that, because Ozzy is huge! He could do a lot of damage jumping up on the counters.

My 4-month old Landseer puppy Murphy, however, is a counter-surfing pro. We've done the normal things, like clear objects from the counters as much as is possible, asked him for a mutually exclusive behavior like sitting, threw large rocks... ok, that's a lot of crap. But this behavior not only persists, it's obnoxiously prevalent. I believe it's because he has a higher energy level than Ozzy. Ozzy likes to walk around, loves tug games, and enjoys running over very short distances. Murphy seems to want to run all the time (for a Newfie). My Aussies have a much higher drive to run and chase, of course. So I can't help but think that Murphy is acting out a bit from frustrated energy levels. He wants to play, but the other dogs aren't interested (and I'm not playing right then, or I'm not home), so he counter-surfs. This is just a guess.

Unfortunately, it's a self-rewarding behavior, so ignoring it doesn't work. I need to train Murphy to stay off the counters, and to train both Ozzy and Murphy to stop jumping up on the gates. Most training I have a good idea of what to do, but training dogs to stop doing something isn't always easy, particularly in cases like jumping and barking, where the behavior rewards itself.

While I can run Murphy some more to help manage his energy, it isn't wise to work a Newfie very hard in their first year. Due to their incredible rate of growth, this can cause serious joint issues. Both my breeder and articles/books have agreed on this point. Any advice?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,043 Posts
Is this happening while you are at home with the puppies, or while you are out?

If you are at home, there are a few things you could do.

One (a very awkward thing to do with a large dog, but), you can tether the pup to your waist to make sure he is being supervised at all times. This also provides you with an opportunity to intervene as needed.

Second, along with the first, never leave them unsupervised. When you can't supervise, confine.

Third, place an interactive camera on the counter so you can catch him in the act, and intervene.

Fourth, Teach place, whenever you are in the kitchen. Use a towel or dog bed. When you are in the kitchen, they are in the kitchen, off to the side, on a mat. They don't leave the mat. Any time he heads towards the counter area, claim the area and place him back on his mat. Over time, he should develop good kitchen habits.

Fifth, a deterrent such as an office chair mat or carpet runner (with the plastic spines on the underside) can be placed in front of the counter. It should feel uncomfortable enough to deter them, (though, that is not always the case).

Sixth, never tried, but as a last option, you can develop a contraption that trips off and makes noise when he jumps on the counter.

I favor #'s 1 & 2, but #4 is important in teaching good manners anyway. #3 could work as well.

JMO
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. I'll attempt the "place" or "mat" command. I've never taught this before, so it should be interesting. I actually have cameras installed so I can watch my dogs while I'm away. A $5 app on my iPhone and some web cams work magic. With counters clear of objects, this is safe to do. They are confined in a "puppy-proofed" section of my house, and they're both house-trained to use the doggie door. Someone else mentioned that office mat idea. I don't have one, but I'll consider it. I've picked those up. Not painful, but not fun, either. It should serve as a good deterrent. Both puppies are far enough along in their training to be left in their area of the house safely. I don't come home to messes on the floor or chewed up items. Still, it's a little irritating to have to clear all the counters off before I leave.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
It's not about teaching a command, it's about teaching the behavior. You can get your dog to go to the mat without uttering a single word. Worry about getting the behavior first, then attach a word to it.
By "command" I wasn't implying speech, but the behavior itself. Actually, I tend to favor hand gestures or body language over spoken commands.

3doglady, thanks for the link. I'll try that tonight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,415 Posts
scat mat.

Or block off kitchen from them, and teach them that the kitchen is off limits.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,674 Posts
Our dog can't even get into the couch (stubby doxie legs!!), but one of our cats in particular is a counter scavenger. We have a motion sensor can of compressed air/noise thing that we put on the counter if there's something there we really want to keep him away from. It's called "Stay Away" -- there's also a similar product called "SScat" but it doesn't make the noise. When the cat jumps onto the counter, the thing goes "BEEEEP" then lets out a small burst of compressed air, which scares the bejeezits out of them and they get right down. I imagine it would similarly startle a dog, since it makes my husband and I jump when we accidentally set it off. Now the cats just have to see that it is set up on the counter and they don't jump up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,927 Posts
This vid is specifically about counter surfing: Solving counter surfing She also has a vid on teaching leave it without intimidation....very helpful. I've used this technique and it has helped with a fair number of behaviours.

Our dog can't even get into the couch (stubby doxie legs!!), but one of our cats in particular is a counter scavenger. We have a motion sensor can of compressed air/noise thing that we put on the counter if there's something there we really want to keep him away from. It's called "Stay Away" -- there's also a similar product called "SScat" but it doesn't make the noise. When the cat jumps onto the counter, the thing goes "BEEEEP" then lets out a small burst of compressed air, which scares the bejeezits out of them and they get right down. I imagine it would similarly startle a dog, since it makes my husband and I jump when we accidentally set it off. Now the cats just have to see that it is set up on the counter and they don't jump up.
HAHAHA, we've got one of these too, scares us more than the cats, though ours doesn't beep. There is that PHHHHHTTT high pressure air noise though. It does work for the dog a bit, though she tends to sit down, look at it and cock her head like..."what the $^&*( was that!" and go back to the counter once she knows to expect it. (the vid technique helped much more!). It doesn't do much for the cats, like yours they see it and don't go up...but if they don't WOW! Chaos!

Side note, for the Ssscat, you can usually use a regular compressed air can like the ones for computer cleaning.....just pull the trigger off and put the Ssscat on, much cheaper than the "official" refills ;)

For the camera thing if there is a way to get your voice into your house (through the phone app perhaps) so you can say "off" or "hey" or just make a noise that might help too.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
Ibizan Hound's are counter surfing pro's, especially since they can leap onto counters with ease lol! We leave nothing on the counters that they want. If I am cooking gates are closed or she is crated. Our pyr went through a counter surfing stage, we did the same we do now, keeping everything off the counters and counters always cleaned and she was never allowed in the kitchen unsupervised.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top