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My pup is just big enough to reach his head up and grab stuff off the edge of the counter tops. As he grows he'll be able to reach most of the counter top. He doesn't do it when I'm anywhere near to catch him. But if I go to the other room for more than 30 seconds he always has stuff from off of the counter. Any suggestions to stop him when I can't catch him in the act.
 

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I had a counter-surfer. The only reliable way to avoid it was to eliminate the opportunities - to keep stuff truly out of reach. Otherwise the behavior is self-rewarding.
 

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I had a counter-surfer. The only reliable way to avoid it was to eliminate the opportunities - to keep stuff truly out of reach. Otherwise the behavior is self-rewarding.
Pretty much, unfortunately. Some dogs are just worse than others... We'll probably have to gate off our next dog every time we have food out as it's going to be a large breed.
 

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What everyone else said. If there is stuff on the counter and the dog can reach it they will. The behavior then becomes self rewarding and very difficult to stop.

Clear your counters off. Nothing on them to steal, then the dog will not go on them to steal.
 

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Yup, you have to keep food off the counter when you aren't there to supervise. It also helps to block access to the kitchen or teach the dog a "place" command when you're in the kitchen to completely eliminate all opportunities to grab food and self-reward. Or, when you have to leave the room, take the dog with you and reward him for following you and not going in the kitchen to grab stuff.

I also found that rewarding heavily for keeping feet on the ground in the kitchen helps. I would give my dog little scraps of what I was cooking, but I would only deliver the reward in his food bowl, or on his bed.
 

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It's not food. Its everything else, wallet, paper towels, etc. Hes only chewed the wallet. Everything else he just hides in his little corner.
Same idea. Keep stuff off the counter. Make sure he has plenty of chews on the ground. I imagine this behavior will go away as he matures, but until then you simply must eliminate the opportunity to steal.
 
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