Food is the most important thing for a dog. Almost all the dogs completely love eating delicious food, whereas some are even foodies. Thus, they move a step further and snatch every opportunity to eat food.
One of the opportunities for dogs is eating from the counter. This is also known as counter surfing. What is that? Well, let us understand that with an example. Suppose, you place some meat on the kitchen counter and leave for a few seconds. When you come back you find the dog on the counter, eating the meat or stealing the meat. This can be extremely annoying if it happens regularly. Moreover, training the dog to stop eating from the counter is one of the most challenging processes.
In this blog, we will share the most effective methods to train the dog to not eat from the counter. In short, you have to change the perception of the dog for the counter.
Why do they steal food from the counter?
The reasons are quite obvious. Dogs love to eat a lot of delicious food. Moreover, they have the instinct to smell out food and eat it. This is one of the natural behavior of a dog to survive. It can also happen if the diet of the dog is improper. However, there are a few chances of that. Below, we will discuss the methods one by one.
Where is the correct place
The first method is to train the dog to remain on the floor. Yes, this is the most common step, which is recommended by almost everyone. So, what is this method? Let us understand with an example. Suppose, you have food on the counter. Now, you are working in the kitchen with the dog beside you. The dog will surely smell out the food on the counter and will try to have a look at the counter. This is where the first step comes into play. The dog is excited and ready to jump on the counter. You have to give the command ‘Stay there.’ Keep repeating this.
However, if the dog does not listen, and still jumps on the counter, then you need to move the food aside. Move it such that the dog cannot reach it, even after jumping on the counter. Now, give the command ‘leave it,’ and ‘Stay there.’ If the dog moves away from the counter and sits on the floor, then give a treat for good behavior. However, if the dog does not move away from the counter, then do not give any treat.
You may wonder what these steps teach the dog. This method tells the dog that you can only get food if you remain away from the counter. If you jump or try to steal food from the counter, then you will not get any food.
Fix the eating point
Many dogs jump on the counter, as you do not have fixed their eating spot. Due to this, they think that they can eat anywhere and encourages them to steal from the counter. What can you do? Well, in this case, you need to fix the spot of food for the dog. For instance, somewhere near its sleeping place. Moreover, if you are giving food from the counter, then put give it at the eating place. Why? It is because all these will make the dog understand that it can get food only at the spot.
Clean the counter
You might know that after cooking some residue remains on the counter. Well, the dog may smell out that residue, and will surely jump on the counter. Moreover, the dog will lick the counter. Some believe that it is completely different from stealing food. However, it is the same as stealing food from the counter. If the dog is licking the residue, then it is getting a delicious reward for jumping on the counter. You need to clean the counter every time after cooking. Due to this, the dog will not achieve anything by jumping on the counter.
Don’t let them eat from the same plate
You need to create a boundary with the dog. Of course, you must be its best friend. However, you also must be the owner of the dog. Due to this, you must never let the dog eat from your plate. Many dog owners do this out of generosity or loving nature. However, this backfires, as the dog starts to think that it can eat from your portion. This encourages them to jump on the counter and steal your food.
Thus, a feast with the guests can be ruined within a few minutes. Keep a separate bowl for the dog. You can also have multiple bowls, as per the food you are planning to give to the dog.
It usually takes around a month to train the dog to not jump on the counter. However, you need to involve everyone in this process too. Why? Well, it will reduce the training time by a huge margin. Moreover, the dog may behave only in front of you but might jump on the counter in front of others. You need to make sure that your kid, guests, and everyone at the home is contributing to the training regime. This will teach the dog that jumping on the counter is bad, or useless.
Alright, now you know the most effective methods to train the dog to stop counter surfing. These methods were chosen based on our research and experience with various dogs. You need to make sure that you do not scold, push or hit the dog if it jumps on the counter. Instead, remove the food on the counter, and keep them away from its reach.
The basic idea is to change the perception of the dog. The dog must believe that it can get food only if he behaves. Moreover, everyone must be involved in the training and it should be consistent. If you follow all these tips consistently, then the dog will be trained within 3 weeks at max.