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How to Stop Your Dog from Counter-Surfing

June 01, 2014

Many dogs like to raid the kitchen counters, searching for any scrumptious morsel they can find. Since a dog could accidentally ingest something dangerous, you should put a stop to this behavior promptly! Learn how below from a Cambrian veterinarian.

Prevent Counter-Surfing

Consider this: if your dog is rewarded with a tasty treat every time he counter-surfs, he has every reason to keep doing it! Prevent the problem entirely by making sure there isn’t anything left on counters for him to go after. Put all human foods in closed cabinets or the refrigerator, and keep dog treats in sealed containers where your pet can’t reach them.

Make Sure Dog is Eating Properly

Some dogs counter-surf out of legitimate hunger or a nutritional deficiency. Make sure your dog is being fed properly. Ask your vet if the food you’re giving your dog is meeting his nutritional needs with a well-balanced nutrient system. Some dogs will stay fuller if they’re fed several small meals throughout the day, rather than one or two large ones, so ask your vet if a diet change may be necessary.

Keep Dog Well-Exercised

A dog that is bored or has a lot of pent-up energy may explore the counters simply for something exciting to do. Keep your dog well-exercised and mentally stimulated. Often, it can go a long way towards reducing undesirable behavior! Make sure he has plenty of chew toys and human interaction time.

Train Against the Problem

If your dog still surfs the counter, try training him not to. Every time you see him get near the counter, clap your hands and say “No!” in a firm voice. Lead him to another room and reward him with a dog treat. If you keep this up, your dog should get the hint. Ask your vet for further training advice.

Environmental Deterrents

Certain deterrent devices may shoot a blast of compressed air or play a loud noise when your dog gets near a countertop, startling him enough that he won’t get near the counter again. These products are available in some pet supply stores, so ask your veterinarian about the proper use.

Call your Cambrian vet’s office if your dog can’t seem to break the counter-surfing habit. He or she can offer more advice or put you in touch with a certified animal behaviorist.

Posted in Behavior, Dog Care