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Counter surfing

(21 Posts)
spudballoo Wed 12-Dec-12 17:31:41

Any ideas about how to prevent it? My puppy is now 9 months and is very tall. His nose is almost level with the kitchen work surfaces, and is a bit higher than the dining room table. He was really very good as a younger puppy but is really putting us through our paces as a teenager.

He will snaffle anything left within his reach is no one is around. So we don't leave anything around, but if the children leave the remains of their tea on the dining room table and I take more than 10 seconds to clear it...he's up on the chairs so he can reach their leftovers. He will also steal pens/pencils etc that they leave on the table.

Things reached crisis point this week when my husband found him lying on the kitchen work surface (I kid you not)...snout in a small flip bin I use for teabags etc. He was holding it with his front paws and had one back leg on the counter, and one dangling down. Sigh.

I'm at a loss to know what to do. The house is immaculate as I am trying to deal with it by prevention rather than cure, but there will always be bits and bobs that get left. And if he's going to vault on to the kitchen worksurfaces for a used teabag, well....

If we catch him, we sternly say 'No'. Frankly if he's caught he will stop it any way as he knows he's up to no good.

What to do? I can't see him outgrowing it as the stakes are too high, it's worth risking a ticking off for a leftover sausage etc. And he's not going to get any smaller, he won't be fully grown for another 4-5 months.

HELP! Thank you.

shoutymcshoutsmum Wed 12-Dec-12 20:29:28

My house is so much tidy now. I can't leave anything on counters now either. So time-consuming and so tricky. mine is one year old. Can't advise, just sympathise.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 12-Dec-12 20:34:15

I have a counter surfer, never been able to stop her. I think it's pointless trying to be honest.

It's easier to remember to not leave food about. Even dd has soon learnt to put leftovers in the fridge or microwave if she thinks she might want it later.

We've had to get a brabentia touch top bin to stop the dog emptying the bin every day.

flowerytaleofNewYork Wed 12-Dec-12 20:38:17

Can't help you but await answers. I have a counter-surfing/kids-tea-pinching 8mo springer spaniel. He has this week learned how to open our touch top bin and is frequently found with his head inside. hmmangry

GrimmaTheNome Wed 12-Dec-12 20:43:22

Get a dachshund next time - such woes are unknown to me grin (DDog has taught DH not to leave mugs of tea on the floor so that was sort of useful)

Would dog-repelling spray help - douse your teabag caddy in it anyway maybe?

doglover Wed 12-Dec-12 21:06:43

No answers. Awaiting your words of wisdom!!

PurpleFrog Wed 12-Dec-12 21:15:24

Our work surfaces are very cluttered blush - the dog would take his life in his hands if he tried to counter surf. I think I cured him of all thoughts of that, though, when I threw a toy for him when he was a puppy and managed to sweep off a whole lot of empty packaging destined for the recycle bin on to his head! Oddly enough, the dog gave that area a wide berth for a few weeks after that! grin

twojues Wed 12-Dec-12 21:15:47

I have had a golden retriever who never, ever counter surfed and a lab cross who never has. They never, ever went upstairs either and I have trouble getting the lab to go upstairs to have a bath.

I now have a toller!! He thinks everything in the house is his, he can go wherever he wants. I tried to train him the same as the retriever and lab. However, he doesn't listen. I'm sure his thinking is - well, the cats go on the counter, so can I. The cats go upstairs on the beds, so can I.

Good luck with training your dog, let us know if you succeed smile

spudballoo Wed 12-Dec-12 21:22:34

Hmmm.....as I suspected. No easy cures! Apart from filing his legs down grin

He thinks he owns the place. he's definitely a dog with attitude and I'm constantly having to ensure he, erm, knows he's a dog.

So, an immaculate house it is then huh? Ok...if you say so..... [grin}

onlyoneboot Wed 12-Dec-12 22:05:36

My newish rescue dog is an expert counter surfer, nothing can be left out. She'd never lived in a home before so I guess everything is fair game and thinks it's fine to walk across the kitchen table, cleaning up after dinner! Obviously I'm teaching her otherwise. One piece of advice that a trainer gave me was to put tape along the edge of the work surfaces, sticky side up, some dogs hate the sensation on their paws apparently and it's enough to put them off!?

Four greyhounds here - all of whom are expert, determined ninja surfers. No cure. You simply learn to adapt. Clean worksurfaces. Nothing left out or unattended even for a nanosecond. Hound 1 recently nabbed a pigeon pie I had just taken out of the fridge ready to warm through <sobs> - I turned my back for a second. Looked round and the sod was up on his hind legs with his long pointy nose buried in my pie. I said some rude words. Entirely my own fault.

All our regular visitors are also fully hound-trained and know not to leave food items at hound height.

dwagdays Thu 13-Dec-12 10:45:49

Great dane and wolfhound here who will lick the crumbs off the bread board...

What we have done is given up on the idea of believing training will overcome greed.

Have lots of chopping boards or store them side up so everytime you do food prep you are on a clean surface.

Keep a high shelf or similar empty to be used as a place you can store food as you get stuff out of the fridge etc.

Get some food domes, IKEA do cheap ones and they are useful not just for cakes.

dwagdays Thu 13-Dec-12 10:46:40

Oh and put any plate on worktop that looks clean, in the dishwasher just in case...

flowerytaleofNewYork Thu 13-Dec-12 10:50:34

We did start clicking and treating him for sitting down nicely when the boys are eating, and it works to an extent, but I still have to watch him like a hawk and be ready to pounce if he jumps up.

Ultimately, however much he likes the treats I give him, a cheese sandwich from DS2s plate is a much better prize.

Might try the sticky tape tip though, thanks for that.

Floralnomad Thu 13-Dec-12 10:51:56

We had a ridgeback X who took everything and anything and swallowed it whole to ensure he got it ! We never solved it other than not leaving anything out . spud your dog sounds fab ! I hope your OH took a photo of him on the work top with his tea bag! Fortunately our current dog is too small to reach and too polite to take without asking.

shoutymcshoutsmum Thu 13-Dec-12 11:17:28

My worst mistake was leaving a dozen freshly baked cupcakes on a wire rack to cool...

pinkbraces Thu 13-Dec-12 12:29:07

I have no wise words whatsover, but you have really cheered me up smile

My Doodle doesnt counter surf but will eat anything she can get hold of, once a pack of 8 sausages, she swallowed whole. She then proceeded to throw them all back up, still whole, I could have put them on the BBQ and no-one would have noticed. (I didnt)

Flora mine did that with a victoria sponge!

OnaPromise Thu 13-Dec-12 16:54:15

I've got a gate on the kitchen. (greyhound)

Ah join the surfers club. Prevention is the only way. Someone said dogs are gamblers and if it pays off once in a while they're hooked. Humans now in strict training regime but he still managed to grab a bit of pie two days ago. Sod.

Stiefeliblue Thu 13-Dec-12 22:09:49

This worked for my Dog. Get empty tins and a mousetrap , place mousetrap armed UPSiDEDOWN on countertop near egde and balance the tins carefully on top. When dog touches it the mousetrap will snap and the tins will fall down making noise. Does not hurt dog , but makes a lot of noise.

I have two labs, and we have learned to be very, very tidy. Think of it as good food hygiene - put leftovers straight in the fridge etc.

Dogs are scavengers I'm afraid!

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