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6 month old pup wrecking kitchen !!!

(15 Posts)
gardeningmama Tue 25-Nov-14 17:54:42

Ok, I said that just to get your attention, (forgive me!) the truth is our 6 month old collie/new zealand hunter way cross, jumps up at kitchen surfaces and table and our trainer has said that we must just ignore it but to be absolutely sure that he never, ever, ever gets rewarded by finding some tasty morsel to make it worth his while. Needless to say, he has twice been rewarded by slack humans in the household leaving stuff within reach. He is big and can get stuff out of sink and right from the back of the surfaces. I had started to spray him with water when I caught him doing it, but trainer thinks any intervention is unnecessary and undesirable. Thoughts please?

Lilcamper Tue 25-Nov-14 18:23:52

Absolutely agree with your trainer. It is human error and a dog doing what dogs do. Human effort required.

NCIS Tue 25-Nov-14 18:42:58

Have you tried teaching a strong 'leave' command? There are quite a few youtube videos about how to train it, I know a lot of people use clicker training (I don't get on with it personally but that's just me) so may be worth looking at that.
Try keeping him out of the kitchen unless he is 100% supervised. Is he used to a crate you can put him in for short periods if he can't be watched or use a stairgate?

gardeningmama Tue 25-Nov-14 19:01:23

Thanks for your responses. Lil does the dog then just grow out of the behaviour, it therefore rendering it unnecessary to teach them that the action is "wrong"/undesirable? I'm fine with that if that is the case and just human perseverance and patience necessary!

NCIS unfortunately, the kitchen is where pup lives. We have a tiny cottage and his crate is in the kitchen, really nowhere else to put it. He has a routine of crate times etc and I have been advised not to use it as a place to put him as punishment (I know this isn't what you were suggesting). I have just started using a clicker to help him behave calmly around horses, I'll think about whether it could be workable for this issue ... not sure!

Lilcamper Tue 25-Nov-14 19:45:19

They grow out of the habit if they aren't rewarded by it. If there is the odd occasion it is a rewarding behaviour it WILL reoccur, if it is never rewarding the behaviour will become extinct. You also need to make sure being 4 paws in the floor is more rewarding. Make sure stuffed kongs etc are available on the kitchen floor. Reward wanted behaviour.

JustMe1990 Tue 25-Nov-14 20:29:02

I am going to go against the grain and say there is no harm in a stern AH AH! loud enough to give the dog a bit of a fright.
If it does it again after being told off then I would repeat and swiftly lead the dog outside the room for a brief time out.

I am all for treat training and respect and love, but I really do feel that a dog (and kids for that matter) needs to be shown in no uncertain terms when something is right or wrong and learn that there are consequences in life for misbehaviour.

basildonbond Tue 25-Nov-14 20:39:19

We have a large open-plan living room/kitchen which is where we mostly congregate - at the moment there are two teenage boys (allegedly) doing homework, dd baking plus puppy plus at least one cat - it can be chaotic at times grin ddog used to be terrible at counter-surfing but we have mostly sorted it by teaching him to settle calmly on his bed when asked

Dancingyogi Tue 25-Nov-14 21:25:20

I did the telling off for counter surfing, I even bought a water pistol but the ah-ah worked, it may be what dogs do but I couldn't wait till he grew out of it, because he lives in the kitchen and I cook loads, there would always be food smells coming from the counter. I tried teaching the leave command to stop the behaviour but it didn't work either for counter surfing - it did for other things though.

NCIS Tue 25-Nov-14 23:01:24

I use ah-ah frequently. it doesn't scare but it does redivert his attention, he looks at me and waits for another command, I generally follow it with a sit and praise as I know it's something he does easily therefore setting him up for success.
I don't class it as telling off at all and his reaction would seem to say he doesn't either, it's an interrupter.

Toooldtobearsed Wed 26-Nov-14 15:55:24

Another ah-ah, used for all sorts from sniffing other dogs poo to looking longingly at a plate of toast. Works very well for me, big boy just wanders away looking as if to say 'I was just looking!' Little one sits and looks at me (defiantly, I am convinced), but leaves. I keep the word leave for ball etc., so ah-ah is perfect.

gardeningmama Wed 26-Nov-14 18:16:15

ah-ah doesn't work with my lad, he just looks at me as if to say "f**k you", with his paws still firmly plonked on the kitchen surface grin . But unfortunately he's had one too many times when his curiosity has paid dividens, so we are being much more vigilant with clearing the counters now.

He had the radio on it's side though, a few teeth marks on it.

At my parents' house today I kept him on his house lead as he tried jumping up in their kitchen ... of course. Why wouldn't he?

But in many other ways he is improving. He is more polite and patient when greeting people (as long as he's on a lead) and he calms down much more quickly than he used to. Must get him some challenging toys though, he bores very quickly and I really can't be attending to him all the time.

alwaystryingtobeafriend Wed 26-Nov-14 18:16:32

We have a counter surfer but generLly o lt if us dafties leave food on it. Sometime a 'down' woeks or an 'ah ah' my persobal favourite is 'Oi! Get down' he gets down slinks into the room i am in and sits at my feet.

On a side notr my dog has super hearing. I swear he can be upstairs abd hear the fridge door open. Next thing i know the gutsy we tgibg is at my feet looking for tit bits. I never get why cos he never gets anything!! Stoopid pooch! Xxx

moosemama Wed 26-Nov-14 18:20:00

I have Lurchers which, as a breed, are notorious counter surfers. Mine also have their beds in the kitchen and spend a lot of time in there.

The first step towards them learning not to do it is to make it completely non-rewarding, by being super-vigilant and never leaving anything where they could get it. (Anything that needs to be left out to cool goes up high, so either on top of the fridge freezer or eye-level grill.)

Next they need to learn that that it's more rewarding to lie nicely on their beds, than it is to get under your feet or cruise the table and surfaces for food.

I do this by with mine by clicker training them to learn 'in your bed', then reinforcing them with calm quiet praise and fuss and pairing it with a 'settle' cue. (If you do this enough the word 'settle' actually makes them feel relaxed.)

In the past, before I thought to add the 'settle' cue, I used to teach my dogs to sit and stay quietly in their beds by intermittently tossing them a treat, but always something other than whatever I was preparing/eating.

Another thing you might find useful is to teach your dog 'paws on the floor'. You can use a clicker to do this and it's basically just click/treating for all four paws being on the floor. If you add a cue that works for you, you can then remind him not to jump at the surfaces and reward him when he has all his feet on the floor.

gardeningmama Thu 27-Nov-14 18:30:14

moose that's helpful Thanks. One query I have, cos I wondered about using the clicker for counter surfing, is won't he associate first jumping up at the counter and then getting down all as part of the way to get a "reward"? Obviously I click only once he has paws on the floor, but I can't help thinking .... ?

moosemama Thu 27-Nov-14 18:58:54

If you handle and time it right he will only associate reward with having all four feet on the floor. Set him up for success and capture him with all four feet on the floor before he jumps. Then you ignore any times he does jump up completely and continue to reinforce only the times he doesn't even try to jump he will eventually realise that it's far more rewarding to keep his feet firmly planted.

The principle is the same as for not jumping up at people.

This Kikopup video might help.

Don't set him up to fail by trying to train it with treats on the counter. It's not so much about getting him to ignore what's up there to begin with, as it is about getting him to realise that good things only happen when his feet are on the floor. You can move onto proofing the behaviour with food out on the surface when you are sure he has completely grasped what you're trying to get him to learn.

Actually, I'd ignore some of the last paragraph of my previous post. Not sure where my head was when I posted that. blush Adding a cue would just be complicating things unnecessarily, you shouldn't need to do that if you do enough work on rewarding him for having his feet on the floor.

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