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Dog jumping on counters randomly when out of sight

(21 Posts)
seenna Sat 12-Jan-19 14:44:48

When my boy was a puppy we really took a no-nonsense approach with him jumping up on counters, tables etc (he's a GSD). It worked really well but recently he has started jumping up on counters but only when I'm not in the room, he knows he's not allowed. I keep both the kitchen doors open so can hear him when he jumps up from the living room. I've been giving timeouts but it doesn't seem to be working, not sure he connects both actions.

Would be really grateful for any suggestions- he grabbed a knife with leftover cheese the other day! Some family members fail to remember to put things away which doesn't help.

OP’s posts: |
adaline Sat 12-Jan-19 14:51:03

The best way to stop this behaviour is not to give him the opportunity in the first place. Close the door or use baby gates.

MsMightyTitanAndHerTroubadours Sat 12-Jan-19 14:52:14

wee swine!! I have no helpful advice he getting right up there, or hippetyhopping using a chair? So you could make sure all the chairs were tucked in, or turned upside down on the table school dinner stylee??

My boys had no need to jump as they were such donkey dogs they could browse the table at will! My best boy's badness was to stand on the sofa with his feet in the window sill...Lord of all he surveyed spying on the neighbours or delivery guys

...him being a giant critter and the front path being two steps lower than the front door and two steps up again inside the house made him a fairly intimidating prospect!! grin

missbattenburg Sat 12-Jan-19 14:57:50

he knows he's not allowed

I'm betting he doesn't know this. What he knows is:

I jump on counter + seena is present = telling off
I jump on counter + seena is not present = cheese for me! grin

The way to stop it is to either physically prevent it, as adaline says, or to change the second equation to

I jump on counter + seena is not present = nothing for me

This has to be consistent (never any cheese), otherwise you are setting up a gambling situation in which he sometimes gets cheese and sometimes doesn't. The reason gambling is addictive to humans is the same reason that actions that are SOMETIMES rewarded in dogs take much, much longer for the dog to give up trying. When just one more try might reveal cheese, he will always try one more time.

The chances of him ever associating...
I jump on counter + seena is not present = time out
.... must be somewhere between very slim and not at all. There will be too long a gap between the actions and, besides, I am guessing the cheese will always be worth the time out so even if he did link them, he may well choose to do it anyway.


seenna Sat 12-Jan-19 15:16:43

Thanks for the replies. Have been considering baby gates, but would love to avoid if possible. On the other hand, not sure my nerves could handle seeing him with a knife handle in his mouth again.

Great post, missb. The thing is he will NEVER do this is anyone's presence. I only know he does this cause I can hear his little paws hitting the tiles when he jumps off/find him with something. On a few occasions when I've managed to run in fast enough to catch him, he's jumped down straightaway (and asked for a belly rub).

OP’s posts: |
adaline Sat 12-Jan-19 15:21:27

Thanks for the replies. Have been considering baby gates, but would love to avoid if possible.

Surely a door/baby gate is better than an injured dog? I don't want to upset you, but if someone leaves something toxic to him up there and he gets hold of it, you could be faced with massive vet bills at best, and a dead dog at worst.

seenna Sat 12-Jan-19 15:26:30

Absolutely, adaline.

He is my pride and joy, for now we're doing our best with a makeshift barrier made out of kitchen stools and chairs.

Was just hoping we could train it out of him,

OP’s posts: |
adaline Sat 12-Jan-19 16:51:39

Like you've seen - you can when you're there to see them! But most dogs follow their noses and are opportunists - if they can smell cheese and know there's nobody around, their brain is going to think "ooh, cheese!" not "well, I won't get the cheese incase seenna comes in and sees me".

Why do you object to baby gates? We have them as well as child locks on all the cupboards. It's the easiest way to keep my beagle safe.

Lavender00 Sat 12-Jan-19 17:03:20

My friends dog was the same. Her hubby is a bit techy and he made a sensor thingy with a beam and when the dog jumped on the counter is sounded a loud horn noise (can you tell I'm not techy) a it worked though and she's since lent it to a friend who had the same problem and it worked again. I wonder if you can buy such a thing?!

Doggydoggydoggy Sat 12-Jan-19 17:56:51

I think you need some sort of booby trap tbh.

I don’t know your personal circumstances but it isn’t always feasible to rely on others putting stuff away or closing gates.

I think in one of the early Victoria stillwell episodes she put a motion sensor alarm on a bin fir a dog that kept bin raiding.

Something like that I suppose.
That will give him a bit of a fright but without associating it with you.

seenna Sat 12-Jan-19 20:54:38

Hmm that gizmo sounds effective, may try and come up with something similar! I'm only hesitant to get baby gates as our GSD is prone to overheating (even in the dead of winter minus central heating) so he uses the kitchen tiles to cool off/nap. Right now our makeshift barrier cuts him off from the 'cooking area'. He can still sleep in the eating area.

OP’s posts: |
TheFaerieQueene Sat 12-Jan-19 20:58:34

You need to ensure food isn’t left out.

parrotonmyshoulder Sat 12-Jan-19 21:02:55

Do you really think time out works for dogs?

As PP said, remove any opportunity for success.

seenna Sat 12-Jan-19 21:28:57

Do you really think time out works for dogs?

Absolutely! That's what our trainer suggested for mouthing and it's worked amazingly.

OP’s posts: |
Doggydoggydoggy Sat 12-Jan-19 21:55:24

Yeah, I’m another one who has used time out.
It works beautifully!

GingerFoxInAT0phat Sat 12-Jan-19 22:04:44

My old dog started to do this when he was about 9 years old! Strangely enough the only thing he would ever pinch was a block of butter - no idea why, I can’t imagine chewing a load of butter confused

The only think we did was make sure nothing was left on the sides as we couldn’t always be stood watching him.

Oh the other thing he pinched was a full raw chicken breast, that came straight back up fully intact envy

parrotonmyshoulder Sat 12-Jan-19 23:03:37

Surely time out could only work if you were there, on the door, to punish the transgression immediately? And if you were there, you could prevent it.

Doggydoggydoggy Sat 12-Jan-19 23:20:38

I think that is true also, you do only have a very small ‘window’ between the offence and the timeout for it to be effective.
But time it correctly and effective it definately is.

seenna Sat 12-Jan-19 23:40:01

I've been using timeouts on the rare occasion I've caught the cheeky bugger still propped up. But still...nada.

OP’s posts: |
BiteyShark Sun 13-Jan-19 06:42:45

I would definitely get a baby gate because what if someone left out something toxic to the dog. He would eat it and you may never know until he was seriously ill.

When you have the baby gate you at least know he is safe. Then start educating the humans that leave stuff out. Point out to them it's not just about the food being eaten but how dangerous some things can be if the dog gets hold of it.

adaline Sun 13-Jan-19 07:49:16

I don't think time out works for food offences because most dogs are far too food-motivated to be bothered by it!

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