Oh No! He's a counter surfer.
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Thread: Oh No! He's a counter surfer.

  1. #1
    TuckerandMe is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultOh No! He's a counter surfer.

    : Anyone have any tips on how to get this stopped before it really gets ingrained in his behaviors? He lifted a book on accupressure and proceeded to (in under 2 minutes) eat the words! Now I have to buy a new book, and that's okay, but counter surfing is NOT okay.

    Thanks for any ideas you have!

    Patti

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  3. #2
    Ender's Mom's Avatar
    Ender's Mom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Oh No! He's a counter surfer.

    I asked about this a while back and got a lot of really good helpful tips... but you know what worked?

    I caught him... and scared the living daylights outta him once.... and he's never done it since.

    Basically he had his front end in the garbage (it's one of those garbage in the drawer thingys)

    I YELLED "OFF!! NO!"

    grabbed him by the shoulders and flipped him over on his back (not physically harming him or anything... just quick and decisive)

    I kneeled over him (not ON him... but just holding him in place so he couldn't move)
    I had my hands on his front legs and I got in his face and said "NO!!! YOU STAY OFF THOSE COUNTERS YOU HEAR ME?!!"

    P.S. I'm NOT a violent person and would never hit my dog... this was kind of an instant reaction... we have a gas stove that he "could" if he jumped on it, turn on the gas so it was a safety issue.
    ~Lindsay

  4. #3
    luke from georgia is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Oh No! He's a counter surfer.

    mine don't countersurf, because they have never been rewarded for it, meaning, they have never found anything worth taking off the counters.

    countersurfing is hard to train against if your dog has had some success mingled with some disappointments in finding nothing. it's easier to train against, if your dog has always found something good. it's like comparing a slot machine to a soda machine. when you use a soda machine, you expect a beverage when you insert money, and when it stops working once or even twice, you stop trying to use it. slot machines types of rewards are harder to quit since the nature of such rewards are random, so even if nothing is gained for several repititions, the subject continues to try and try again - just in case.

    sometimes the type of correction that ender's mom described works beautifully. sometimes, the dog simply learns to time the countersurfing better - when they are relatively sure that you are somewhere else.

    you could try to booby trap the counter with mousetraps (which i hear don't hurt, but i don't know personally) or balance baking pans or stacks of empty soda cans that will come tumbling down on the dog who countersurfs. after several attempts and several failures, the dog should stop countersurfing.

    personally, i think the easiest thing to do is encourage your dog stay near you. both mine are total velcro dogs - always with me. the only time they leave my side is to ring the bell to be let out for potty or to go drink from their water bucket. i'm somewhat of a slot machine myself. i randomly ask them to perform simple obedience commands/tricks and give treat rewards or start spontaneous play and pet sessions. both mine are such attention whores that just talking to them gets them all excited for no reason.

    "Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend." ~ Corey Ford

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  6. #4
    theoconbrio is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Oh No! He's a counter surfer.

    i'm somewhat of a slot machine myself.
    Excellent point by Sunjin. When being near you is likely to result in better rewards than hanging around the kitchen hoping that a roast will mysteriously appear, then that is what they will do.

  7. #5
    ds77755 is offline Member
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    DefaultRe: Oh No! He's a counter surfer.

    Lola was sort of the same way... her thing was pulling the dish towels off the counter once she got big enough (4-5mos); Before it got too out of hand, I set up the can with a few pennies inside contraption. After inserting about 10 pennies into a coke can, I duct taped shut the can opening; then duct taped one end of a strand of kite string to the can and then duct taped the loose end of the string onto the dish towel (is it obvious I like using duct tape?!). The first time Lola pulled a dish towel and ran (her usual course of action), the noise alone scared the poop out of her. Coupled with our immediate verbal correction made it the last time she ever did it again.

    good luck
    Dominic &amp; Ellie<br /><br />

  8. #6
    Trickster's Avatar
    Trickster is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Oh No! He's a counter surfer.

    sometimes, the dog simply learns to time the countersurfing better - when they are relatively sure that you are somewhere else.
    Yep --this is exactly what mine do. If we are in house they won't touch the trash or countersurf. If we are out that's a whole other story. Countersurfing is an extremely hard habit to break. For a highly food motivated dog the reward outweighs the risk every time. Labs are intelligent enough to know that if you are not looking they can get away with it.

    The best way of dealing with countersurfing is prevention. Keep sides clear and don't leave food lying around. If you catch the dog in the act (I have caught mine in the act maybe once...they are VERY sneaky) give the dog a stern correction. How you correct the dog is up to you.

  9. #7
    curly is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Oh No! He's a counter surfer.

    Zakk has started this lately. We do not leave things where he can see them on the counter. He does not seem to be searching for anything to eat, etc. because he does not do this when we are not in the kitchen. The only time he "counter surfs" is when we are cooking and seems to want to see what we are doing ???. I want this habit to end so I will try the can idea to see if we can nip it in the bud.

  10. #8
    Di
    Di is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Oh No! He's a counter surfer.

    The pop can with coin's worked wonder's with Sammi. Took only one day of consistant shaking and she is done. Won't even attempt it. We do our best to keep thing's out of the way, but it stopped even the stray "attack". Good luck-

  11. #9
    ChocolateLabLover is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultRe: Oh No! He's a counter surfer.

    My chocolate lab Teddy Bear does the same exact thing. One day he climbed into the sink and took all the dishes out!
    <br />My Adorable Lab TeddyBear<br />*Gloria**

  12. #10
    Buckyball's Avatar
    Buckyball is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Oh No! He's a counter surfer.

    Buck tried Counter surfing once. The first time he did I caught him and did the same thing Ender's mom did. He hasn't tried counter surfing since! Now, he sits down near the counter and sticks his nose up in the air in an effort to sniff out what's going on up there* :P

    Oh and definitely do what Luke from Georgia said...Be the slot machine.
    <3 01/01/2006-03/18/2017 <3

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