How to Stop a Dog From Stealing Food Off Counters

By: David Codr

Published Date: March 30, 2018

For this Omaha puppy training session, we worked with Jax, a 10-month-old Beagle puppy who likes to steal food off counters, otherwise known as countersurfing.

We started this session by going over rules, structure, exercise and how important they are to establishing a healthy leader follower dynamic. Puppies probe and explore to learn about the world and see where they fit into it. New puppy guardians often make the mistake of spoiling a puppy by giving it everything it wants and avoiding providing it with boundaries and limits. This often creates a petulant adult dog just like spoiling a human baby can result in an adult who has misconceptions about life.

Fortunately Jax’s guardian signed him up for our puppy socialization classes so we was already ahead of the curve when it came to puppy obedience and basic puppy training.

That’s not to say that Jax is perfect. He had a few unwanted puppy behavior problems his guardian wanted me to help fix. The top of the list was stealing food off counters. We call this counter surfing and it can apply to a dog getting up on a table or counter to grab some food or other tempting item.

Stopping a dog from stealing things off counters (which is a self rewarding behavior) can be hard to stop. The key is timing and observation. You only want to use this technique to stop dogs from getting on counters when you are nearby, but not in the room. This way you can come in and reset the components as soon as the dog tries to grab food off the counter.

We wrapped up this at home puppy training session by shooting a roadmap to success so the guardian can remember all the positive puppy training methods we used. You can get some free puppy training tips by watching the video below.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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