Tips to Stop an LA Dalmatian from Stealing Food Off Counters

By: David Codr

Published Date: January 4, 2018

For this Los Angeles dog training session we traveled to West Adams to work with Tache, a 3 year-old Dalmatian who counter surfs, is insecure and needy.

One of the first things I noticed was Tashe’s guardians had a tendency to repeat commands multiple times. But the more you repeat a command to a dog, the less you mean it. Over time, repeating a command word this way will condition the dog to ignore the command word.

I also noticed that they would sometimes pet her when she was in an unbalanced state of mind; nervous, anxious, needy, etc. But anything a dog is doing the you pet it is what you are reinforcing or amplifying. This can include excitement, a common mistake many people make by greeting the dog with petting or attention when it jumps up on us or shows excitement for our return.

To help the guardians stop this habit, I went over my petting with a purpose method. By asking the dog to do something to earn its praise and attention, we can help it develop more self control, communicate actions we like that will get our attention and help it develop more self esteem and confidence.

I also noticed the guardians did not reward her at times that she engaged in some desired behaviors and actions. To dogs, good attention and bad attention from us is about the same. So if the dog gets reprimanded when it does the wrong thing and ignored if it does the right thing, we are training our dogs to do the wrong thing.

By petting the dog anytime we notice it engaging in a desired action or behavior, we can help it learn to engage in those actions over the ones we don’t like.

One of Tashe’s unwanted dog behaviors was stealing food off the counters. I like to call this counter surfing. Because the dog gets a reward each time it does so, stopping a dog from stealing things off the counters can be challenging.

Fortunately I know a dog behavior secret to stop this problem. Check out the video below to find out how to keep a dog off the counters.

The guardians will likely need to repeat this technique a few times, possibly changing the lure and container filled with the cans. But if they stage this scenario and repeat it a few times over the next few weeks, the dog should learn to stop getting on counters in no time.

We went over several other dog behavior problems and ways to provide Tashe with the structure she needs to see and respect her humans as authority figures. Once this is the case, she should be able to relax which should reduce her velcro dog behavior.

To help the humans remember all the dog behavior secrets I shared with them in this in home dog training session, we shot a roadmap to success video. You can get a number of free dog training advice by watching the video.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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