Counter surfing and how to get them to stop

Counter surfing and how to get them to stop

The biggest question I get as a dog trainer is how the heck do I get my dog to stop doing bad behaviors. Behaviors like counter surfing, barking, going to the bathroom in the house. These are all super common issues that people have with their dogs. It can drive you crazy trying to figure out why they do it and how to get them to stop. But when I tell my clients the solution to these problems, their faces drop. Not because it’s hard but because it is so unbelievably easy to do!

Counter surfing

Why do they do this? Dogs counter surf because that is where reinforcement has been before. What do you mean? Well, if your dog has gotten food off the counter before then he is likely to do it again. They might not get food every time they jump up but if there is a chance that he could get food again, it is likely that he will keep trying.

Remove the reinforcer or the food in this case

Keep him put away while you eat or while there is food on the counters. That way he won’t have the chance to reward himself for jumping on the counters. Let him out only when the counters are food-free and wiped clean. He will likely jump up and see that there is nothing there for him and quit trying. Now, this isn’t a quick fix, this will take more than one time to do. You will need to be consistent so he won’t ever be able to reward himself for being on the counters again.

Keeping a baby gate to close access to the kitchen is another way to remove the reinforcer.

Make the behavior inefficient

Meaning, he doesn’t need to jump on the counters to get food. Place his bones on the kitchen floor and hide treats throughout the kitchen (on the floor) so that he doesn’t feel the need to jump up. He can get what he wants from the floor.

Make a different behavior easier to do and more rewarding

This one is my go-to. Mainly because baby gates aren’t my thing and I would rather my dog know what he should be doing instead of trying to figure it out on his own.

Teach your dog to lay on a mat when he sees food in the kitchen, when you sit down at the table, and when you walk into the kitchen. A treat and train makes this super easy because you can just use a remote to treat him while you eat. Click here to buy one.

The post on how to train this behavior is here. 

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

8 Things I Bring On Every Trip

8 Things I Bring On Every Trip

Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

Hey guys, I wanted to share with you all, 8 things that I bring on every dog related trip. Wether I am taking my pups camping, hiking, or just to the dog park! Each item below is linked just in case you want one too!

1) Flea and Tick Spray

This stuff is a an actual life saver! It is all natural and safe for your dogs. You just spray it on, rub it in, and voila you’re all ready to explore the outdoors!

2) Expandable water bowl

This is such a great item to have when you are out and about. Easy to fold up and store and easty to unfold and use.

3) A Slicker Brush

I always bring a simple brush just in case my long haired dogs catch some fox tails and what not. If you have a short haired dog I would use a curry brush. Here is a link to that- Curry Brush

4) Treats

Usually the dogs favorite item! I have used these treats for a long time and just about every dog I have worked with, loves them!!

They are soft and easy to break up, great to take on every trip!

5) Fetch Toys

When I bring toys, I tend to bring the ones I don’t mind losing. I buy a six pack of tennis balls that don’t cost much. That way when I throw it and they go to fetch it but get distracted and don’t grab it; I’m not worried about having to go get it.

6) Roll Up Travel Bed

This is actually one of my favorite items. I roll it up and put it in the bag it comes with. I don’t take this everywhere but I do take it when we go camping or when we stay at a hotel. Its basically a sleeping bag for dogs.

7) Martingale Collar

The best type of collars (in my opinion) are the martingale collars. They don’t just slip off but they also don’t tighten so much that your dog starts to choke. Its great for letting them know that they are pulling withought hurting them. It only tightens to a certain point. 

8) A Crate

Last but not least, a crate. I take one everywhere I go. I keep one to keep my dog not only safe but comfortable too. Its like having a portable bedroom for your dogs. If you don’t know the benefits of crate training I recommend watching this video by Zac George