It’s fairly typical to find your dog taking food from the counter. It’s possible to turn your back for a few seconds only and discover your food is being eaten by your dog, or that your dog has jumped onto the counter.
It can be a hassle when food items aren’t protected from snoopy dogs even if you keep the food on top. There are, fortunately, a few ways to stop this annoying behavior.
Make sure counters are clear
The first step in stopping counter-shopping is to train you instead of your dog. It is essential to ensure that your dog doesn’t get the reward for throwing himself at the kitchen counter. So, unless you’re in the vicinity to observe the situation the counter or table must be kept free of clutter. If your dog is a bit frenzied and manages to get even the tiniest bite of food, it will be rewarded for its poor behavior with food. It means that your dog is likely to repeat that bad behavior since it was rewarded with what it desired.
Certain dogs find other things than food enjoyable. Your dog may be as eager to steal the pot holder or sponge off your counter as food. Be aware of this while you clean your counters: They must be as empty as they can.
Train your dog to keep the Four Paws on the Ground
You can show your dog that keeping all four paws on the flooring is a rewarding experience. Once you’ve gotten into a habit of making sure your counters are clean and your dog has little or no reason to leap up. Now is the time to train your dog that it’s more enjoyable to sit on the ground than it is to leap up on the counter.
Begin with a plan to praise your dog’s positive behavior. If you’re at the table, or any moment your dog has all four paws on the floor, you can give your dog a sweet treat. They will soon understand that they will only get treats when they’re on the ground and they are never rewarded for leaping up onto the counter.
It is also possible to train your dog to use a command, which will take your dog on a mat, or couch in the kitchen. Spend a number of hours of training practicing using the “place” command. If your dog has a habit of returning to its mat or bed and resting there then you can take your dog to this area when you cook food in the kitchen. Even when your dog is able to be on its mat or in bed for a long time, continue to throw treats at least once every few days. It is essential to keep your dog frequently reminded that it’s more enjoyable to keep his feet on the ground or stand still rather than jumping over the counter.
Training Your Dog to Refrain from Leaving It
Despite the best intentions, someone in your family will always abandon food items unattended at the kitchen counter, or at the table. If you spot an animal in the process of trying to grab something from the table, it’s better to have your dog trained in that “leave it” command. The command instructs your dog to keep the food items on the table by themselves. If your dog does not respond to the “leave it,” wait for an appropriate response “leave it” command, wait until the four feet are on the floor. Then, you can invite the dog to sit and give it treats. It is also a reminder that it’s much more enjoyable when your pet is able to stay with all four feet on the floor than to run up to counter-surf.
Problems and proofing behavior
If your dog isn’t responding well to these strategies, you might want to seek advice from a dog behaviorist or trainer. A professional can assist you to determine where communication is not working between you and your dog.
While you’re at it, be aware of the most common mistakes. Keep the counters clean to stay away from temptation. Make sure that all family and guest members in the same boat so that everyone is on the same page in training. Also, it is best to keep your dog in a secure area during your absence to ensure you don’t have any accidents. Keep your dog in check and be patient.