How To Stop Dog Counter Surfing – Professional Dog Training Tips

How To Stop Dog Counter Surfing – Professional Dog Training Tips

– Are you getting really frustrated about your dog countersurfing,
and never really sure when it’s going to happen, so
it’s hard to train through it? Good girl. In this video, I’m gonna
teach you how to stop your dog from countersurfing, and
I’m gonna show you in a way that you can predict when your dog might make these mistakes. I’m also gonna show you
an excellent training tool that you might already
have in your kitchen that you can use to train this skill. I’m Ken Steepe, and welcome
back to McCann Dogs. (dog barking) In our training facility,
we’ve helped more than 80,000 dog owners to overcome
their dog training challenges, so if this is your first
time on the channel, make sure you hit that subscribe button, so that I can help you
to have a well-behaved four-legged family member. First thing that I need to talk about when it comes to
countersurfing is management. Now, if you have a dog who’s
likely to jump on a counter, then it’s really important that you keep a house-line on them,
and if you’re not sure what a house-line is, I’ll
post a link to a video above, it’s basically a leash that
you can leave on your dog when they’re free, when
they’re moving around in your house, but to be a
good manager for your dog who may be misbehaving
or making some mistakes, you wanna have that house-line on, and you need to keep an eye on ’em. Just leaving a line on them
as they move around the house isn’t going to solve any problems, but it puts you in a great position to be able to manage
them, and to train them if they do make these mistakes, so first things first, if you have a dog who’s countersurfing, use your house-line. I’ve said it before,
and I will say it again, dogs do what’s rewarding, so if they see an opportunity
to jump up on the counter and maybe take a piece of food,
and they haven’t been taught that countersurfing isn’t
allowed, then they’re likely to do that, but they’re gonna give you a couple of signs that they
are thinking about jumping up, and you need to know what those are. Your dog may stand stalk
still, or they may start air scenting when they’re
thinking about jumping up or investigating the counter,
and that’s a great opportunity for you to interrupt that thought pattern using your leave it or your off, or something to let
them know that you know what’s going through their mind. If you’re using the word no
with your dog, I want you to get away from that. Start using more specific
information, your leave it or your off command are
good options for that, but it’s very clear to
your dog what you don’t want them to do, if they
were to grab a sock, and jump up on the couch,
and you tell them no, which thing are you saying no to? So, in this situation, use
your leave it or your off, but really, dogs do what’s
rewarding, so let’s give them a more rewarding behavior than
jumping up on the counter. Now, a lot of people complain
that countersurfing’s really unpredictable
and they never know when their dog’s going to do it,
so we need to set them up so that they have to make
a choice, and then we can train through it, and
I’ll tell you exactly how we’re gonna do that. With your dog wearing a
house-line or their leash, I want you to walk up to an empty counter. Ask your dog for a sit, and
put your foot on their leash. Now, make sure there’s
no tension in the leash, we don’t want them to know
that you’re standing on it, but there needs to be
very little slack in it, so that if they do
decide to make a mistake and jump up on the
counter, they aren’t able to self reward by doing that. Now, while in a sit at
your side, reward them. Reward them two or three times, and maybe, if you have a dog who
loves to countersurf, maybe you can reward them with those really high value rewards, like steak, or chicken, or
something that they really love, and then break off that exercise, and we’ll move to the next step. We’re gonna repeat the same
steps in the first progression, but this time when you
approach the counter, have some lower value food
on it, so maybe some kibble or something really simple
that your dog kinda likes, but isn’t totally crazy for,
and you’re going to repeat the same steps as in
the first progression, so you’re gonna reward them
for sitting at your side, you’re gonna make sure
that you have your foot on their leash so that if they jump up, they can’t self-reward, but
you’re gonna reward them several times for making a
great choice by not jumping up, and then you’re gonna break it off. After a few successful
repetitions of a low value food being on the counter,
it’s ready to bring out the secret weapon, a
slice of processed cheese. Now, the great thing
about the cheese is that it’s sort of malleable,
and it’s really simple, you can sort of stick it
to the edge of the counter so that your dog sees it,
and they can smell it, and it’s really close, but it’s really hard for them to get it. But I want you to go through
the exact same steps, you’re gonna bring them up
nice and close to the counter, step on that leash, ask ’em
for a sit, reward them many, many times, and then break it off again. The great part about the cheese is that dogs often see that as a
pretty high value reward, but it’s really hard for them to get it, because it’s so gooey and so easy to stick to the countertop,
but I really love using it as one of my training
tools for countersurfing for exactly that reason. The other important part is
that dogs do what’s rewarding, so if we put them in a
position where they can see the thing that they
want, but they’ve chosen to remain in that sitting position, and they’ve been rewarded multiple times, then they’re gonna
start to shift the value of being on the counter to
being in that sitting position, and being rewarded with
those great treats, like maybe it’s steak, or chicken, or whatever your dog loves. So now we’ve built up
a little bit of value for your dog remaining in
a sit, and not jumping up on the countertop, but let’s
be real, your dog’s likely going to be walking around
the kitchen, and moving around as you’re moving around in that kitchen, so we need to set them up
so that they can be rewarded in a similar situation. Now, this time I want you
to go back to step one, with nothing on the countertop,
but you’re gonna walk up to that counter, with
the leash in your hand. Now, this’ll give you an
opportunity to reward your dog for remaining off, and maybe
they’re gonna even offer a sit, and that would be great, you
can reward them for that. But we’re going to work our
way through those progressions, first with no food, then
with a low value food, again, walking up, leash in
your hand, and then you can try it with the secret
weapon for countersurfing, that piece of processed
cheese that’s stuck to the side of the counter. Now, if they make the
mistake of jumping up, or they start to jump up,
that’s the time you can issue your leave it, or your off command, and then gently guide
them down and away from the countertop, the leash is in your hand, so you need to make sure
that you’re well prepared when you get up there to avert disaster, remember, dogs do what’s
rewarding, so if your dog has an opportunity to get up, even during this training scenario, and be rewarded by eating
the food off the counter, or eating the cheese, then
you’ve got a little bit more homework to do. Now, one round of training, this exercise, isn’t going to solve all your problems, especially if you have a
dog who’s being rewarded in the past, maybe they’ve jumped up and they’ve gotten some food, or whatever, so you have a little bit of work to do, but the great part is,
you just need to spend a few minutes at a time
training this skill, so maybe while you’re
preparing your breakfast, or while you’ve got a couple of minutes hanging out in the kitchen,
you can train this exercise, and that’s the best way to
structure your training, so that it’s at unpredictable times, and it’s throughout the day. But to be successful here, you
need to remember one thing. Dogs (bubbles popping), and if you can fill in the
blanks, then you’re ready to tackle this problem. I’ve put together a playlist
that’s just for you. It’s all about managing your
dog, and how you can give them the best information, if
you’d like to check out that playlist, click the button beside me. If this is your first time on the channel, make sure you hit that subscribe button. We publish new videos every
single week to help you to have a well behaved,
four-legged family member. On that note, I am Ken, happy training. (upbeat music)

Antonio Breitenberg

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19 thoughts on “How To Stop Dog Counter Surfing – Professional Dog Training Tips

  1. Danielle R says:

    Can you do a video specifically for leaving things that are on a coffee table? The ease of access at the much lower height make it a hard to manage situation.

  2. McCann Dog Training says:

    I hope this saves you from losing a meal to your four-legged family member;) If you're looking for some more videos to help manage your dog and supervise them better here is a link to a playlist that will help you with that:
    Thank you for watching and I'll see you in the Train Station live streams! Happy Training! ~Ken

  3. Dan Luton says:

    How about that coffee mug at 6:00 ! 👍 love it, also love the idea of a cheese slice

  4. Steven Shepard says:

    Is there a way you could show a way to stop a dog (mines a 1yr old but any age) from sticking his face and head in the your lap (and trying to move him away is like trying to move a building) if you have a snack? My lab has such SA with me that he goes ballistic in his kennel if the door is closed even if I sit right next to it. His leave it is 50/50 at best and off is just slightly better. But the drive for the food is to great.

    For the record, I have followed so many SA tips over the months it's not funny.

  5. Valerie Dakota says:

    Thanks Ken I needed this vid!

  6. Johanna says:

    Great tips! I have found that a lot of this behavior is due to diet. Kibble fed dogs are far more likely to counter surf, eat inedible objects or poo (pika) and raid the trash can IME. Many of my dogs had this behavior when I first got them, but after a month or two on a fresh food diet the bahavior seems to go away 100%, so I strongly belive it's being driven by nutrient deficiencies caused by commercial diets.

  7. Oszkar Daniel Gati says:

    I have only one question: do dogs do what's rewarding? 😛

  8. Cooper the Dachshund says:

    Look at my new vid it’s for you I need help plzzz

  9. Cooper the Dachshund says:

    Next video on how to teach down step by step also with teaching your to go down when you say down no matter what

  10. Cooper the Dachshund says:

    Is dance with me a trick cuz I wanna teach my dog that do you think I could have that trick and also dance just the dog by them self

  11. Cooper the Dachshund says:

    Next video be handsignals and Down

  12. Cooper the Dachshund says:

    How do you teach orbit

  13. D Moniz says:

    Great video! 👍

  14. Sherry Skinner says:

    Kids and dogs are a hard mix. My dog sneaks to the kitchen to counter surf. Kids leave food on counter dog sneaks in for the reward. She also hits the garbage can when no one is watching. Any tips for the extremely sneaky dog? She will not dare do this when i am in the kitchen.

  15. Dancee Smith says:

    Any tips for larger dogs, who’s face is already level with the counter?

  16. Taya Taske says:

    But what if they ONLY do it when we are not home or not in the main part of the house. It’s not just food though, scissors, a plastic bag, mail, papertowel roll, cups, bread at back of the counter against the wall, even when they have a fresh smoked butcher bone out of the counter and food readily available and tons of toys.

  17. ash oran says:

    my dog does not counter surf when I am in the room. She is a large breed, and can reach anything left on stove or counter. She waits until I have stepped outside, or have left the room. This technique does not work for me, because she does not even attempt to counter surf when I am there.

  18. Eladio Mora says:

    I love my Chopper but I needed to get him under control, after he bit my MOTHER during a visit I realized I was letting him run amok too much. Between these videos and the Brain Training program ( goodboy . today ) he has finally been acting much more like a good doggo. Real test comes in a month… during my mother's birthday party.

  19. Gus Da Goose's Mom says:

    What do you do when the dog is chewing on the houseline?

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