Counter surfing! One of the most frequent questions I get asked is “how do I stop my dog jumping up at the side?”
Dogs are opportunists. If they can smell or see food on a side they are most likely going to jump up to take a look and swipe it off the side, especially if they have never been taught not to.
- If your dog has learnt just once that there may be a tasty offering on the kitchen side they will look every time they enter the kitchen, just in case they can find anything tasty on the side again.
- Manage the environment. Don’t give your dog access to the kitchen if you are unable to supervise and ensure you are not leaving food items out in easy reach of your dog to swipe off the side.
- Teach a leave it to food/food plates/food on the kitchen sides/food on tables.
- Teach a “mat cue” so that when you are in the kitchen cooking your dog is laying down on a mat and not getting under your feet or trying to get paws up on the side.
- Really start to watch your dogs body language. Do they start air sniffing or weight shifting as if they are going to jump? Interrupt the behaviour with a leave it and reward they back on their mat.
- Always reward your dog if they notice something on a side and don’t jump for it.
Put your plan in place and rid yourself of counter surfing for good.