The Dog Training POV Series with Trevor Smith - Counter Surfing | Pupford
September 15th, 2023
Filed under Training
Whether you have experienced it first hand, have heard stories from friends, or seen videos, most of us are all too familiar with dogs counter surfing.
Maybe you left your popcorn on the coffee table (like Trevor did in this video), or you left your breakfast on the counter and ran in another room and when you returned it was gone.
To get your dog to stop doing that ^ you’ll want to watch this video!
Today’s video in the Dog Training POV Series will cover all things counter surfing.
- Why dogs counter surf
- What can you do to get your dog(s) to stop counter surfing
- Bonus tips from Trevor
For more on jumping, check out the last video in the series covering what to do if your dog jumps on you or guests.
OVERVIEW OF DOG COUNTER SURFING
WHY DO DOGS COUNTER SURF?
There are a lot of reasons dogs counter surf. One of the main reasons being that there are yummy things on those counters that dogs want to get into. Like your dinner, a late night snack, or yummy treats. There is a lot of reinforcement up there for them to enjoy.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO GET YOUR DOG TO STOP COUNTER SURFING?
While you’re eating, get a bag of treats out, (check out Trevor’s favorites here), and reward your dog for the right behavior. In the beginning, when your dog is in a sit instead of jumping up on the counter, reward the behavior and treat them.
While you probably don’t want to frequently feed your dog from the table, as it can lead to increased begging for food and more interest in the coffee table, it’s a good place to start to get them to stop jumping up. Then once you repeat that a few times you can move on to the next steps.
You can then start tossing the treat away from the table, onto your dog’s bed. Repeat that until they start staying on their bed instead of coming back to you at the table.
Then keep on rewarding them from their bed.
As you continue this down the road, you can move the bed further and further away (or wherever you want your dog to be), and extend the duration between the reinforcements.
Pro tip: A cushion-y soft dog bed or platform is helpful to get your dog elevated off the bed so that they can be more successful in this area. You can check out some of our favorite dog beds here.
Another area where point of reinforcement is super important is during potty training. And we will cover that topic in the next video. Make sure to follow along on YouTube to watch!
Have any counter surfing stories? Let us know in the comments!