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Our puppy is almost four months old. We would very much appreciate advice on
stopping our puppy from jumping up and surfing the countertops. Thank you very
much.
 

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Puddles
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Start by keeping the counters free from everything. Why have any temptations to make this training harder especially when you can't stand guard on the kitchen 24/7.
kikopup has some really great (free) youtube videos on teaching leave it or counter surfing. It's also important to reward your pup for keeping all 4's on the ground. It's hard to take things off the counter or to jump on you if they are standing on all four feet. See if the videos help.

This is a training issue... the more you teach obedience & give adequate exercise the easier this issue is to resolve. Honestly, this has never been an issue for me but I do not leave anything on the counters so they grow up learning it's not even worth checking out. All my pups just lay in the floor and watch me cook. Set your pup up for success by avoiding the problem to begin with. It's much easier to teach the behavior you want vs trying to stop a behavior you don't like.
 

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Your pup should not be in a situation where he can jump on anything without being immediately reprimanded. Until his obedience training is complete, and it sounds like that’s a long ways off, he has to be under your close supervision anytime he is not in his crate, kennel, etc.
If he is in situations where he can do as he pleases he will quickly learn when he can and when he cannot be disobedient.
 

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This is a self rewarding behavior. Tough. Remove all rewards. Keep things off the counter. (Good example of "Do what I say, not as I do.") I myself am guilty of having a counter filled with interesting things that reward the dog. However I did have success with this.
 

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Keep things off the counter
No, put things on the counter.
A large part of dog training, particularly more advanced training, involves concepts. We create training scenarios to teach dogs how to behave or react to various concepts. Staying of the counter, table, etc, regardless of temptation, is a concept that must be taught. Set up the scenario and teach.
 

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I Think I have the worlds sneakiest counter surfer. She will lay on the floor in the dining area watching me until she thinks I’m busy. Then she will very quietly go into the kitchen and make every effort to steal without me hearing her do it. By the time you hear something, she has eaten it all. For her, the best way to stop her is to take away everything rewarding. I have a small kitchen with very little storage space so I have purchased baskets to keep things like bread and single serve snacks in. Since the baskets, she Has stayed off the counter. Setting him up is good provided you can catch him. If he’s anything like my dog, the best bet would be to hide the snacks out of reach.
 

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I Think I have the worlds sneakiest counter surfer. She will lay on the floor in the dining area watching me until she thinks I’m busy. Then she will very quietly go into the kitchen and make every effort to steal without me hearing her do it.
She knows she is being bad, that is a step. Now you have to set her up for reprimand. Do not allow her the opportunity unless you are prepared to correct her. If you do you are training her what she can get away with.
 

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Rukie is my third Golden Retriever and I have never had a counter surfing incident despite leaving food on the counters so I think it can absolutely be trained. I think you have to be ready the very first time a puppy even thinks about jumping up and looking on the counter. The first time Rukie tried it I smacked my hand loudly on the countertop and said down. I may have had to repeat that once or twice but he never thinks about trying now. We can fix a plate in the kitchen and leave the food out while we are eating in another room and none of the dogs ever tried to help themselves. Probably not helpful to the OP, but for new puppy people I think you have to never allow them to be rewarded even once to make this an easy thing to train so watch your puppy all the time. We can also set a plate down on a table in the family room and leave the room and it is never bothered and all 3 of my dogs were that way. I'm not a great trainer and prefer positive methods but this is my "line in the sand" issue.
 

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We avoided this problem by anticipating bad behavior and stopping it before it occurred, and rewarding the good behavior we wanted to see. I watched Woody closely in the kitchen and if he started sniffing the counter or showing interest in the food I was working with, he got a stern “ah ah” and was body blocked. As soon as he backed off and laid down he got a treat and lots of praise. It took no time at all for him to learn that good things happen when he lies quietly in the kitchen while I cook, and he’s never put his paws on the counter. We also practice “leave it” in the kitchen where I’ll drop a small bit of food, and reward him with high value treats when he ignores what’s on the floor. I honestly think I could drop the Thanksgiving turkey on the kitchen floor and he would look at me, waiting to see if there’s a piece of string cheese coming his way.
 

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Rukie is my third Golden Retriever and I have never had a counter surfing incident despite leaving food on the counters so I think it can absolutely be trained. I think you have to be ready the very first time a puppy even thinks about jumping up and looking on the counter. The first time Rukie tried it I smacked my hand loudly on the countertop and said down. I may have had to repeat that once or twice but he never thinks about trying now. We can fix a plate in the kitchen and leave the food out while we are eating in another room and none of the dogs ever tried to help themselves. Probably not helpful to the OP, but for new puppy people I think you have to never allow them to be rewarded even once to make this an easy thing to train so watch your puppy all the time. We can also set a plate down on a table in the family room and leave the room and it is never bothered and all 3 of my dogs were that way. I'm not a great trainer and prefer positive methods but this is my "line in the sand" issue.
This is exactly my situation - except I've only had 2 dogs, and the very first time each tried to jump up at 8 weeks old, I simply said no, we don't jump up on counters in this house and made then get down. I never let them do it again, they never learned to do it. And like cwag, I can leave food on counters and in reach in the living room if I need to go get something, and neither my last dog nor my current dog will touch it. It just takes constant consistency, a zero tolerance, and supervision at all times during the early puppy months.
 
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Tolerate no bad behavior by correcting strongly and fairly to what you need in your home. Goldens need moderate correction methods and what doesn't work is baby talk and wishy washy attitude towards the DOG. She/He tests the boundaries. Moderate correction means being tougher than you may want to be. I put my finger tips on Hudson with a push and a stern no at times of when I see what may be her working me or trying to push boudaries. Instead of "No" and loud "AH" works.....then, immediately give her a command she knows well like "sit".and make sure she does.......then immediately praise her for the good behavior. I leave everything out like I like to live and she must respect this. Day one in my home she wanted to bite and pull on nice couch blankets hanging over the edge of our couch which I left there on purpose for a training op by the way. I immediately said "NO", touched her with strength and then shoved a toy in her mouth, said "YES", played with her for about 15 seconds with that toy, praised her for 5 seconds and after that, and at day one she never touched the blanket again.
I live near a sound beach and we get dead crabs wash up time to time. She ate one and got pretty sick but cleared up with a vet visit. That was a challenge but I won.....she would want to eat these over and over, I watched her like a hawk, when she approached one I immediately gave her a poke, said "NO", made her sit and gave her big time praise and treated her. I say "YES" to the treat and actually pick up the crab, place it under her nose and say "NO" with a small poke for days in a row. She now will bring a dead crab to my feet, not eat it. I was so happy....praise the heck out of her every time....it is actually fun now!
I see that it is too easy to go easy going on correcting. You do not have to be mean or real tough but if you have none of that attitude with some bad behavior you will get steam rolled and lose control and then no one is happy. Do the work consistently and firmly. Find what works with your dog. Every gal/guy is different but from day one all to most are responsive to correction when you can measure what works and what doesn't.....meaning, if the wooby shooby, nicey talk and not making her/him accountable doesn't work ramp up the correction methods within reasonable vigor but be patient and then consistent with what does work. I found what works for me and Hudson. The relationship will be so much better when you do your day as you need to and she/he is enjoying it with you not without you by doing what only she/he wants to.
 

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She knows she is being bad, that is a step. Now you have to set her up for reprimand. Do not allow her the opportunity unless you are prepared to correct her. If you do you are training her what she can get away with.
Right. Problem is I don't have hours to wait on her to sneak. I find it best to just keep the counter clear. She can't reach to get into the baskets. I would have to do a pretty elaborate set up to catch her. So stinking smart!
 

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Training is your friend. Hire a professional trainer, one who will teach you how to interact with your dog. Not a petsmart type of trainer.
 

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Right. Problem is I don't have hours to wait on her to sneak. I find it best to just keep the counter clear. She can't reach to get into the baskets. I would have to do a pretty elaborate set up to catch her. So stinking smart!
Any time you cannot watch her, she needs to be in her crate or kennel until can correct the behavior. You are right, she's smart and has you figured out. She is watching you for the Q's that signal her opportunity. Dogs can be incredibly patient in waiting to get what they want.
 

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Right. Problem is I don't have hours to wait on her to sneak. I find it best to just keep the counter clear. She can't reach to get into the baskets. I would have to do a pretty elaborate set up to catch her. So stinking smart!
keeping the counters clear just means she won't get anything when she counter surfs, but it won't stop her from trying. I'd restrict access to counters. only let her have access to them when you are able to correct her. maybe you can set up a 'trap' for her for training exercise. leave something enticing and so that she will jump up and then swoop in to stop her and apply correction before she does.
 

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Any time you cannot watch her, she needs to be in her crate or kennel until can correct the behavior. You are right, she's smart and has you figured out. She is watching you for the Q's that signal her opportunity. Dogs can be incredibly patient in waiting to get what they want.
keeping the counters clear just means she won't get anything when she counter surfs, but it won't stop her from trying. I'd restrict access to counters. only let her have access to them when you are able to correct her. maybe you can set up a 'trap' for her for training exercise. leave something enticing and so that she will jump up and then swoop in to stop her and apply correction before she does.
Thank you for the advice! I do know how to train her....believe me. I have a lot going on right now and if keeping things out of reach is working for me, it's what I'm going to do. It's no longer self rewarding to counter surf so she will eventually stop trying. I need to start working on some new tricks with her. Smart and bored never makes a good combination in a dog.
 

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Thank you for the advice! I do know how to train her....believe me. I have a lot going on right now and if keeping things out of reach is working for me, it's what I'm going to do. It's no longer self rewarding to counter surf so she will eventually stop trying. I need to start working on some new tricks with her. Smart and bored never makes a good combination in a dog.
Please do not take offense, your dog is training you. You are adjusting your behavior to compensate for her behavior.
 

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A couple of my Goldens of the year have been world class 'Counter Surfers'! Many of the best ideas have already been mentioned. My last one was a male and not only did he surf....he did it quietly!?? I had a birthday, many years ago and my wife had purchased two fine steaks for us to eat for dinner. She left them on the counter for a few minutes, when she returned one was gone, and our female Golden was licking the floor! Our male was no where to be found! I finally found him in his crate in our bedroom.

So, I set a trap the next day! Using some pieces of the other steak, I tied them in a long rag. I then had two large empty cans where I put a few pennies and marbles, sealing it with a snap on lid. I balanced these cans on the end of the rag with the meat end on the very edge of the counter. Then we left the room....sure enough he took the bait, the cans fell down and he ran yipping all the way into the bedroom...…that was the last time he surfed!
 
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