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Well, right before christmas Major jumped up on the counter, grabbed a cupcake pan and ate 13 chocolate cupcakes wrapper and all! After a call to the vet we were instructed to give him peroxide to induce vomiting, which he did. So we were thankfull everything turned out ok that time, well, just a couple days ago I was preparing a steak...yup, you guessed it, Major jumped on the counter and grabbed the raw steak (about 10 oz), by the time I got to him he had swallowed it WHOLE! The next day, explosive diarrhea which led to excessive straining, swelling and protruding intestines, and eventually blood in the stool. After a trip to the emergency vet hospital, blood work, a shot, some antibiotics and $400 later he is finally feeling better and regular. Just cant seem to keep him from jumping up on the counters, he has realized that's where food is, any suggestions?
 

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Nancy
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We have the same problem but Hank hasn't been as lucky as Major! The most he's got hold of was a leftover chicken roll from dinner, a couple licks of butter & nachos and a nibble of the Christmas coffee cake.
 

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O, goodness, I don't feel so bad then. Mine ate a rock.
A 3 inch diameter rock. Yup, it got stuck in his intestine.
We resort to a basket muzzle when we are not here. ( he's 14 months.) Right now the rocks are under 3 feet of snow so no muzzle for awhile.
I am hoping that once the snows melt he will have fogotten abou them.

I once had a Labrador Pit mix who ate his crate. And it was the steel kind.
we thought to crate him when we were gone, but low and behold, when we came home he was at the door.
The crate looked like a bomb had gone off in it. The corner was CHEWED off.
He matured into a beautiful loving dog, but oh, the puppy stage !!!!
 

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Booby trap the counter top. Tie a string to whatever he will grab and then tie the string to a bunch of pot lids. When he pulls off the item he wants he gets a big crash along with it. Some people have had luck putting double sided tape on the edge of the counter top, some dogs don't like the sticky feeling on their paws.

Or you can get Scat Mats that automatically spray a deterrent when they detect motion. Other than that, the baby gate at the kitchen door is a good suggestion.

It's hard to break the countersurfing habit, especially when they have scored big like he has. It sounds like he's doing it while you are in the process of cooking, so keeping everything off the counter isn't possible in that instance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It would be hard to put up a gate because of the design of the kitchen, it's kinda part of the living rom, the island divides the two. We have a gate to keep him from going up/down the stairs, its about the only place in the house to put one. As far as him getting food, it is mostly when we are cooking, even though if food has to be out we make it a point to push it away from the edges. He just seems to find a way, when he grabbed the steak I was actually in the kitchen with my back turned. He knows he is doing wrong because when I see him I yell NO and he lowers his head and walks away.
 

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I would fix up a kong with part of his dinner and yogurt (or something else) and freeze it during the day, then when you want to cook dinner you can just put him in a crate and give him his kong.

Both sides win.
 

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It should be easy enough to keep food off the counter when you're not cooking. When you ARE cooking, train Major to go to a specific place and stay there while you are cooking. Rookie isn't a counter surfer, but I did need him to stay out from underfoot if I was moving a pan of boiling water around, etc.

So, I taught him to go to his bed when I'm cooking. He picked up on it very quickly because I used super high value treats to train him. If I'm cooking, I can tell Rookie "go to your bed" and he'll go running over to his bed. He'll stay there until I release him. In return, every once in a while I give him a tiny taste of a very high value treat like cheese, chicken, meat, etc. The trick is, he ONLY gets a treat if he is staying put on his bed. If he gets off his bed without being released, he gets nothing. He rarely gets those treats at home so he's very motivated to stay there as long as he thinks a treat might be coming.
 

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Our Dusty is a counter surfer big time! We have learned to put everything up high where he can't get it. But over the holidays we had some friends over and I had put a plate with a cheese ball and crackers on the coffee table and we were all standing right there when he went over, grabbed the cheese ball and tried to run behind the couch with it! My dh got it away from him and we had to throw it away of course but it was so hard not to laugh at him, it was kinda comical!

Our Rusty used to eat stones from our gravel driveway all the time and if we caught him in the act we'd tell him to spit it out and he would. The things these guys want to eat!
 

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Mac's Dad
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I used balloons....blow one up and when he comes over to you to investigate pop the balloon in his face ....He should cringe or show unhappiness about it....then blow up a half dozen or so and tape them around the edge of the counter....or the trash container and he will be very hesitant to go near the balloons ...worked for me on both my goldens...
The other thing is use tobasco sauce....if he goes near the spots your trying to keep him away from (catch him in the act) put a small amount on the side of his gum line and tongue and don't let him drink any water for 10 minutes or so and then put a small dab on the objects you want him to stay away from....one he smells the sauce he will back away quickly....my golden didn't even like to look at the bottle on the table never mind trying to get by to get what was on the table or counter ....

Mac's Dad

P.S. don't make a game out of the balloons it must be considered a training tool ....the tobasco sauce will mike him very leery...
 

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He's found cupcakes, and a steak.

Methinks you won't get him to stop now. It's too late.

Better to figure out some sort of barrier system. There are a multitude of gates, including very long one's with door's, than can be used.

Well, right before christmas Major jumped up on the counter, grabbed a cupcake pan and ate 13 chocolate cupcakes wrapper and all! After a call to the vet we were instructed to give him peroxide to induce vomiting, which he did. So we were thankfull everything turned out ok that time, well, just a couple days ago I was preparing a steak...yup, you guessed it, Major jumped on the counter and grabbed the raw steak (about 10 oz), by the time I got to him he had swallowed it WHOLE! The next day, explosive diarrhea which led to excessive straining, swelling and protruding intestines, and eventually blood in the stool. After a trip to the emergency vet hospital, blood work, a shot, some antibiotics and $400 later he is finally feeling better and regular. Just cant seem to keep him from jumping up on the counters, he has realized that's where food is, any suggestions?
 

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This exact thing cost me a $5000 vet bill with Dakota in 1997. They had to remove some 5 pounds of gravel from his tummy :(

Our Rusty used to eat stones from our gravel driveway all the time and if we caught him in the act we'd tell him to spit it out and he would. The things these guys want to eat!
 

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I used balloons....blow one up and when he comes over to you to investigate pop the balloon in his face ....He should cringe or show unhappiness about it....then blow up a half dozen or so and tape them around the edge of the counter....or the trash container and he will be very hesitant to go near the balloons ...worked for me on both my goldens...
The other thing is use tobasco sauce....if he goes near the spots your trying to keep him away from (catch him in the act) put a small amount on the side of his gum line and tongue and don't let him drink any water for 10 minutes or so and then put a small dab on the objects you want him to stay away from....one he smells the sauce he will back away quickly....my golden didn't even like to look at the bottle on the table never mind trying to get by to get what was on the table or counter ....

Mac's Dad

P.S. don't make a game out of the balloons it must be considered a training tool ....the tobasco sauce will mike him very leery...
These both sound a little over the top. With the balloons, I would be worried about a) the dog having hearing problems from popping it in their face, b) them eating the latex if the popping ends up being fun for them, and c) the dog being afraid to go near me after him witnessing me make a huge noise in his face. I think it would do more damage than good.

I couldn't withhold water from them after forcing them to eat Tabasco sauce... that is just cruel IMO... "Here let me burn your mouth with this and stand back and watch you suffer for 10 minutes" it just doesn't make me feel good!


We have tried so many things to get Molson to stop counter surfing and he still does it so we just make sure that we leave NOTHING on the counters when we are gone, and that he doesn't come in the kitchen when we are cooking or have food out.
 

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Mac's Dad
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Too seriously

Your taking my answer way to far ........ What I meant about the balloon thing was not pop it in front of his face so he sees and hears it...I meant to pop it a foot or more away from him ...it is to associate the shape of the balloon and sound of it popping with "I don't want to go on the counter" and he won't eat the balloon if he doesn't like the popping sound ! as far as hurting his ears.... please understand that goldens are retrievers, they were bred to be around guns, my dogs were with me at the range and they never lost their hearing....

As far as the tobasco sauce ...you put a small daub on your finger (a small daub) then touch your finger to his tongue and hold back the water for 5 minutes if you wish, just long enough so he gets the feeling on his toungue ....it's to associate the "slight" burning (slight burning) sensation and "smell" of the tobasco sauce with an "I don't like the counter" !!!! Im sure you have had tobasco sauce and you didn't die (Smile) And if he chews your furniture put a small daub on the leg of chair or whatever else you don't want him to destroy... you only have to pop 1 balloon and put the sauce in his mouth 1 time Golden are very intelligent .

you don't have to do both...if the balloons work then don't use the tobasco or vice versa ! you can put the balloons in a trash bag and save them if he slides back to the old habit just take them out and tape them back on the counter or trash container

Remember you dog is your best friend, buddy, pal and buckaroo but 1st he is a canine and you have to understand that !
Their mothers will nip them and show aggression when they want the pups to act accordingly ...your dog will not hate you !

Mac's Dad

P.S. Believe me My golden was treated better than most kids were treated. what you call cruel I call training !
 
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