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Sneaky Counter Surfer & Thief

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  • #21
    Right thing easy, wrong thing difficult (or on command, as suggested)... Make it fun, make it interactive for him, give him a click/treat when he's doing a good job and get a good "arrrgghhghghghrrr" "no" sound for when he looks at the wrong thing, reward when he looks away... BTDT.

    I go ahead and punish mine for doing the wrong thing, I think that might be outdated behavior to some but I have a house full of pretty good dogs.

    My spazoid high energy dog almost gets worse with exercise; she gets so excited about going that she gets anxiety about if we're going or not and if it's now and should I get in the car and is it time yet???? In the middle of the winter when we aren't doing much she is much calmer.
    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

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    • #22
      Have you tried a scat mat?
      Semi Feral

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      • #23
        Originally posted by maybedog View Post
        I walk the mile, the dogs run through the fields and woods, play in the pond and just have a good time.
        I hike almost every night up a small mountain 3-5 miles with almost an 800 foot elevation change so I figure my dogs run at least 9 to 15 miles as I am slow hiker so they have a lot of back and firth time and honestly I think estimating that they only go 3x my distance is conservative. When we get home they have the edge taken off but are not always tired. Sometimes they are rested up and obnoxious an hour later - back to their counter stealing, thieving ways.

        If you have any type of working breed mix that has not had the drive bred out of them then they can be a lot of work. A mile walk for you with them off leash may be a drop in the bucket.

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        • #24
          yup. Put a GPS on the dog- he's probably not running anywhere near as much as you think. A mile walk for a human is only 15 minutes or less. And laughing because you didn't bother to train him or exercise him properly and have resorted to mouse traps is well, disgusting.

          Did you spend ANY time training him to behave in the house? no, you just locked him in a crate.

          Train don't complain.
          Last edited by wendy; Sep. 24, 2013, 11:03 PM.

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          • #25
            Train don't complain.
            No amount of training will stop a dog from doing what is rewarding to it when you are not there to reinforce.
            If the counter gives treats (be it food or 'toys') then the counter is fun and a friend. You teaching it to stay off the counter equals it learning that it can not play with its friend the counter when you are around but the counter is fair game when you are not there.


            Now, do not take that as I am saying do not bother training your dog. I am all for training and socializing and all that stuff. I am just saying blanket statements about how clearly no one else is bothering to train are not necessarily accurate.

            Originally posted by starrunner View Post
            Have you tried a scat mat?
            We had a rottie that would look to see if the scat mat was up there. It was so funny. Smart sucker he was. No scat mat meant couch/counter was free game. He could open cupboards too. Child latches were just a new puzzle to figure out.

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            • #26
              Increase exercise. His behavior is telling you that he is not getting enough. Go back to crating when he is home alone.
              Sheilah

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              • #27
                I see the pill pocket has arrived in the thread to represent the "vinegar not honey" approach!

                If the mouse trap is doing the punishment so what?

                If the dog isn't a marathon distance runner on a daily basis so what?

                It's a DOG not the center of the universe. It's not as complicated as people want to think it is.
                “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

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                • Original Poster

                  #28
                  Originally posted by cowboymom View Post
                  I see the pill pocket has arrived in the thread to represent the "vinegar not honey" approach!

                  If the mouse trap is doing the punishment so what?

                  If the dog isn't a marathon distance runner on a daily basis so what?

                  It's a DOG not the center of the universe. It's not as complicated as people want to think it is.
                  Thank You cowboymom, you "get" it. I always hesitate posting here because there is always someone waiting to turn things into a trainwreck!! This is not an "untrained" dog. He comes when I call him, will "leave it" when told to do so, sits, stays etc. I'm used to big goofy dogs. He was supposed to be lab/mastiff so I wasn't expecting a 40 lb smarter than average bundle of energy. The mile walk is more for me than the dogs. They play for hours afterwards and are usually exhausted by the time we get back in the house. I'm sure he will be fine when he finally "grows" up.
                  If there are no pets in Heaven then I want to go where they went !!!
                  RIP Maybe June 13,1993-Sept.23,2006,Dexter March 11,1983-Sept.23,2009, Joey 1997?-June 21,2012, Abbey Dec.7, 2003-Aug.29-2016.

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                  • #29
                    I think your dog and our greyhound have been in communication.

                    Your dog is alone all day while you work - and young - situation normal, because he is bored and lonely. Ours was locked behind dog gates while we were out.

                    We (hate to admit it here !) use the mousetraps and they are very good at deterring a dog and we have never had a dog get zapped....startled, maybe, but that's the intent.

                    We still, after she is long gone, put our roasts and yummy stuff at the back of the counter, force of habit. But I did love her and miss her so.
                    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

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                    • Original Poster

                      #30
                      Foxtrot, she trained you well I know how hard it is to lose them. September 23rd is the "anniversary" of my losing my heart dog, Maybe in 2006 and heart horse, Dexter in 2009.
                      After one "mousetrap incident" my little monster hasn't even looked at the counter.
                      If there are no pets in Heaven then I want to go where they went !!!
                      RIP Maybe June 13,1993-Sept.23,2006,Dexter March 11,1983-Sept.23,2009, Joey 1997?-June 21,2012, Abbey Dec.7, 2003-Aug.29-2016.

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                      • #31
                        Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
                        No amount of training will stop a dog from doing what is rewarding to it when you are not there to reinforce.
                        If the counter gives treats (be it food or 'toys') then the counter is fun and a friend. You teaching it to stay off the counter equals it learning that it can not play with its friend the counter when you are around but the counter is fair game when you are not there.
                        I agree, sort of. It really has been my experience that when I train a dog to fetch things to me, they lose interest in running off and that eventually morphs into not stealing.

                        even when I'm not home.

                        certainly when I am home and not in the room

                        that said, it does take some consistent, perhaps long term work to teach it. Since I love to train, it's not a hardship for me to train through the setbacks. Some don't enjoy training to the specifics I do and for those, I recommend management (tho sooner or later the dog may discover how to trigger the mouse traps and then the counter will be free game again).


                        I am just saying blanket statements about how clearly no one else is bothering to train are not necessarily accurate.
                        truth here.


                        We had a rottie that would look to see if the scat mat was up there. It was so funny. Smart sucker he was. No scat mat meant couch/counter was free game. He could open cupboards too. Child latches were just a new puzzle to figure out.
                        I am certain that in my home, I'd forget the traps or scat mat at some point and the dog would figure out to look, like yours did. Gotta love a dog who figures out problems.

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                        • #32
                          There's something to be said for having a dumb dog.

                          Then again, when he finds things to eat, it's things like lint or a pebble.
                          Semi Feral

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                          • #33
                            Aw, one of his toys?! That's entrapment! <g>

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                            • #34
                              Snappy Trainers!

                              They look like small mouse traps with a big flap of plastic attached to them: when the dog or cat springs them, they make a lot of noise, but because of the flap, it can't hurt them. One session with them cured my counter surfer.
                              www.TerriMiller.com
                              Photos & Commissioned Paintings

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                              • #35
                                Make it not worthy for him to counter surf - no pay = this is boring = behavior extinction (in theory!). The mouse traps can work for some dogs, but eventually the smart ones figure out that the brown thing is the source of surprise.

                                My younger dog used to literally make his way onto tables - he's 45 lbs and I once found him all four on the kitchen table with a muffin in his mouth... After that - no food left unattended on table whatsoever, all food on counter pushed back up to the wall. He stopped trying after a few weeks of that, cause it just wasn't paying. Of course it's harder not to have anything in reach that's not even food, but it's worth a try and will definitely look super orderly...

                                Make sure he has brain-stimulating toys - kong filled with peanut butter, a treat ball, buster cube, etc. To keep his brains busy and off the higher surfaces.

                                Definitely back in the crate when you're not home, don't want to end up to the vet cause he decided to swallow that delicious towel instead of shredding it!

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                                • #36
                                  Just a comment to the person who said training your dogs eliminates all food/garbage stealing issues... Very well trained dogs can all of a sudden decide to start doing naughty things when their training and routine has not changed at all. My DSD (think black bridle GSD) is turning 3 in November and has just in the last month decided that he is allowed to have things in the garbage if he can reach them without knocking the can over. My dog is AKC CGC trained, gets exercise everyday, is not alone in the house for long ever, and just decided for some reason garbage diving is fun... even though he looks guilty as heck when you catch him in the act (3x now).
                                  Mouse traps on top of the garbage after setting a "trap" (bone from cooking dinner - which is #1 for garbage theft motivation) for him are in order, and I don't feel bad at all since he should know better.

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                                  • #37
                                    Trying the scat mats this week. So hoping they work for the cats!!
                                    Rhode Islands are red;
                                    North Hollands are blue.
                                    Sorry my thoroughbreds
                                    Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :

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                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by Coltinator View Post
                                      Just a comment to the person who said training your dogs eliminates all food/garbage stealing issues... Very well trained dogs can all of a sudden decide to start doing naughty things when their training and routine has not changed at all.
                                      first of all, I did not say it would eliminate all food/garbage stealing issues. What I actually said was that it had been my experience that once a dog has been taught to bring you things, that eventually morphs into not counter surfing. That is what I've found.

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