The Best Ways to Prevent Your Dog from Jumping on Counter


Frequently, you’ll catch your dog swiping food from the kitchen counter. Your dog might have climbed up on the counter or stolen your food if you turned your back for even a little moment.

What Is Counter Surfing, Exactly?

It is referred to as “counter surfing” when your dog gets up on a table or counter to help itself to whatever treats it may find up there. In reality, it is scouring your kitchen counter for snacks.

It could be annoying if sneaky dogs manage to grab a hold of your food, even if you leave it up high. Fortunately, there are a few actions you can take to stop this annoying tendency.

Organize the counters.

The first step in stopping counter surfing is training for you rather than your dog. Never give your dog praise for jumping up on the counter. The kitchen table and counter should be kept completely clear unless you are there to keep an eye on what is happening. If your dog jumps up and gets to receive even the smallest nibble of food, it is being rewarded for the unwanted behavior. Your dog is more likely to repeat the unpleasant behavior now that it got what it wanted.

Some dogs are motivated by things besides food. It’s possible that your dog would be almost as eager to steal a potholder or sponge from your counter as he would be to steal food. Keep in mind that your counters should be as empty as possible when cleaning them.

Teach your dog to stand with its four feet firmly planted.

Your dog can be trained to link being on the ground with good things. Once you develop the practice of keeping your counters clear, your dog will have fewer and fewer excuses to leap up. It’s time to begin training your dog that remaining on the floor will provide him more pleasure than jumping up on the counter.

Begin rewarding your dog for good behavior. Give your dog a treat whenever he or she puts all four paws on the floor while you are cooking. They’ll quickly realize that jumping up on the counter never earns them treats and that they only do so while they’re lying on the ground.

Another thing you may teach your dog is the put command, which points to a mat or a bed in the kitchen. Practice the “place” command during a series of training sessions. Once your dog is reliably going to and staying in their mat or bed, you can leave them there while you are making meals in the kitchen. Continue tossing treats occasionally even after your dog has mastered staying on the mat or bed for an extended period of time. Your dog needs continual reassurance that being still or keeping all four paws on the ground is preferable to jumping up onto the counter.

Getting Your Dog to Leave It: A How-To

In spite of your best efforts, someone will inevitably leave food on the counter or table when you are not looking. If you catch your dog stealing from the table, it will be simpler to stop him if you know the command “leave it” beforehand. Your dog is told to disregard the food on the table by using this command. Wait until all four paws are flat on the ground before requesting the dog to sit and rewarding it with a goodie if it complies with the command to “leave it.” This simply helps to highlight once more how much more comfortable it is for your dog to remain on all fours the ground rather than springing up to counter surf.

Problems and Proofing Techniques

If your dog is not responding favorably to the aforementioned training techniques, you might wish to seek advice from a dog trainer or behaviorist. A specialist can help you pinpoint the issues that are preventing you and your dog from communicating effectively.

Prevent some common mistakes in the interim. Keep everything off those counters so you can withstand temptation. Ensure that all guests and family members are on the same page so that they can all respond to instruction together. You should usually confine your dog while you are away to avoid mishaps. Be patient and persistent.