If you own a dog, then you would know that it is nearly impossible to leave your furry friend alone, unmonitored, with food exposed in the open. Even so, you can never afford to turn your head to the stove while leaving the tantalizing food on the dining table as the odds of your puppy jumping and eating the delicious food is high. Even if you managed to shoo the dog off for the first time, it would be tough for you to keep up with their antics, since some dogs can be pretty intelligent, and once you are caught unaware, there goes your dinner! This behavior is what is typically termed as counter-surfing, and this is something that you would want to stop.
Why counter-surfing is bad
Some owners may wonder, since it is just food that is enticing the dog, then perhaps counter-surfing is not a bad behavior after all. This is not true, primarily because some foods are dangerous for dogs to consume. For example, if you leave chocolate on the table, it will be an open invitation for the puppy to eat it. This is bad since it is dangerous for dogs to consume chocolate! So you must take steps and stop this negative behavior.
However, most owners will assume that the dogs choose to behave in this manner without taking into consideration that it is their instinct to sniff for food since they were natural scavengers in the past. As such, most dogs are often wrongly punished for being a dog! To avoid punishing them for who they are, why not look into some of the better ways at which you can mitigate this behavior.
How to stop dogs from counter-surfing
One of the most obvious ways you can stop dogs from counter-surfing is by putting the food in a position that is not within their reach. You will need to be wary, though, as some dogs can jump high enough to reach the top of the dining table. Some of them may even be intelligent enough to find means and ways to reach the food! In some cases, you can always opt to close the kitchen door and only serve the food when it is done, and everyone is at the table!
If you alone at home and you wish to have the ability to stop the puppy from stealing food, you can opt to use an e-collar to assist you with it! With the proper usage of the e-collar, you will be able to stop your dog from stealing food or even stopping him/her from ruffling through the trash bin or attempting to take food from the fridge.
How to use e-collar stop dog from stealing food
First of all, you will need to condition your dog, such as they are not opposed to the e-collar. We have covered this in an earlier post, so do check it out! Once your puppy is familiar with the e-collar, you can then go about training them to stop it from stealing food.
To start, wear the e-collar on your dog and place some food on the dining table. Once he/she begins to approach the table and attempts climbing onto it, you should activate the e-collar to signal to the puppy that this is undesirable behavior. Always remember to use a verbal command to cue the dog too. We like to use the word ‘off’ to signal that the food is off-limits.
In a nutshell, these are the 3 simple steps that you will need to take when the dog approaches the food:
- Activate e-collar
- Use a verbal cue, like ‘off’
- Once the dog is retreating, reward it with a treat.
You can repeat the above three steps until the puppy starts to understand that it shouldn’t be approaching the food at all. Of course, you can reward the dog with a treat during the first few training sessions, but you should gradually weave the dog off the treats. A point to note, though: you should ensure that the e-collar is not hurting the dog as it will be detrimental to the training process.In time to come, your puppy will stop stealing food from the table!