Fed up with your dog counter surfing when you’re gone? Me too. Today, I’m sharing some tips and tricks on how to keep a dog off the counter when you aren’t home.
We have three dogs. Two high-energy Vizslas that require a lot of physical and mental exercise and a geriatric mix-breed who sleeps all day.
The counter surfing dog is our youngest Vizsla named Roxie. Our pandemic puppy is now two-and-a-half. She is well-loved, trained, and gets tons of daily exercise but is she is also so freaking disobedient when we aren’t home to watch her every move.
Recently we came home to one of our stove burners on.
The stovetop was so hot that the overhead fan and had kicked on. This could have been devastating if we had left anything on top of the stovetop as we often do (think an empty pizza box, a plate of cookies, etc).
Roxie was looking for something on the kitchen counter while we weren’t home and had used the stove as her ladder. I’m still dumbfounded at how the dog was able to push and turn the burner knob getting the burner to ignite.
Why Does My Dog Jump on the Kitchen Counter?
I’m no dog whispering expert but I’ve learned a lot about why my dog jump on the countertops when we aren’t home.
- Lack of physical and mental exercise
- Highly motivated by food
Tips on Keeping the Countertop Dog Free
My first suggestion is one you probably have already tried: remove anything from the countertop that might interest your dog. In our case, it’s usually food. But it’s also paper, books, socks, plants, or any small items that might resemble a dog toy.
This can be bothersome because counter space is often used to store things like food, right? Or to hold books and notebooks, or plants and flowers. All of these things are like forbidden fruit to Roxie so we are constantly trying to remember to stash things before we leave the house. Sometimes that doesn’t happen. RIP $100 Biology text book.
We Use a Scat Mat to Protect Our Home and Dogs
The use of a scat mat can be controversial, I get it. I don’t want to hurt my dog. I love my dog.
But when we walked in to find the burner on and realized we could have easily lost our home, possessions, and animals to an accidental house fire, we started including the use of two scat mats when we left the house.
Do Scat Mats Work?
In our experience, the scat mat has deterred Roxie from jumping onto the kitchen countertop and stovetop. When we aren’t protecting food, I still always use one for the stovetop and move the other elsewhere – like the dining room table.
What I like about the particular scat mats we use are the ability to set the correction mode from tone only, or set it for a low, medium, or high static correction. It also has a digital monitor which will report how many times a paw has touched it in your absence.
Are you wondering what a static correction feels like on the scat mat? I’ve felt it and it feels exactly like a static shock.
Other Tricks to Keeping Dogs from Counter Surfing
- Throw a few pennies in a soda can (place a piece of tap over the can opening). Shake it at your dog when correcting their behavior. You can line up the cans on the countertop when you’re not home in hopes to deter him/her from jumping up.
- Place sheets of tin foil on countertops.
- Use a spray bottle filled with water to correct behavior. Like the penny cans, set the spray bottle out where the dog might jump to deter.
- Use bitter spray like Grannick’s Bitter Apple Spray to spray onto objects. This one might be difficult to use because you don’t want ruin food or objects with the spray.
- Hide treats around the house.
It’s a work in progress at our house. While the scat mats have definitely deterred Roxie from getting onto the kitchen countertops and dining room table (it’s been months since we’ve see paw prints recorded on the scat mat digital monitor), she still gets into things.
Just today I came home to a dried flower arrangement scattered throughout the house. We keep trying our best not to let this dog outsmart us and somehow she does. But she cute.
More Posts for Your Pup!
- New Puppy Essentials
- Keep Your Dog Cool in the Sumer
- Gift Guide for Dogs and Cats
- Get the Funk Out: Odor Eliminating Tools
- Should I Get a Dog?
We’re Your New Best Friends
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