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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Counter Surfing Part II - What Not To Do

Continuing our discussion on counter surfing.  We've already talked about what to do. Here is what we should not do

Yell, spritz, startle, etc.
Scaring the dog can create fallout (problems can arise that might or might not seem directly related to the punishment (like inappropriate elimination))
And even if scaring the dog worked, most likely it will only work when you are there. Dogs learn safe vs unsafe (not right from wrong) and they know it's safe to get on the counters when you aren't there.

And if you are there, you can calmly redirect or just clean the counters. There is no need to punish or scare. Calmly redirecting takes the same amount of time and there is no fallout.

Booby traps (noise makers, shocking mats, sticky stuff, pointy/sharp stuff, etc..)
These are just plain dangerous
If a dog is in the middle of jumping up or is already on the counter and the dog gets shocked or scared or hurt, he or she might come down the wrong way and injure him/herself.

Also the problem with booby traps is that you might know what you are trying to punish but the dog doesn't know.
You want the dog to learn no counter surfing. But the dog might learn to be scared of the kitchen or scared of food/eating. Or what if the trap goes off when a neighbor walks by the window and your dog becomes of afraid of the neighbor - might even become aggressive - because he/she equates the neighbor with shock, pain, fear, startle...

More to come on counter surfing. See the first post here

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