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nofishfisherman

Dog jumps up on the counters

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So I've tried breaking my dog off this bad habit but it hasn't seemed to work.

He's 6 months now and whenever we are sitting in the living room he'll always go into the kitchen and jump up putting his front paws on the counter or table. He doesn't always grab something since we try to keep things away from the edge but occasionally he'll get something.

For instance he grabbed a stick of butter last night and when we came to take it away from him he ran away with it and swallowed it in one big gulp. So I guess thats another issue we need to work on, running away with something he shouldn't have.

Any ideas on how to stop this behavior? I've tried keeping the counters clean of spec of food and that doesn't seem to work. I've tried leaving paper towels on the edge of the counter soaked in a bitter apple spray that he hates but as soon as it dries he'll grab them and rip them up.

Any other ideas?

How about ideas on breaking his desire to run away from us when he's got something he shouldn't? I know he has a strong desire to be chased. So I am sure he's just trying to bait us into it which we don't go for.

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Steady and solid correction of the bad behavior. A solid "NO" and an INSTANT correction made each and every time he is caught doing this. I would integrate this with your regular obediance training and make sure he understands what no means.

A shock collar could be used in this situation to provide the instant correction required. Place food or another item on the counter and bait him to take it. When he does, No and correction. Continue this until he understands. Also make sure everyone in the house can maintain the same level of discipline I.E. your wife has the same consistent discipline and does not allow this to happen. If he is running away from you, a check cord he is forced to wear in the house until he breaks this habit will work as well, and maybe better. Instead of the shock, a quick pull of the cord and a no work also. Do not allow him access to this area of the house until this behavior is corrected.

I also do not allow my dog on furniture, in the door of the house, or in a vehicle unless I tell him to. It saves a lot of headaches and was all taught the same way. You will never go back and say I wish I had trained him less, or he is much too obediant.

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Beat Him!

That is my first responce. But as wanderer politly interjected, "shock collar". And now I may have to agree. A shocker turned up a bit and a good remote and you wouldn't even have to get off your chair. You hear the feet hit the counter or table, and Zap. It wont take but a few shots to get him to stop.

I have gotten to the point now were my dog will not cross and imaginary line to enter the kitchen from the dinning room. She may put a foot on to grab something that fell from the stove, bt "GET OUT OF MY KITCHEN!!!" solves that.

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I have to agree with Farmboy, our lab at the same age as yours (he is now just over a year) was a counter surfer. While he did the butter thing too, we were right on top of him after that. With a stearn NO and quick correction, he has stopped. You are at the age where is he really going to test you. Our lab now will walk past us, and if there is a loose piece of paper on the coffee table do a quick drive by and grab it. He seems to do this more when he is seeking attention from us to go play.

I found that if you are able to correct him, teach him to sit, lay and stay with a simple command, you will be better off.

My wife, over a couple days, taught our lab when we tough the tip of our nose, to sit, lay and stay. We also make him sit prior to entering or exiting a door or when receiving a treat. Be firm, i am not into punishment where it inflicts pain but think that using the bitter apple and firm commands will get you far. We are getting a second lab tomorrow, from a member of this board and so the training will start again. Good luck, it does get better.

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Knowing just the little bit you've described, I'd hazard a guess that this may be a dominance issue. Along with the strategy Farmboy1 describes, I'd expand the training to include more things to assert your dominance.

When going through an exterior door with him, make him sit before you open it. If he starts to get up, shut it in his face and reinforce the SIT command. Eventually you want to get to the point where you can open the door without him getting up. Start walking through the door and if he follows, correct him and get him to sit again. Only when you're outside and he's sitting do you let him through. This applies coming in or going out. I can leave our patio door wide open and run outside and he'll follow me up to the door and stop cold, no matter how long I stay outside. One time I forgot to say "OK" when I went out to do yardwork and he was still at the door watching me 10 minutes later. I also apply this when going up or down stairs. A dog rushing by a kid or old person could easily knock them over on the stairs.

Now get some food he'll eat, but isn't nuts about and go to a hallway. Drop a piece on the floor, opposite the side of you that he's on. If he tries to get it, block him and say NO. Keep blocking until he stops and looks up at you. Then let him have it. Eventually you'll get to the point that when you drop it, instead of lunging for it, he'll look up at you as his first reaction. Now try something he loves, like a dog treat or a piece of hotdog. I did this training with my dog when he almost ate a pill I had dropped. Now if I so much as miss when I toss him a treat, he'll just stare at it until I say OK.

When you feed him, same thing. Make him sit and put the bowl down. If he get's up before being released, pull the bowl back up. He needs to sit until you have the bowl down and have released him.

Now none of this directly solves the counter top issue, but it does assert you as the leader of the pack. Once your dog is clear on this, I think you'll have a better chance of keeping him off the counter, and you won't have to beat him to get there.

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I didn't read all the responses so I apologize if someone already suggested this, but my Springer used to grab things off the counter. From what I read she probably found something good the first time which caused her to keep doing it.

To break her of the habit I put pennies/marbles in some empty pop cans and taped the tops shut. Then I attached them all to a string with some kind of treat on the end. Twice she grabbed the treat and pulled the cans off the counter only to crash them down on the floor. It scared her so much she came running out of the kitchen.

She hasn't been on the counters/table for 9 months now and it used to be a daily occurrence. In fact, once she started into a pan of lasagna but like I said it hasn't been a problem since.

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catch him in the act, grab both legs with your hand, and dig your thumb into his dew claw area. as you do this command the word DOWN and dont let go until his feet are on the ground

the dew claw is very tender area, do it once and you will quickly see the results

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Thanks for the advice, I'll have to give some of these ideas a try.

Like a couple of you have suggested I do make him sit before going in or out of a door, he does not get up until I give him the command. I can walk out to the detached garage and back without him getting up. His food gets set down in front of him and he doesn't get to eat it until he sits and I give him the ok command. In order to get the ok he has to maintain eye contact with me for various amounts of time. He picked that up real quick, now as soon as I go get him his food he runs to his spot and sits there and stares at me until I set the food down and give him the ok command.

He's pretty good with obedience in general I think alot of it relates to his testing us and also a cry for attention. I can play with him for an hour straight and when I stop he'll still be wanting more attention.

He knows what he is supposed to do and what he is not supposed to do, he knows jumping on the counter is bad, as soon as he hears me moving toward him from the other room he'll jump down and act like he didn't do anything. If I am in the kitchen with him he'll never jump up.

I think I'll try the pop cans with coins in them and see if that startles him enough.

I should also add that I am talking about a 6 month old Vizsla. I've been told that young Vizslas are notorious for eating/tasting everything in their world and being curious about everything. They are also a very sensitive breed that doesn't react well to a very firm hand so I'm thinking shock collars are out.

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No, the dog never gets caught in the trap! It barely touches it and it goes off with a snap! It surprises the dog giving it the negative experience you want. That's why it works because it corrects then when you can't. If you cannot correct an action immediately after or as it occurs you are only wasting your time and causing confusion for the dog. Correction needs to be immediate to work.

Some have used bubble wrap to teach dogs to stay out of a particular room, same idea just doesn't work on a counter.

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If you have a retractable leash or a 30' training leash put it on the puppy in the house a few nights when you can pay attention. Then if he jumps up you can correct with a tug and "No".

I did this with our chocolate while in the living room because she also wanted to grab everything in sight and chew it up. This way I dont have to get up and constantly run over to where she is, I just give a tug and make the long distance correction and it has worked. Like others have said, consistency pays and we have done this since we picked her up so she realizes that when in the house these are the things that are Not OK. She is 4 months today and we dont really have an issue anymore.

The one thing I will say is DO NOT chase the dog after an incident. You call the dog back to you and dont move until he comes to you. If you chase him, then you are no longer the dominant one. About 4 weeks ago I had my pup out on our walk in the back yard (2.5 acre lot) and I let her off the leash because early on we walked around the property with no leash. She decided she wasn't going to listen this particular day and she headed back to the house. I called and told her to come here, whistled etc and she looked back and kept going back to the house. I figured I could chase her but that wouldn't solve anything. So I stayed right there...about 500' from the front of the house...it was about 2 minutes and she came around the corner of the house again and looked back at me...I was still there. I gave her a LOUD, FIRM "Come" with a whistle after and she hightailed it right down to me on a full sprint. I praised her for coming back and after that it was like a switch flipped with her. She sits and stays until she is told to come in any door as well as the kennel. She sits and stays while her food is on the ground until she is told she can go eat and she will sit while the dummy is thrown until she is told to go get it.

I also don't believe in beating the dog or yelling at the dog. You have to put the time in to work with the dog and follow thru. You have to make sure that the dog knows thru consistency and repetition what you are trying to accomplish. I have learned a lot of stuff from watching "the Dog whisperer" he has a lot of good concepts in there that really work.

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Nofish,

I have a Vizsla as well. They are a "tender" breed, but also learn quickly and know very soon what they can get a way with. I much prefer a check cord, and made my dog where one almost every training session I had with him, but a shock collar set low works very well. You are not trying to hurt him, but simply let him now that you see all, and that behavior is not acceptable. Only if and when the dog knows and understands a command and does not respond purposely will I do anything more then that.

I think NO is one of the hardest commands to teach because they get continuous reinforcement from all over if you are talking to them or not. I would talk to the other members of you family and make sure they all understand the critical nature of where you are in training and use the same commands and reinforcement you are. Again Consistency, consistency, consistency.

Also praise him when he does the right thing. Place food on the counter, walk him to it and say no. When he does not touch it, praise him. Make him sit next to it, smelling it, looking at it, but do not allow him to eat it. Praise the heck out of him. It does not have to be negative. If he stares at it for a long time, and you train with treats (I don't) give him a different treat (not what is on the counter, that is yours).

Good luck and let me know how training goes!

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Thanks guys, lots of good advice. Its really these two behaviors that I've had trouble with and this being my first dog I've ever trained its been a learning experience. I feel like I'm learning right along with the dog.

I'll be heading out of town for a week and bringing the dog with so I'll see if I can start incorporating these ideas. I'm for sure going to give the check cord a try. I've been thinking about trying it but I guess I needed this little extra encouragement.

I know that when the light bulb goes on for him he'll get it, thats the way its been with all the other training, a few repetitions and then boom the light goes on and he's got it.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Farmboy, how does your Vizsla do on a leash? Ours has been a handful but we're seeing some improvments lately. He doesn't really pull now he just wants to smell everything. A trainer we talked to said Vizsla's can be tough to leash train becuase they are so environmental and they want to smell/taste/explore everything and that there field of reference is larger then other breeds so they are tuned into things much further ahead of them.

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I'm along the lines of Farmboy.

When the dog learns the command, tone, and stimulus of "No" then you can break this behavior in the act.

The mouse traps and noise will work and works well for cats.

Because we try and get a dog accustom and steady to load noises I'm not a fan of using that as correction. Of coarse becoming gun shy is one reason but overall confident to load noises in general helps make a well rounded dog.

Not directed at anyone, I'm just saying.

As far as a dog on heal or a lead. See it so many times when a dog is doing all the leading.

At those times the dogs attention should be focused toward you and nothing else. Should be awaiting your lead and responding to your every step. You turn he turns, you stop he stops. That would include absolutely No sniffing. If hes sniffing he is not paying attention to you. Constant correction every time his attention drifts away from you. When his head goes down you snap it back up immediately and command heal. Keep at it, what your working toward is a dog eagerly and anxiously waiting for your next move. Do a 360 and he is glued to your side.

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My dog has no problems on leash. I trained "heel" for a long time until he got it though. Here is what I did.

Take him outside, or somewhere where there are not a lot of distractions, I used my backyard that he was familiar with. Put him on leash, I used a choke collar, and get him to your left side and command heel. Keep the leash somewhat tight, but not choking the dog. I found it helped to keep his head somewhat up so he could not sniff everything. Start to slowly walk, and when he is not at heel, a firm "Heel" command, a quick tug on the leash, and continue on. After a few minutes, he will learn what you want. The basics seemed to come quickly, but to get him to fully understand was a much longer process.

After he had the basics, I set up a few garbage cans and did the same thing, but weaving through the cans. This really reinforced the fact that he is at my side no matter which direction I was facing. I found it was easier to train this command if I let him run off some steam before working this command.

Once he learned heel was at my side, I used this in the basic obediance training. Sit, stay, come, heel. Move 20 yards with the dog at stay. Come, heel, sit, stay. If I had it to do over again, I would not train stay, but teach that sit and stay are the same thing, the dog stays when I tell him to sit.

The other thing I would change is to teach "here", or "me" instead of come. I find come is a distracting command when hunting with other guys. Rock has a hard time when others yell come, he is by me trying to figure out what to do. A different command would help that.

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10-4 on that ST. If your pup is a handful on the leash there is no way you have control off it. Take control. There is no reason any dog should be a handful on the leash at 6 months. I ain't saying, I'm just saying. You really will have a hard time correcting any problems down the road if you can't nail the basic obedience down first.

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traps work but I used the shock collar on mine that were doing it to my garage cabinets. Wouldn't do it when you where there so I hid out in the truck and admit that I may have left a chew toy on the counter top. Once the front feet hit the couter I, ah, well the collar let him know he shouldn't be doing that. A couple times and problem solved.

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