Counter surfing - Hungarian Vizsla Forums
  • 1 Post By moonlightviz
  • 2 Post By Bob Engelhardt
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Counter surfing

Hi I have searched for earlier threads but couldn't find anything regarding surfing for non food items. We have a 3.5 month old vizsla. He is constantly counter surfing but not just for food. He will jump up and grab anything (papers, hats, books, bags, placemats, etc). We have tried dropping a treat on the floor along with off (hoping he will get distracted)... We have tried just pushing his paws off and saying off in a firm/not nice voice. If we show him the treat he will get "off", eat it and surf again!

Sadly I have a desk in our kitchen/eat in area and its basically useless since everything is relegated to the 8 inches from the back.

Do we need to remove everything from every horizontal surface we allow him in? Hopefully there will be another solution. I have been told by one trainer to use a spray bottle but I am hoping there are other things that will work.

Basically every waking moment he is out of his pen I spend either playing with him, training him or telling him to get off the counters, couch, etc.

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 12:32 PM
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Counter cruising is surprisingly both a common complaint and one of the most difficult to address b/c it plays inot their natural curiosity too much. My second V did this, and after trying everything, I just accepted this as part of who he is and let it go.

They are very curious, so the counter top is irresistible to some. You can do two things: Try picking him up and letting him see what's up there, sniff it, etc. Make sure there's nothing that could be of any interest to him, btw. The other thing is to make sure there's nothing up there...ever..that could excite him and reinforce this behavior.

You can try freaking out and really yelling at him(or spraying him, etc) when he does this, but it won't likely work. Your best bet is to let him see and sniff, and make sure there's no reason for him to continue and just hope.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 07:25 AM
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One of our trainers thought as a technic whereby u donít reward them for the coming off from the counter, but rather just reward them while they are still on the floor, meaning u have to be vigilant and make dedicated sessions for that. It is a bit like not allowing them to jump on people. I did this with puppies while prapering their food, and it has worked.
Also try and remove tempting objects, like food while u are working on this skill to set te pup up for success.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 07:12 AM
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A firm NO and a shot from a squirt bottle. I have always used it, and they fear it to the point of when I pick it up, they run!
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 06:35 PM
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Sounds like your pup needs more supervision, he is too young to have full run of an entire house and he shouldn't be jumping on and off furniture at this age (i.e. he can injure himself).

Steps to prevent counter surfing:

1) Keep your counter clean (ALWAYS)
2) 100% supervision (or use baby gates)
3) Train an alternate behavior

More reading:
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by ohio vizsla View Post
A firm NO and a shot from a squirt bottle. I have always used it, and they fear it to the point of when I pick it up, they run!

I don't like to use fear as a motivator. Primarily because it weakens the trust that my dog has in me. It's not the squirt bottle that he's going to be afraid of - it's what YOU are going to do with it.

Also, it conditions his behavior around you & not around the problem (counter surfing). You can condition him to run from the bottle, but you really want to condition him to stay off the counter. The difference being that he can learn that he can get on the counter when you're not around with the bottle. They are really good at learning that difference.
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