How To Stop Your Newfoundland Dog From Counter Surfing
If I had a dollar for every time that I’ve heard a Newfoundland owner say that their Newfie was caught counter surfing I would have enough money to build that built-in dog bath I’ve been wanting for years.
It’s a common issue that many Newfie owners experience at least once and for some it can be one of the most frustrating and dangerous behavioral issues for them to deal with.
It’s happened to me more than once and I’m sure that it will happen again sometime in the future.
Counter surfing is super easy for most Newfoundlands to do and usually, they don’t even have to lift a paw to get what they want off of the counter.
Why Do Newfoundlands Counter Surf?
Why It’s Important To Stop Counter Surfing
Counter surfing can be dangerous for dogs and it can lead to them consuming foods that are toxic to them.
It can cause them moderate to severe gastrointestinal upset which can be costly to you.
It can also lead to injury if they slip or accidentally touch something that is hot.
Counter surfing doesn’t just apply to counters in the kitchen it can also apply to stoves.
This can be dangerous because a dog could burn themselves or they could accidentally turn the stove on which could be dangerous for everyone in the home.
Newfies are notorious for doing this because some of them can walk by a stove and accidentally turn it on with the butt.
It has happened in our house before!
Preventing Your Newfoundland From Counter Surfing
Prevention is key with counter surfing and it starts with you.
You need to effectively manage your kitchen especially if your Newfoundland is already a counter-surfing pro.
You can easily do this several ways such as:
- Blocking off access to the kitchen with a gate
- Crate training your Newfoundland when you are not home or can’t watch them.
- Not confining your Newfoundland in the kitchen
- Keeping your countertops free from any food items including dog treats
- Wiping down your countertops often to make sure that they are free from crumbs
- Keeping the butter in the microwave or fridge. (we all know that Newfies are suckers for butter)
Keep in mind that dogs are self-rewarding and if they keep earning a high-value reward from surfing the counter they are going to keep doing it until there is no more reward worth their efforts.
By removing the temptation you are removing the reward.
Teaching Kitchen Rules To Your Newfoundland
If the above options do not work for your home (it’s hard for me to keep food off of my counters too) then you can work on establishing some rules that your Newfoundland needs to follow when they are in the kitchen with you.
A few examples of kitchen training would be:
- Teach your dog to “place” in a certain area in the kitchen. This can be on a mat or bed.
- Teaching your dog to “leave it”
- Teaching your dog that they need to sit before they get food or treats
- Teaching boundaries to your dog and the kitchen is the boundary that they are not allowed to go into.
Other Ways To Deter Counter Surfing
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Besides keeping your counters clear of food and training there are a few products that can help to deter counter surfing such as:
- Scat Mats-When your pet steps on the training mat, they will feel a safe yet startling static correction.
- Snappy Trainer-This mousetrap-like device has a large red flap that snaps shut making a loud slapping noise when tripped.
- Cookie sheets-Line your counters with cookie sheets, hanging over the edge slightly. When your dog goes to counter-surf they will knock the sheets off the counter creating a loud bang when they crash to the floor. A dog trainer gave me this tip several years ago but she also said it may not deter ALL dogs.
- Some trainers also suggest using a coffee tin or other container and place coins inside of it. Place this at the edge of the counter so when the dog goes to jump on the counter they will knock it over and it will make a loud sound.
If your Newfoundland is a counter surfer or if you don’t ever want your Newfie to be a counter surfer, prevention and training are going to be key.
While not the easiest route, managing the environment is going to be the most effective way to do this in most homes.
If you are not able to manage your home effectively and your Newfoundland is a repeat counter surfer, you might need to enlist the help of a professional dog trainer.