Your dog may be the most well-behaved canine you know—until he smells something yummy in the kitchen. Then, he turns into the Tasmanian Devil, running along the countertops and attempting to steal food. But with consistent training and loving discipline, you can regain control of the kitchen.
Establish yourself as the alpha dog. If your dog is running around on the counters, ignoring your command to "Get down," then it's a sure bet he doesn't see you as the boss. That needs to change. Speak firmly to him, give his collar a shake when he disobeys, and praise him warmly when he listens.
Teach your dog basic commands when he is calm, so that you can use them to spur immediate obedience when he considers jumping up on the countertop. Basic commands such as "Down," "No" and "Off" should be part of your dog's obedience training; this further establishes your dominance over him.
Shake a noisemaker—such as a coffee can filled with dried beans—at your dog when he attempts to jump up on the counter, The noise startles your dog and gets his attention, and then allows you to give him a firm "Get down" or "Off."
Avoid leaving foods on the counter that will entice your dog to jump up. Do not leave your dog unattended while you are working in the kitchen. Store leftovers immediately, wash the counters to remove tempting odors, and latch all cupboards that your sneaky canine could get into.
Remove your dog from the kitchen after he attempts to get up on the countertop. Put him outside or gate off the kitchen. Ignore him while he is being disciplined to reinforce that he will not get any attention when he misbehaves.
Items You Will Need
- Leash or crate
- You should only have to give your dog a command once; work with him until he understands that he needs to listen and obey the first time.
- Do not overuse a noisemaker, as it can lose its value if your dog becomes desensitized to it.
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