Counter Surfing --- for Towels

Discussion in 'Labrador behaviour' started by Janel, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. Janel

    Janel Registered Users

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    Hi,
    My dog is driving me nuts with his constant 'counter surfing'. We never leave food on the counter (well if we do it's pushed way back), but we have to leave a kitchen towel somewhere. We can't hang them, be Hank will snatch them up. If he doesn't find one in the first place he jumps, he will continue until he goes around the whole kitchen. I finally had to put the gates up again to keep him out of the kitchen. He knows 'off' and 'leave it' --- but you know how labs can be deaf when they want to o_O Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks ;)
     
  2. pup-pup

    pup-pup Registered Users

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    Sounds very familiar. Jubilee races around the house when she gets one. She will trade for a treat. We try and remember to put them in a basket that she can't reach. She is not checking the counters as much and I hope this behavior will eventually be extinguished as she gets older.
     
  3. Lisa

    Lisa Registered Users

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    It's tough. I have a counter surfer, and I just keep stuff off the counters. Believe it or not he has gotten much better now (he' almost 5), to the point that my counters are not industrial-level clean. :) Nowadays most of the time he doesn't try to snatch whatever is left on them. He will occasionally go for something though, so he's not perfect, but it is 1000x better than when he was younger. So, my advice is to put those towels away, in a drawer or something. I know it's a bit inconvenient, but it's pretty much easier than anything else. You could teach him to stay out of the kitchen, but that's harder done now than if you had started when he was a puppy.
     
  4. Dexter

    Dexter Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Hi there,
    Dexter was a nitemare for it ...no tea towel was safe and he wasn't a counter surfer,it really was just tea towels.Dexter knew 'off' and 'leave' it but it took a while to translate to tea towels....they are flappy so therefore fun and probably smell quite interesting too!
    When he did it we acted like it didn't matter and swapped for a piece of kibble ,eventually he stopped doing it...as yours will too! X
     
  5. CamK

    CamK Registered Users

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    My Rex is a long tall lab and can reach most everything on the counters. He has brought us the big sharp knife a few times. Also various containers full and empty, the bread, and towels. He is very careful and gentle. Runs around and then grins at me as if to say 'trade you for a treat?'

    Try to think outside the box for where to put that towel.... Can you put a hook for towels on the inside of a cabinet door? Maybe a chain from the ceiling with a clothes pin on the end to clip a towel to? Suction cup hook on the window above your sink?

    Or did you mean help with the dog training? Lol!

    We baby proofed for our children, we do the same for our animals. It doesn't last forever, they learn eventually. Good luck!
     
  6. samandmole

    samandmole Registered Users

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    I feel your pain!! Mole loves a kitchen towel more than anything (still at 1yr 3mo!)
    I bought some stick on plastic hooks and have the towel hanging off a shelf by the sink too high for him to reach. Not a great look but has solved the towel stealing. Looking forward to the day they can just hang off the oven rail!!
    Sam
     
  7. Joy

    Joy Registered Users

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    I had a holder put up high on the back of a door which worked for us as Molly didn't jump but couldn't resist them dangling at nose level. Round about 18 months she stopped. I taught leave it for food and she was reliable with that earlier on, but tea towels seemed to have a special allure.
     
  8. SteffiS

    SteffiS Registered Users

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    We had so much trouble with Ripple with this that in the end I bought a couple of 'sacrificial' tea towels from the boot fair. These are hung within his reach and if he races off with them I can just ignore him.
    Now, a year on :rolleyes:, the tea towel obsession is almost cured.
     
  9. Yvonne

    Yvonne Registered Users

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    Cooper's favorite thing to "steal".....he flaps them around making sure I know he has it,then races around the house with it. I either "trade" for a treat OR towel gets ripped up. Usually I trade!!! Cooper is three! Hope he gets over this trait soon!
     
  10. selina27

    selina27 Registered Users

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    Me too!!
     
  11. Snowshoe

    Snowshoe Registered Users

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    Oban could reach the kitchen washcloth, even when I put it as far back as possible behind the taps. He ate a couple. They do break down but not good for the digestion I'm sure. For some reason he was not much interested in the tea towels and hand towel that I hang in easy reach on the door of the oven.

    Vinegar worked for me. Key first step, offer a small bowl to drink. If pup makes a face, comes up sputtering and looks at you like you are mean or nuts or both you can continue. Some will happily drink vinegar so this won't work for them. A couple of mouthfuls of vinegar will not hurt your pup.

    Keep counters scrupulously clean, wipe down with vinegar. The kind of vinegar you cook with and use for salad dressings, NOT cleaning vinegar. Even regular cooking vinegar is a mild antibacterial and lots of people use it for wiping counters even if they don't have a dog (poor things) Leave the counter wet, repeat after every meal making for a week. I left two small plastic bowls out on the counter as well.

    Now your counter smells like the stuff pup thought tasted awful. This worked for me. Oban relapsed about two months later (when he was 8 months old) and I did it again for about three days. I still have to keep my counters clean, not fair to leave plates of unfinished meals up there or bits of food, not even fruit as he loves all fruit. Now just my regular cleaning with vinegar, which is eco-friendly, is enough.
     
  12. Janel

    Janel Registered Users

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    Thanks for all of the input. Hank is 13 months, so hopefully this phase will start subsiding. There are some good ideas here. Think I'll be buying something (suction cup) to put on the tile and hang above the sink. I would really be fine having his own towels to play with, but he destroys them and I'm afraid he will eat them.
    Have a great day!
     
  13. Boogie

    Boogie Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    My Mum lived in the days when you went to the corner shop for a jug of milk/ale/vinegar/whatever. She to,d us she was never tempted by anything except the vinegar - she loved it and took sneaky sips!

    But, in theory, it's a great idea.

    :)
     
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  14. Xena Dog Princess

    Xena Dog Princess Registered Users

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    Xena gave up the tea towels at about 6 months, but before that they lived in a container at the back of the bench. I still have to keep my wash cloth in a container and if I forget to put it back she always grabs it and has a munch. I now have a pile of scrap cloths that I use for cleaning up cat vomit/mucky faces/poo paws. Our friends' choccie still steals tea towels...he's 9.
     
  15. Janel

    Janel Registered Users

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    Thanks everyone - I got a hook to put above the sink and it works lovely! So simple, yet i never thought to do it. o_O He's not finding what he likes, so he's jumping up less.
     
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