Okay folks, if you’ve got a reasonable sized dog with longish legs who likes to, shall we say, counter surf, then this post is for you. We’ve got one of those kinds of dogs and I was starting to go a little crazy with his grazing ways. This dog couldn’t pass through the kitchen (and its basically a galley kitchen, so there’s a lot of passing through going on) without putting his front paws up onto the counters or the edge of the sink to see if there was anything to eat. Of course, there usually is because with little kids there’s always some food either being prepared, waiting to be served, or abandoned half-eaten at any given time. We tried correcting him with a gentle ‘no’, with a forceful ‘no’, with a loud noise (meant to startle him – yeah right), with a squirt of water (uh, he’s a hunting dog so he likes water) . . . nothing worked. Finally we tried this method to keep the dog off the kitchen counters. Get ready, you might want to take notes, it’s pretty detailed:
Step 1: Put double sided carpet tape around the edges of your counters and sink.
Step 2: That’s it! there is no step 2. You’re done now. Here’s a visual aid in case you need a bit more information:
The first day of Operation Counter Tape we set up an experiment – a nice big cookie right in the middle of the counter. Poor Pisco tried one side of the counter, then the other side, then the third side and each time he got right back down again his paws stuck to the tape. The tape is pretty sticky, but not enough to actually hurt when you’re stuck to it and it’s easy to pull off of. The cookie stayed right there for an hour or so, until my son ate it (Note: counter tape does not appear to deter children at all). We also put a strip of tape along the front of the sink and that kept him from jumping up to lick dirty dishes. It’s been two weeks now and he does still occasionally try the counter but gets down again before he grabs anything. I think we’ll need another week or so before we can officially say the counter surfing problem is solved.
There are a few things to keep in mind: 1) You’ll need to pull off and redo the tape occasionally depending on how often the dog, kids, dishtowels, your own clothing etc get stuck to it so that it stays sticky; 2) We have crappy linoleum counter-tops and although the tape comes off easily without a residue, I’d be a bit wary of using it on higher end surfaces – at least test it out in a small inconspicuous area first; and 3) You’ll need to keep the tape up until the dog completely stops jumping up because if she jumps up after the tape’s gone she’ll be right back to that counter surfing habit in no time.
Good luck, and come back and let me know if this method does (or doesn’t) work for you!