Nothing is more irritating than leaving a food bowl on the floor, not remembering to protect it, and coming back to find that your pet is serving himself a late-morning snack. Not only does he have no food, but your dog is getting food that is not good for his digestive system. As homeowners, this may seem like an easy problem to correct. Most dogs shouldn’t try to slide us, right? We are in charge. They are companion dogs and this is our home. But actually, when it comes to food, quite a few dogs go glassy and turn into mindless zombies. So it really is our obligation as homeowners to help you know the essential limits (and repercussions) when it comes to food on countertops and kitchen tables.
Absolutely the first thing you want to do is stop feeding your pet table waste. When you tell your dog never to take food off your counter, and very often offer it to him, he will only be baffled by mixed signals. On the other hand, by showing her that it is her food and that she is by no means allowed to have it, you can set a limit that she is much less likely to get confused. Next, you need to set restrictions within the actual room. Many people give their dog a totally free walk around the home.
The truth is, your pet probably has no reason to stay in your kitchen. It is small, it is congested and it will not be safe when you cook or clean. I generally recommend not allowing a pet dog anywhere near the kitchen area.
Countertops and tables
The next step is to educate your dog that he will accomplish nothing if he climbs on the kitchen counter. Like all habits, you must show him the implications of doing it. That doesn’t mean you should berate him, that almost never works. Instead, we are planning to show you something nasty. For starters, try to keep food out of reach as much as possible. Even when training works like a dream, there is no reason to push your luck and torture your pet more than necessary. Second, we have to make the action of jumping on the table or counter scare the dog. You can do this by putting anything nasty there for you to knock over, empty soda containers or bottles, that have a few pennies in them, and little rocks that are extremely loud and will instantly scare you. This could take a couple of days or weeks to register the dog, but in general, you will quickly discover that every time it jumps up for food, it will come across a loud and uncomfortable sound.
Your pet respects you as long as you maintain your alpha leadership position. For most people, the problem of jumping on the counter is not a problem, as the dog respects the authority it maintains. However, you must maintain that authority. Don’t give up and give him a few leftovers or ask him to clean up a mess on the kitchen table or even the kitchen floor. As soon as you set these limits, they should be maintained from now on. By throwing exceptions, you are simply confusing your pet and creating circumstances that are likely to cause the loss of snacks and annoyance to the people in your family. And when all else fails, you can simply prevent your dog from entering areas where there is food to grab.
However, whatever your circumstances, understand that letting your dog have complete freedom at the kitchen table is not a good thing, and it leads to several empty bellies.