Why Do Dogs Counter-Surf?

We all have stories about dogs that counter-surf; sometimes when a dog does this the feat can be simply unbelievable. I am constantly amazed at the intelligence of dogs when obtaining forbidden food. Dogs often have their preferred working methods and, of course, with success their behaviour is only reinforced, becoming a nuisance for any dog owner. Suddenly, food can never be left unattended, even if it’s left on a counter much higher than the dog itself.

I looked on the internet to find some prime examples of this behaviour. The first link can be found athttp://www.aplacetolovedogs.com/2012/05/clever-dog-gets-treat-video/1486635766.   The dog in this clip is very clever! The dog makes sure that the coast is clear before attempting to get food off of his kitchen counter. I think that many dogs do this by checking down a hall for a human or around corners. Often there are a few sniffing attempts below the counter, before taking the mission to the next level. This dog is truly gifted with a proven method which creates a private staircase for him.

I have a couple of funny stories that come to my mind when thinking of counter-surfing dogs. One year, my sister baked a birthday cake for my mother. She didn’t want my mum to see it, so she put it on the counter in another room. We went out for dinner as a family to celebrate my mother’s birthday and when we returned later to have the cake, we were in for a big surprise. When my sister went to get the cake, she was shocked to find that while the cake was there, the icing was not! Our black lab, Ben, had never counter-surfed and we couldn’t believe that he had done this. He must have spun the plate around for quite some time to remove all the icing and thought he wouldn’t get busted as long as he didn’t take a bite out of the cake. He never counter-surfed again, but needless to say we’ll never forget that birthday! Quite often when dogs are rewarded by counter-surfing the habit continues.

My grandmother, who I have mentioned on dogstwentyfourseven before, had a dog who counter-surfed. One summer at our cottage, Kelly, a dachshund rescue, ate two loaves of bread that were left to rise on the counter. We all thought that would be the end of her, but she had an iron gut and pulled through with just a tummy-ache! Another time she ate a roast that was thawing on the counter. I don’t know how she got to these heights, but my guess is that there must have been a chair nearby.

As you can see, it really is our fault as owners for leaving food out. Most often, we are the ones who provide the temptation to a curious dog and you really can’t blame them for their animal instincts. I found this great link with tips and background information as to why dogs counter-surf: http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/how-to-stop-your-dog-from-stealing-food?WT.mc_id=cc_pawnation%3bdog_stealing_food.

So if you have a pooch with a knack for stealing food, my advice to you is to avoid leaving food out in accessible locations and to anticipate their behaviour. Take the necessary precautions to avoid any incidents that could be serious and could require a trip to the vet.

Do you have any stories about counter-surfing incidents to share?

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About dogstwentyfourseven

Becky White is a dog walker.She and her husband live in Toronto with their two daughters.Becky has been a dog lover all of her life and feels now is the right time to share her stories, experiences and adventures!
This entry was posted in Dog Tricks, Dogs and Their Routines and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Why Do Dogs Counter-Surf?

  1. Barb Ferguson says:

    Love the counter-surfing video! I’ve had dogs over the years that have stolen everything from a pound of butter (ate the whole thing!) to one of the 4 steaks thawing for a dinner with guests!! Yes! Dogs can be very, very smart!!! I thought I’d not have to worry now that we have a 14-pounder, but the video makes me think twice!! Good one, Bec!

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