Author Topic: Counter surfing, food stealing, cat chasing.....  (Read 2007 times)

lucyana1129

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Counter surfing, food stealing, cat chasing.....
« on: October 25, 2011, 02:52:35 PM »
 :wall:We are working on playing nicely. Seem to be making progress. But I am about to lose my mind with a few other things. We try not to leave food on counter tops. Even without food up there she insists on putting her feet up there. She pulls paper down and chews it up. She puts her feet up on the dining table to see if there's food up there. I have no idea how to stop it. She also keeps taking my sons food. She will see me and bolt off then 5 seconds later be in his bowl again eating as fast as she can like she's never eaten in her life. Then there's our cat. I figured she would get used to him and realize he won't play if u chase him. Its been a few weeks now and she still insists on chasing him all over. She bounds up and down the stairs after him. I'm sure she thinks he is playing bc he hits her in the face but he def isn't. I'm at my wits end with it. I know it sounds like she has no obedience but really she does. If Virgil (our cat) wouldn't run I'm sure she would leave him alone but he runs everytime. Is this something they will get over or will I be dealing with it forever? How do I stop her stealing food and counter surfing? I love that dog but she drives me as crazy as my 2 year old. Haha! No wonder they get along so well.

BoxerWB

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Re: Counter surfing, food stealing, cat chasing.....
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2011, 05:21:37 PM »
OK, so the good news is that most of this is environment management... the bad news is, it's mostly management  ;D  A lot of these behaviors are also self-rewarding, which means you have to really buckle down consistency to get rid of them altogether. Think of it like a slot machine jackpot... she might not hit anything 99 times, but if she scores on that 100th time, you can bet she's going to keep playing the game!  

Question #1:  Is your house made in such a way that you could possibly gate her into your general area when you aren't actively watching her?  Puppies get into mischief, but it's much harder to get into trouble when someone can see you and stop you before you start.

Cat:  Gate off a portion of the house that is the cat's "safety zone" (preferably where their food and litterbox is).  That way kitty has a safe place to escape to any time they feel it necessary.  This allows them to choose when they interact with the dog.  Dog behaves badly = cat goes back to the unreachable place where it's no fun at all.  Some dogs won't catch on quickly to cat's corrections (they aren't speaking the same language, afterall) but I can't remember hearing a situation where it didn't improve and become bearable over time, provided the dog really was *just* playing.

Counter & Table:  Keep the reachable surfaces clean of everything that might be tempting... food, paper, small items that could be fun to chew, etc.   Not easy in a busy house, I know, but she'll keep playing the slots if you don't stop the game from being fun.  When you are present/nearby for the surfing, start body blocking her.  Instead of correcting (no, down, bad, etc)... you just walk into her like you happen to be going that way and she's in your way.  This helps you wean off the 'checking' behavior.  At very minimum, she learns to check when you aren't looking (thus why clean surfaces are still a must).

Food Stealing:  Again, simple to say, harder to do... your son doesn't have food on her level unless you are actively monitoring them.  He either has to be out of reach or you have to be able to stop the behavior before it starts.  Dogs aren't dummies, they know kids are a great source of illicit snacks, so she's going to keep going back.
Julia
Delta 03/12
Dash 07/06
Shady 07/05
In my heart: Xena 03/10/03 - 02/16/12

BoxerPerson

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Re: Counter surfing, food stealing, cat chasing.....
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2011, 08:24:06 PM »
Aren't boxers fun?  Gotta say I have been lucky in all my rescues...UNTIL Snookie!  She is a total handful! But with consistency and patience, I bet she too will come around.
Claire-Mom to Ollie, Zoe, Phoebe, Willie & Snookie

Goofy-Hailey-Nikki-Casey-Tyler-Cynder-Lilli-Daisy-Winnie-Felix-Levi-Ellie-&

lucyana1129

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Re: Counter surfing, food stealing, cat chasing.....
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2011, 12:03:07 PM »
I gated off our living room area the best I could. Every time I walk out though she jumps the couch to follow me. Haha! Can't help but smile about that. She's only been here a couple weeks and she's already so attached to me. She's not supposed to be on the couch but she gets up there and curls in a little ball. I can't tell her no. My husband says if I allow her too that she will not know I'm pack leader though. Is that true? He says big dogs are different than my smaller ones. She didn't chase the cat this morning. Of course she was in bed with me after my husband went to work so she was passed out taking up half the bed. She can't get my sons food if she is gated in the living room and he is eating in his high chair. He has a tendancy to hand it to her and run crying to me like she stole it. I cleared all the counter tops. Which seemed to gather more stuff 5 seconds later. Haha! A house with 2 little boys and one big one (my husband...haha!) is quite hectic but that rule will help keep it clean in here. Our cat is happy to have a safe place where he isn't being chased. Def a lot of management but it isn't much different than with a toddler. I can now see what everyone is doing bc we're all in the living room. Haha! Last night during dinner she did get on the counter. She saw me and got right down. Does anyone else have an issue with running away? If she's outside and I tell her to come in she play bows, barks, and runs off. Same in the house if I ask her to come to me. And if she gets out the front door.....get ur running shoes on. Her recall is non existant. My husband had to tackle her to catch her the other day. I got a long lead to try teaching her that way but it doesn't seem to be helping. She chased (playing) a lady jogging the other day! She was trying to run with the lady but really? She was scared to death. I would be too if some crazy dog was running (sprinting) next to me. She is SO smart. I have no doubt that she can learn. I think its more me.

lucyana1129

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Re: Counter surfing, food stealing, cat chasing.....
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2011, 12:08:11 PM »
Just read The Chase Me Game thread. Very helpful! Ill try that for sure. As I said, the long lead doesn't work but maybe starting on a shorter one will. Now just to find something to help with the chase me game (play) inside.

WildBeanerz

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Re: Counter surfing, food stealing, cat chasing.....
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2011, 01:00:04 PM »
Do you not have a fenced in yard? If not, until her recall is very good ( I wont' say 100% because I don't believe any dog is 100% ... they have a brain and get distracted ) I wouldn't let her out without a leash or on a tie out. It is a hassle instead of just opening the door I know but it is much safer for her. Especially since it sounds like you live in a populated area not out in the country.

We don't have a fenced yard either but luckily we arent' on a road so it is less dangerous. Our boy (Bones) was a wanderer though. He had to check things out all the time. So I found treats he really liked and would have it in hand when taking him to the door to go outside. Then show him it, even let him lick it sometimes. Then let him out and stay at the door while he did his business then before he could get distracted call him back and sometimes even say "come get your treat" and he learned quickly to return to the door is a good thing because he got something yummy. This was done when he was about 9 yrs old so it isn't required to be a puppy. I then lessened how often I actually had a treat but was prepared with the box so that I could shake it for his attention if needed. He only made me chase him down about 3 times in 2 yrs before he passed.

April - mom of
Bones RIP big guy 11.04.10 :angel:
Macie 8 yrs brindle female
Chloe 11.19.09 fawn female
Love my rescue

Patti

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Re: Counter surfing, food stealing, cat chasing.....
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2011, 05:08:55 PM »
"She's only been here a couple weeks and she's already so attached to me. She's not supposed to be on the couch but she gets up there and curls in a little ball. I can't tell her no. My husband says if I allow her too that she will not know I'm pack leader though. Is that true? "
I don't necessarily think the 'pack leader' part is true. We let Otis on the couch but he knows who's boss. I do think, though, that if you are letting her do things that she's not supposed to do you're only teaching her that you are a push-over and to keep trying her bad behaviors because eventually you'll give in.
Patti & Otis (8/18/2006)


BoxerWB

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Re: Counter surfing, food stealing, cat chasing.....
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2011, 06:09:53 PM »
If you tell her to get off, does she get off? Being the pack leader is about being the one making the rules, but you still get to choose which rules you make.  My dogs are allowed on the couch, the bed, and even completely on me (which can be a little heavy!).   But they also know commands like "off" that mean they have to leave those prized perches because I say so.

Little dog and big dogs are not really different in terms of pack behavior - they are all dogs, afterall.  I think the main difference I see is that people don't notice or correct "leader of the pack" or bad behavior in little dogs like they do in big dogs.  My ILs have a Lhasa that growls at FIL at the dinner table until he feeds her.  If their lab did that, I'm pretty sure they'd correct her, but since the Lhasa is little, it's "funny".   They had a Lhasa years ago that bit Aaron and others and they kept him and even bred him (breeding is a whole 'nother topic, of course) Yet the German Shepherd they owned at the same time bit a woman who entered their house without permission and was put down.
Julia
Delta 03/12
Dash 07/06
Shady 07/05
In my heart: Xena 03/10/03 - 02/16/12

lucyana1129

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Re: Counter surfing, food stealing, cat chasing.....
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2011, 11:57:15 PM »
We have a fenced in back yard. Its the front we have problems with. We are teaching the "wait" command but bc it isn't perfected she bolts when she gets the chance. She will get off the couch when I say but tries to jump right back on. And there are times when she will lean all her weight into me trying to get her off. My house is the worst place to try to teach her something. With two babies, a cat, and two other dogs she is very easily distracted. So, off to classes we go. :)