Basset Hounds Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi All!

I am new here. My son (12 year old) and I just adopted (two weeks ago) Strider, a wonderful 4 year old tri-color basset. We rescued him from BHRG and he was with a wonderful foster family who gave us insight into his eating habits, etc. I had many bassets growing up so I am familiar with their stubbornness, etc.

Anyhow, Strider (aka McSlobby) has been counter surfing. For a dog who doesn't stand very high, he sure can get up on those counters! Last night, he got to a whole box of frozen Texas Toast, tore open the box, ate through the plastic and ate 1 - 1 1/2 pieces of toast! :mad:

He's been counter surfing before that, but never has he gotten anything down. The word "NO" doesn't work, no matter how loud I scream it. Now, what DID work was slapping two flip flops together (which most probably nearly gave him a heart attack. LOL). He doesn't understand the word NO at all. He's not a very good sitter. Nor does he heel too well. I probably need to invest in a little obedience training. In the meantime, how can i keep my counter surfer down.

Additional info: I cannot put up a baby gate since I have an open floor plan kitchen. His food/water is also in there next to the dining room table (no where else for it). I am now putting things WAY back, but it still doesn't stop him.

Help!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
797 Posts
Quickest and easiest method is the booby trap ---- a light weight tray or rolled edge cookie sheet balanced on something tall and narrow --- load the tray with noisey but non-lethal items -- empty soda cans, plastic bowls, etc. --- tie a piece of food to the tray
Fido grabs food and the sky falls on his head----- Fido then thinks that the food is dangerous -- you didn't do anything, so counters can lead to disaster
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
HA!!! That's a great idea! I got him good with the flip flops, but that only works if I actually see him doing it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Quickest and easiest method is the booby trap ---- a light weight tray or rolled edge cookie sheet balanced on something tall and narrow --- load the tray with noisey but non-lethal items -- empty soda cans, plastic bowls, etc. --- tie a piece of food to the tray
Fido grabs food and the sky falls on his head----- Fido then thinks that the food is dangerous -- you didn't do anything, so counters can lead to disaster
HA! What a great idea...too bad I didn't know you 12 years ago. I jsut pushed the food back, put it away, and bought a high top table.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
878 Posts
One of my Bassets has often stolen food that we thought was placed far enough back on the kitchen worktops! The list includes (at different times) a dozen eggs and we found the shells scattered around the kitchen, six eggs (twice) the second time we caught Lottie lifting them down, very carefully a she loves carrying things around all the time and never goes outside without one of her many toys in boxes in the kitchen, hall or lounge.

One day I had taken out of the fridge to get to room temperature, two packets of Lurpak butter to make a fruit cake and I caught the pair of Bassets one in each bed with a packet each that looked like it had been carefully opened (not ripped at all) and both packets were licked almost to the bottom.

They have also eaten brand new packets of Flora margarine, loads of apples, pears, a box of Ritz crackers, two big packets of Cheddar cheese, raw sausages... all sorts of food, but thankfully nothing like grapes, chocolate or dried fruit! One day I had taken out two pork chops to thaw and left them far back, on an enaemel plate, but because Lottie picks things up in her mouth, she must have lifted it off the top as it was on the floor but we didn't hear it fall and as we have ceramic tiles on the floor, we hear everything that falls unless it's soft. If a mug or saucer gets dropped it shatters and spreads all over the floor!

On two different days, a tray of nectarines and a net of satsumas went missing and outside the kitchen window we could see Lottie chasing them (different days) around the lawn!!! Lottie's a michievous monkey and Lucie's an angel but I wouldn't have them any different!!!

Here's Lottie's first time at only eight months with a stolen satsuma (she loves playing with balls)!!! They are now 2 years and a bit!


 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,042 Posts
In my experience, it's much easier to simply not leave food out than to try to train a Basset not to counter surf. Unless you are absolutely perfect about keeping them from getting the food, they are intermittently rewarded for their efforts, and intermittent reward is the most powerful of all.

This article has some good observation on how things look to a dog

http://www.dogscouts.org/uploads/Counter_surfing_solutions.pdf

You could always try the rehab program here, but I suspect that for the average Basset the reward of the food on the counter, combined with the thrill of "ill-gotten goods" are worth more to them than a possible reward for good behavior (especially if you're not looking.....):D

http://www.fyrnicesamoyeds.com/pdf/Counter Surfing.pdf

Both articles were written for dogs other than Bassets. Bassets are...um...unique and don't read the books and articles that say how dogs are supposed to behave.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
203 Posts
Quickest and easiest method is the booby trap ---- a light weight tray or rolled edge cookie sheet balanced on something tall and narrow --- load the tray with noisey but non-lethal items -- empty soda cans, plastic bowls, etc. --- tie a piece of food to the tray
Fido grabs food and the sky falls on his head----- Fido then thinks that the food is dangerous -- you didn't do anything, so counters can lead to disaster
LOL!! I wish I tried that trick when we were in the training stages!! Mattie was so bad for counter surfing.. We just pushed everything back, plus I just sit and listen for her to jump up so I could catch her. Mattie still to this day will flip the trash can and dig through it if we leave it in the house if we are not home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,957 Posts
Fido grabs food and the sky falls on his head----- Fido then thinks that the food is dangerous -- you didn't do anything, so counters can lead to disaster
That only works if fido find the falling sky unusually adversive. IMHo most would gladly exchange a fell clamering pots etc in exchange for a piece of food. Resitance to adverisive is not an uncommon phenomenom espeical when the posible reward is food

On Punishment
In nature, animals face aversive situations frequently, possibly more often than they have the opportunity for reinforcement. It is often pointed out that animals learn quickly to avoid aversive stimuli, and that aversives tend to generalize more than reinforcements - likely true.
But, having said that, and even accepting the likelihood that it is true, animals do come equipped with a certain level of built-in resistance to the influence of aversive stimuli. A pup that is punished for nipping at a momma's nipple too hard does not abandon the nipple. The pup might be a bit tentative while nursing for a bit, but gets over it, and there is usually less nipping at the teat that feeds it. I watched a coyote pup fall into a cold spring and come out whining and shivering. However, the pup was soon back trying to catch the minnows that attracted it there in the first place.
Over a wild animal's life, it meets lots of aversives in the process of trying to earn a living and find a mate, and do all of the other things that that wild animal normally do. Trainers did not invent aversives. It just so happens that when we, or another organism, applies an aversive, we call it punishment.[/quote]

I tried to use a scat strip, it put out an electric shock when touched. Worked great at change the dogs behavior but didnot do a thing for counter surfing. The dog instead of puttin his feet on the counter know put them on top of the cabnet doors Didn't really hinder his reach. That is the thing with punishment Of time what we think we are punishing is not what we are actual punishing. By using a scat mat I though I could punsih counter surfing but in reality the only thing punished was puting feet on the counter. This certainly did not deminish counter surfing at all.


He doesn't understand the word NO at all
there are scant few dogs that understand no. That is they will stop what they are doing regardless of how the command is given. For the vast majority of human and dog "no" is shout and as shuch the tone and decibal level creates a "disruptive stimulus" that interupts the dogs curent behavior. It is not punishment because for it to be punishment it must less the likelihood the dog would do the behavior again which it clearly does not. This is no different than the "claping flip flop. clearlythe dog behavior was not reduced so it clearly was not punishment, simply a disruptive stimulus.


I am now putting things WAY back, but it still doesn't stop him.
Clearly as Miriam has pointed out variable rienfocement which is what counter surfing is. That is not every time the dog gets up on the counter is it rewarded only occasionally. This makes for a behavior that is much more resistant to extinct. That is the dog relizes it is not going to be rewarded every time so when it is not it is no big deal, it will try again later for the payoff.


However if over the long haul the dogs behavior is never rewarded, i.e he surf but never gets anything the dogs behavior will stop. Given the variable reinforment schedule this will take a long time. Also even extinct behaviors can come up every once and a while and if again it is reinforced the behavior will begin a new.

I am now putting things WAY back,

Wow if a determined and longer legged basset that will still not be effective. Pesonally I find if I need a tempory secure place for food items I put them in the microwave. But then again mine learned to open a single door refridgerator, and child proof lock last no more than 3 months



 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,042 Posts
Quickest and easiest method is the booby trap ---- a light weight tray or rolled edge cookie sheet balanced on something tall and narrow --- load the tray with noisey but non-lethal items -- empty soda cans, plastic bowls, etc. --- tie a piece of food to the tray
Fido grabs food and the sky falls on his head----- Fido then thinks that the food is dangerous -- you didn't do anything, so counters can lead to disaster
Melody regularly pulls heavy and noisy things off the counter/stove - doesn't faze her a bit - especially since one of those things is a frying pan with lickable stuff in the bottom!:D

This, of course, is when she's not actually ON the stove...

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,378 Posts
"Melody regularly pulls heavy and noisy things off the counter/stove - doesn't faze her a bit - especially since one of those things is a frying pan with lickable stuff in the bottom!

This, of course, is when she's not actually ON the stove."

Love it!

:D:D:D:D:D:D:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
275 Posts
[QUOTE

This, of course, is when she's not actually ON the stove...

[/QUOTE]

What a scream! Thanks for sharing this hirlarious picture! Seeing it was a wonderful way to start my dreary Friday heading out to work!

Also, I love your quote attached to the end of your posts.............could I be your friend! I've got a husband to trade!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Oh LORD!!! That pic on the stove is just hilarious!

Even if the counter surfing doesn't stop, I'm sure glad I found this place so we can share stories!

Glad to meet all of you!
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top