Counter Surfing

Wolfie loves to counter surf with everybody for the Holidays.  He normally doesn't do it during the rest of the year and I don't want it to turn into a regular thing!

This is the time of the year that we have a whole lot of things going on.  We also have a lot more food out and about that we might not be watching.  We also have guests over who are just leaving stuff around.  Our house has become a giant buffet for Wolfie.

What we have to do is to first understand Wolfie's concept of food ownership.  If food is left unattended for a long period of time (you our your guests have food on a coffee table, but aren't actively eating) or you abandon the food (physically walk away from it), there is no longer a clear picture of ownership. 

Remember, in the wild, the Alpha Wolf would be the first to eat the killed hunt.  The Alpha Wolf would then walk away from the food, indicating that he was done and that the killed hunt is now available for everyone else.  It it is natural that Wolfie would go after the unattended or abandoned food.  This could be on a coffee table, dinner table, kitchen counter, etc.

Here is what you do:
  • Make sure that food is not left unattended.  If needed, pick up your plate and put it in an area that Wolfie can't reach.
  • Set boundaries.  When you are cooking or have food out in the kitchen, set a rule that Wolfie can't be in the kitchen.  Correct him as he approaches your boundary and praise him when he obeys you.  This can also be done for the sofa or dinner table.
  • Give Wolfie his own goodies (Kong Toys w/peanut butter, cow's holves, etc).  This will help to redirect him from your goodies. 
  • Feed Wolfie when you are eating.  This will help redirect him and when he is done, his stomach is full.
  • Instruct your guests not to feed Wolfie.  This might be fun for them, but it will be a terrible thing to teach him for the rest of the year.
  • Take Wolfie outside and engage in some exuberant play.  Getting him tired will minimize his wanting to engage with you inside. 
Remember, it is ok to "correct your guests".  They aren't the ones who will have to live with the inappropriately learned behavior for the next fifty weeks of the year.  For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.


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