If your dog has been jumping on the counter or table when you leave, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of reasons why your dog might have been doing it and what you can do to stop it.
So, why does my dog jump on the counter? Possible reasons why your dog jumps on the counter are that it wants food, it has learned that it gets rewards for doing it, boredom or separation anxiety.
There are a number of reasons why your dog could be doing it and it could be due to a combination of them. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main reason why it has been doing it and there are a number of things you can do to get it to stop.
Why your dog jumps on the counter
Below are some common reasons why dogs do it and what would make them more likely to be the reason why your dog has been doing it.
It wants food
The reason why it does it could be that it wants food. It could be the case that there is food on the counter and it wants some of the food. It could also be the case that it is hungry because it has not eaten in a while and it is trying to find food on the counter.
To prevent this, it would help to keep food in cupboards, where your dog can’t get to the food, and to ensure that it has been eating the right amount of calories for its breed.
It gets rewards for doing it
It might also be the case that your dog has learned that it gets rewards for jumping on the counter. If you tend to give it things such as toys, treats, food or extra attention, when it goes on the counter, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to reward it when it does not jump on the counter, to avoid rewarding it when it does and to follow the other tips below.
The cause might be that it is bored and looking for ways to keep itself occupied. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more when it has not been able to get much exercise and if it is calmer after getting exercise. It would help to ensure that your dog is able to get the daily amount of recommended exercise for its age and breed.
The reason why your dog has been doing it could also be that it has some separation anxiety. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more when you are not home and if it starts getting anxious when you are leaving.
In this case, it would help to reduce its access to the counter when you’re gone, to avoid leaving food on the counter and to reduce reasons why it might be anxious when you’re gone by feeding it, exercising it and letting it pee before leaving.
A lack of training
If your have not given your dog much training, it will behave the way it feels like behaving. This is unlikely to be the way that you would like it to behave which is why it is important to give it training. It would help to start by training it to do basic things in an environment without many distractions and to build up from there.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.
What else happened when your dog first started jumping on the counter
If your dog did not always jump on the counter, it would help to consider if anything else happened when it first started doing it. For example, it might be the case that you started leaving food on the counter causing your dog to start jumping up to get food.
What is different when it does it
It would also help to consider what is different when it jumps on the counter. For example, if it only does it when you have not been giving it much attention for a while, it could be the case that your dog does it because it knows it will result in you giving it attention.
What to do about your dog jumping on the counter
Below are some things you can do in order to get your dog to stop doing it.
Train it to stop
One option would be to train it to stop with the use of positive reinforcement training. This is where you reward your dog for behaving the way you want it to.
To use positive reinforcement training to get your dog to stop jumping on the counter, you could train it to sit beside the counter, reward it for sitting there and redirect its focus onto sitting when it seems likely to jump on the counter.
You can watch the video below to see how it is done and get more tips.
Avoid encouraging the behavior
As mentioned above, it might be the case that your dog has learned that it gets rewards for jumping on the counter. Instead, of giving it rewards, when it does it, try to avoid rewarding it and to give it rewards when it does not do it.
Reduce reasons why it might be anxious
If it has been doing it only when you are away, it would help to reduce reasons why it might be anxious by exercising it, feeding it and letting it pee before leaving. It could also help to give it things to be occupied with while you are away.
Avoid leaving food on the counter
It would also help to avoid leaving food on the counter so that it does not learn that there are rewards for it on the counter.
Give it exercise
It would also help to ensure that it is able to get a sufficient amount of daily exercise so that it does not look for ways to keep itself stimulated.
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