Dog Training: Setting Boundaries – Stop Counter Surfing – Thriving Canine


Hey, everybody this Chad Culp, certified dog trainer and owner of Thriving Canine and today we’re gonna talk about setting
boundaries in the house and most particularly in the kitchen. I get a
lot of calls with people with dogs that are counter surfers or they’re getting
into the garbage – some dogs are even learning how to open up the cabinets and
helping themselves to anything and everything that’s in the kitchen. The kitchen is just a problematic area and it’s also a safety issue. Think about it, you know, you’ve got a pot of hot boiling pasta and you’re moving to the sink, you don’t need a dog under your feet – you trip… you could scald the dog, scald yourself,
everybody’s hurt – what a mess! okay so it’s best to just keep them out of the kitchen. It’s also good just for dogs to have
boundaries from a leadership perspective so this
could apply to any room in the house that you may want to keep the dog out of. And, I know some people feel bad about this – they say, “oh, my dog is part of the family, they should have access to the whole house.” But, look at it this way – I don’t know about you but when i was a kid and I went to people’s houses, especially friends who had nice houses, there was always certain areas we
weren’t allowed to go and usually it was a really nice dining room where they had all the special crystal
and the china and the nice Persian rug and all this kind of stuff and kids just weren’t allowed in there. So, just think of it like that, so dogs do
well with these boundaries, too, and like i said a lot of safety issues are in place
here, too. So, how are we going to keep them out of
there or get them out of there once they’re in there? A lot of people try to just call them out and that doesn’t really get the message across to the dog – you’re just calling them and they say, “oh hey, what’s up, how ya doing?” so to let them know that there’s
something kind of wrong with that, you need to
go in to that space and then move them out and with a little bit of firmness, you don’t have to be mean about it, but let them know and how they’re not allowed in here and if you see our videos that we did on
“Using the Force,” that’ll give you a little bit of what i’m talking about when i say
project them out of there so imagine that you’re projecting “Force Fields” out of your body and you’re just
moving them out. If they try to go this way, just block ’em off – step towards
them – move ’em out. and just keep doing that until they get
out, okay? really important super important – when you’re putting
pressure on a dog, as soon as a dog yields to that pressure, the pressure has
to come off. even if this is invisible pressure where I’m
not actually touching them, or, if you do, in some situations you may
have to nudge them a little bit – block them with your leg and and maybe just give a
little nudge with your leg, but just enough to make your point and then as soon as they yield to that pressure, pressure comes off and as soon as they
get past the line outside the kitchen you back off – and then that lets them
know, “good job, thank you very much that’s the line.” So, dogs will understand this
communication but humans tend to have a hard time with the timing. If you keep
pushing past the point where they yielded to the pressure, they wonder, “hey what the heck is going on?” and then they try to shoot around you. Or, they start to think that this must be some kind of game or who knows what’s going on. So, it’s
really important that your timing is good on that, as soon as they give to the pressure, pressure comes off. Now, what’s also super important while we’re setting this boundary is we have to be consistent and that means the dog needs
to not go in the kitchen, ever. and that means if you’re taking a shower or you’re in the
office or if you happen to be one of those
that leaves the house and leaves the dog in the house you’re not going to be there to police
it, so you’re going to need to put up a baby gate or if you have a large
opening to your kitchen area you can put an ex-pen across there or, get creative if you have to, but you have to block that off somehow so the dog just doesn’t have access to
the kitchen when you’re not there let them know they made a mistake. Now, you’ve got to remember… this is super important and i know that
some people are gonna forget, they’re gonna leave the gate open but do your
best, ok, because every time the dog goes those into the kitchen, takes a little
pass through when you’re not looking, and suppose you left a little shred of
cheese on the ground or whatever and they swipe up that piece of cheese and they go back out, well, what happened? They just got rewarded for going in the
kitchen. And now you’ve really got competing motivators going on, right? One motivation is, “well the human doesn’t seem to want me to go in there and I might get in a little
bit of trouble for it BUT, I might get a piece of cheese also.” So, that’s really setting the whole thing
up for failure. So, you want to set yourself up for success by
having those gates on there so they’re just consistently staying out of there. The other side of it is when you are in the the space to do a
training exercise then you could intentionally put
temptations in there and intentionally leave the gate open. Maybe you leave a little bit of food on the counter or a little bit of food on the floor. But, you’re gonna be spying on the dog
without the dog knowing that you’re spying…so, i don’t know how the set up of your house is, but just so that you can see them without
them knowing you’re watching them – and, then if they start to go in there as
soon as they even take a step in there, you’re gonna catch them and you can go back to your mode of getting them out of there. You know, you’re going to go in there and move them out or project them out just like we did in step
number one. Once your dog is getting really good at this, what you’re gonna want to do is put it on queue or give it a command or a word. In our house, we say, “out!” You can use whatever word you want that way you don’t have to keep always
having to get up and go through this whole exercise so you could be sitting there
kicking back watching t.v but you’ve got the kitchen, hopefully in sight… and you see the dog start to go in there
as soon as they put one foot in there…”Out!” and they say, “oops, sorry” they’ll go back to their business and
you go back to watching t.v and you don’t have to keep getting up and doing this
exercise because i know that this can get exhausting after a while so you’ve got to
put it on cue but at first, you’re gonna have to get up and deal with it, every time.
Consistency is huge! So, this is Chad Culp with Thriving Canine,
thanks for watching – in mind those boundaries. Catch you next time!

8 thoughts on “Dog Training: Setting Boundaries – Stop Counter Surfing – Thriving Canine

  • This has been one problem that drives me crazy!   This video will be extremely helpful to me.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • What can be done if the kitchen has to be walked through to get to the rest of the house? And then the other end of the kitchen is a large opening; a gate could be put up when we leave but the doggie offender, a Treeing Walker Coonhound, can jump like a deer. Are there any other options other than crating the dog constantly or the dog having to become a permanent outside dog?

  • This is great for those who can block of the kitchen. We don't have that option. We have to go through the kitchen to get outside to the potty area.

  • Problem is I've been keeping my dog IN the kitchen when I'm away 🙁 I take out the garbage and all but… still ,she finds something wrong to do XD

  • I cant block off my kitchen. It's open to the living area. Even if I could, he would search and destroy anything else he can find.

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