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5 Tips On How To Stop Counter Surfing Dogs

5 Tips On How To Stop Counter Surfing Dogs

Counter surfing might be a serious problem for many dog owners. How to stop counter surfing dogs? Is there a good way to do this, without punishing or yelling at our dogs?

Of course there is, and I am here to help you do this in the right way! 

If you have a counter surfer dog in your home, this is probably getting quite frustrating for you. The problem only gets worse since your dog seems to counter surf when you are away. 

So, this behavior is a dog’s way to reward himself. He knows that your counter is the best place in the house to get some delicious food.

Just as much as your dog loves to counter surf, with the same intensity you want to stop this behavior. At the same time, you don’t want to be harsh with your furry companion, but you are unsure what method to use to stop the counter surfing?

Let’s find out together!

How To Stop Counter Surfing Dogs?

english bulldog trying to get food of the counter

Food is something your dog is probably always in the mood for. This seems especially true with human food!

Every time you have your meal your pooch is probably looking you directly in the eyes, while drooling and constantly licking its lips.

But, you should not let your dog eat your food, especially not too often. I hope all dog owners are aware how dangerous this can be.

For example, you are having a tortilla for lunch. Dogs can eat tortillas, right? A small piece of tortilla can’t hurt them in any way?

This is wrong! You can’t know for sure how your dog will react to a certain ingredient from human food. So, you don’t want to take your risks and potentially harm your dog’s health.

Now we have that cleared, let’s continue with the counter surfing issue. You don’t even ha

ve to voluntarily give your dog your food – he is capable enough to get it by himself!

So, your curious dog will wait until you are out of the kitchen, and will grab the opportunity to get some of your tasty leftovers from your counter. 

How to stop him from doing this?

1. Clean Your Kitchen Counters After Meal Preparation

woman cleaning the counter with a blue cloth

Dogs smell the food the first moment you start preparing it. It won’t be a problem for them to wait an hour or two until you finish the meal preparation.

When you step away from your counter, your favorite dog will sneak into the kitchen and pick up all those tasty scraps of food left on the counter after you have prepared some delicious lunch.

I already clarified how your dog shouldn’t eat your table scrapes, so, one of the essential things to do to stop your counter surfing dog is to thoroughly clean your kitchen counter after meal preparation.

This way, your dog can come and sniff around your counter, but there will be nothing there for him to lick!

2. Distract Your Dog

Another important step in stopping your dog from counter surfing is distracting him.

You know the pattern – you start cooking, your dog gets curious instantly, and waits for you to step out of the kitchen, so he can get in and steal your tasty food off the counter!

Let’s try something different next time. Right before you are about to cook, give your dog some interactive toy that will keep him entertained for a bit.

Here it is important to divert your dog’s attention from food to some other, interesting activity.

3. Keep Your Dog In The Crate While Cooking

dog in an open crate indoors

You have successfully crate trained your dog, and the crate is now his safe and comfy place? If this is the case with your dog, use it to stop your dog from counter surfing!

Direct your dog to go to his crate while you are cooking. After you have finished the cooking, clean your counter thoroughly.

Crate training is an important part of your dog’s training, and something that can significantly ease your coexistence with a furry companion.

4. Use The Leave It Command

Having a dog means using a No command quite a lot. Even if your dog is not among the least obedient dogs, I am sure he still shows many behaviors you need to warn him to stop.

So, when you say No to your dog, this might sound a bit confusing to him. What has he done now? What are you warning him about?

Therefore, instead of the No command, you should try using the Leave it command every time you see your dog sniffing around your kitchen counter.

You can even put some tasty food on your counter, bring your dog to the kitchen, and see whether he will try to reach it. When he does this, say Leave it in a firm and low tone.

Don’t yell at your dog, since this might just make him counter surf when you are away.

Of course, this type of training will only be successful with dogs that have mastered the basic obedience training

If you have a mischievous furry companion, you will first need to learn how to show dominance to a dog.

5. Reward Your Dog For Obedience

dog is waiting for a tasty treat from his owner

One thing is certain with all kinds of dog behaviors – dogs always react to rewards. 

So, your counter surfing dog is sniffing around your kitchen because he expects to get some kind of reward, which are your leftovers in this case. 

Since dogs respond positively to rewards, you should use this to teach your dog obedience. After your dog obeys you and stops climbing on your kitchen counter, reward him with his favorite treat.

Do this as many times as it takes for your dog to start associating rewards with giving up on taking food from your kitchen counter.


Having a dog that loves counter surfing is not fun at all. Moreover, this can get very annoying and frustrating for dog owners.

But, this is not only inconvenient for you – this habit can also be very bad for your dog’s health.

I hope this article helped you understand better how to stop counter surfing dogs. The essential thing here is to always keep your kitchen counter clean. You should never leave any food on your counter, especially when you are about to leave your house.

Dogs especially love to counter surf when you are away.

Furthermore, you should keep your dog in his crate while you are cooking. You should also distract your dog with some interesting activity to divert his mind (and his sense of smell!) from the smell of the delicious food you are preparing.

Having a counter surfing dog is challenging indeed, but this is something all of you can stop, with some of the tricks from this article, and with a lot of your effort and patience.