How To Stop Counter Surfing

December 30th, 2009
By Eric Letendre

Well the New Year is rapidly approaching. Rach and I are getting ready to go up to New Hampshire to bring in the New Year at her sister’s house.

She always has some friends over and the topic of dog training always comes up, which is good, because I love talking about dogs and training.

Recently I was at a Christmas party and was listening to a group of people talking about their dogs. The lady speaking stated that she had hired two different dog trainers and that it is impossible to stop dogs from stealing food off the counters or tables.

I never do this, especially around strangers, but I stepped forward, gently raised my hand and said, “You’re in luck, I can fix your problem.”

With a doubtful look she asked, “Oh yeah, who the heck are you?”

I calmly replied that I am The Amazing Dog Training Man.

After she finished laughing she said, “Okay Mr. Amazing Dog Training Man, how would you stop my dogs from counter surfing?”

With confidence, I strode over to the computer and showed her this video:

All the best,


P.S. Wishing you and your dog a Healthy, Happy New Year!

P.P.S. If you want your dog to behave in 2010, check out The Dog Training Inner Circle.

Post By Eric Letendre (561 Posts)

Eric Letendre is a professional dog trainer from the United States and has been training dogs for over 20 years, teaching regular, average, every-day owners all over the world how to get the training results they want as fast as possible. Eric is also the author of numerous reports, the E-Book “101 Ways to Improve Your Dog’s Behavior,” “The Amazing Dog Training Man Book,” and produced and stars in his DVD “Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer.”

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19 Responses to How To Stop Counter Surfing

  1. Rhonda Warnick says:

    Great stuff, Eric! I have to show this to my Mom – every time she walks away from the table her dog literally steals her sandwich off her plate. I think little Muffy the Bichon is in for a big surprise!! =) Thank you!

    • Jayde says:

      dude that is one focused dog!! how the hell do you get him to ingroe the other dogs?!! my dog is 5 months old, and listens well, knows basic commands, but gets distracted easily.

  2. Janet Ford says:

    Thank you SO much for this! Having several coonhounds, their nose is always getting them into trouble. Can’t wait to try this.

  3. LeNordais says:

    Excellent trick.
    I embedded your video on my blog.

  4. Brandon says:

    I subscribe to your weekly newsletters. This technique is awesome and I have posted this video on my facebook. Its really getting great reviews.

  5. Myrna Perry says:

    Hi Eric, Someone emailed me this videon on counter surfing and lo and behold there you were. I used to bring my dog Magellan to you in Fall River and then in Westport. Hope all is going well. We now live in Arizona and Magellan just passed this Sept. at 13yrs old. He was a black and white PWD. He went to training and agaility and day care. Keep up the good work
    Myrna Perry
    Surprise, AZ

  6. Thanks for all the great comments. Sorry to here about Magellan Myrna.

    Debra, there is a back up plan if the dog eats the bagel without pulling the bagel off the counter. I learned long ago that not every technique works on every dog so I do have a Plan B.

  7. Gus says:

    What do you do if your dog is deaf? There is very little dog training help for deaf dogs. Kind of discouraging. Many say do the same things, but until you have a deaf dog, it is easy to say what will or won’t work (white boxer).



  8. Louise says:

    Hi Eric,
    I really enjoyed this little video.

    Short, clear and to the point.



  9. Ais says:

    Eric I have to say I absolutely love your training techniques. I’ve watched a number of videos of yours and they’re just fantastic!
    Once the christmas hussle and bussle settles down I’ll definitely be investing in your training manual.

    Merry Christmas.Happy New Year!

  10. admin says:

    Thanks Ais!

  11. Del says:

    Good stuff! You mention a plan “B” if the dog eats the bagel on the counter instead of pulling it … what’s the plan “B”?

  12. Greenbean7 says:

    This is such a clever idea! I’ve never had this problem with my golden and left a roast out to thaw on the counter one morning when I had my lab & my golden. It was still there when I got back. My sister, however, has two counter surfers out of her pack of 4. Two of the labs are horrible. She tried the mouse trap method but got upset because it made her dog yelp. I said, um, that’s kind of the point! I can see where this method might even cure both dogs at once! I forwarded her your link.

  13. More often than not I don’t post on blogs, but I’d just like to mention that this article really has forced me to do so! Thanks for your insightful post.

  14. Joy Hogge says:

    I like Your style boss

  15. Elizabeth Zaccaro says:

    So, I tried this with my dog and it worked. It took 3 times but finally it seemed like he got it. He still went to the counter and looked at the food but he saw the bowl and cans, and he got down. My question is: what about when he jumps up there are doesn’t see the bowl or cans, will he still grab the food, and if so what should I do about it? I don’t want to have to leave a bowl and cans on my counter. lol..
    Thanks for the help

  16. Eileen says:

    thank you for sharing… our lastest foster enjoyed 3 loaves of bread before I stubbled onto your video.
    He had three attempts with the same loaf and done!
    I came home to find the cans & intact loaf on the floor.
    thx again

  17. john mohler says:

    Thanks for the help on this. My dog however not only steals food, but anything left on counter, sunglasses, remotes, belts clothes, etc. anything he can get she eats… will this same trick work?shes destroying everything

  18. Jaylin says:

    I was so happy to have found this video. My boxer has been counter surfing like crazy. As soon as I saw this video, I rolled up a tortilla to use as bait. Then I went to gather some cans. A few seconds later, I found my dog feasting on the tortilla in the dining room. O.K. I gotta be faster than her. So I got a piece of bread, tied it to the bowl and left the room. I didn’t hear anything, so I came back to find her standing on her hind legs eating the bread right where I left it! Luckily I was able to get the string out of her throat because she was starting to devour that as well. What would you suggest for this smart and nimble creature?

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About the author…

Eric LetendreEric Letendre is a professional dog trainer from the United States. For more than 20 years, he has been developing dog training techniques that have worked for dog owners all over the world. Eric operates from a home office or a laptop while traveling and draws on his experience and passion for dog training to show others how to develop a dog that is truly “Man’s Best Friend”.

Eric is the author of numerous reports, the E-Book “101 Ways to Hack Your Dog’s Behavior,” “The Amazing Dog Training Man Book,” and produced and stars in his DVD “Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer.”

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