Jax is almost an 11 months old 40# mini G/D there a few things we could use help with?

1) He counter surfs, table surfs, surfs anything he can reach...is there a way to curb this behavior ?

2) He does this thing I think when he's frustrated where he goe's crazy running jumping we just watch and wait for hime to get it out of his system...but when it happens in our house it's a little concerning as it's just a bit to insane for inside...we call it going kamazie!

3) When one of us is away his demeanor is much more relaxed...but when we both are together he just can't behave...trying to get out attention stealing pillows, socks, golf hats, anything he knows we'll chase down...makes it hard to watch a movie together with out disruptions.

4) Doesn't like to take walks if we both are not present...he just stops and won't go any farther...it's kind of funny...but not really, I work from home since Covid so I don't alway's have time to help with walks. Believe me he needs the walks he gets at least 5 a day!

We love this guy...but comments and advice are welcome!


Mike and Leslie

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  • 1) The only real way I've found to combat this is to make sure there's nothing available for him to get.  I know it's really hard, our big bernedoodle Riley can actually reach the entire depth of the counter, making it almost impossible for her to NEVER get anything.  Each time they get something it reinforces the behavior.  She does it a bit less frequently now that she's older but she's just so darn tall it's nearly impossible to prevent that reinforcement.

    2) I think he'll grow out of it, I would just ignore it and not engage him/play with him.  He'll learn that his crazy behavior doesn't get him anywhere attention-wise.  If you really need to you can give him a "time out" in his crate but you want to be careful as to not make it a "punishment", just a signal to settle down/rest.

    3) Tethering or crating when you want him to be out of trouble is needed for some dogs.  Our Riley is only now at 2 years old beginning to be allowed the run of *most* of the house but we still have to make sure we remove anything that is super tempting to her (like the kids' stuffed toys).  When we can't be watching her or when we know we're doing something that she won't be able to keep her nose out of she is either tethered nearby or in her crate.  She is used to it and doesn't object.

    4) No advice for that one, what a stubborn little guy!  

  • So, how much formal training has Jax had? Puppy classes? Beginning Obedience classes? Canine Good Citizen classes? Anything? And if he has had some training, have you continued to reinforce it every day? 

    How much exercise is he getting? Does he have the opportunity for regular off-leash exercise outdoors as well as leash walks?

    Without knowing anything about you or your dog other than what you posted, my thoughts are that your pup needs:

    1. A lot more off-leash exercise than he is currently getting

    2. A good basic obedience training program and/or a lot more practice on what he may already have learned

    3. Some one-on-one mental stimulation that is fun for you both. Constructive games, trick training, puzzles, etc. 

    I would suggest that you make it a goal to get Jax his CGC title and maybe his Trick Dog Novice title within the next year. Working towards that will pretty much fix all the issues you are having. It's just a matter of teaching rules and boundaries and consistently reinforcing them, plus providing the exercise and mental stimulation this breed mix needs. 

    • Does #1 actually work to prevent things like counter surfing?  Riley gets a decent amount of exercise, likely not enough, but on days when she gets a ton of exercise she still does her rounds of "checking" for things in the kitchen.

      • Probably not. Exercise goes a long way towards behavior issues, but in the counter surfing department, that's mostly training, boundaries and rules, and practical prevention (i.e. keep counters cleared). 
        An example of how training plus boundaries and rules helps with this is: Dog is never allowed to put his paws up on anything (including people) without an invitation. If "all four on the floor" is a consistently reinforced rule, eventually the dog simply doesn't do it. Of course, sniffing is another matter, and with a tall dog, you can also incorporate Off Limits training. In many households, the dog is not allowed in a certain room or part of the house, ever, unless invited. The work area of the kitchen can be an off limits area. I personally try to do this with all of my dogs, because hanging around the work area of the kitchen annoys me and lends itself to begging, which I don't tolerate. 
        The work pays off. 26" Jack had free run of the house when nobody was home, and I could leave a steak defrosting on the counter when I left the house, and come back to find it untouched. Of course, every dog is not Jack, but that doesn;t mean they can;t aspire to similar greatness. :D

        • Yeah Jack was in a whole other category of civilized behavior.  :)  

          I know a lot of Riley's behavior stems from us just not having the time/discipline to keep up with our training, but she's well behaved enough that she doesn't cause much trouble.  With a potential puppy looming next year though we are stepping up her training.  

        • Jack was one of a kind. Not to say it cannot be trained out, but honestly Jack was part human. What a treasure he was. xoxo

          Owen isn't allowed in the kitchen unless invited. BUT if we don't close all the doors to our bedroom at night he will sneak out and counter surf. We have to always be careful to put loaves of bread on top of the refrigerator since they are his first choice. 


      • I'm not convinced it does for dogs that are SUPER food motivated and surfing for food or bc they want to consume the thing.  If it's boredom, attention seeking, etc then it very well could.  My dogs never stole food for attention.  They tried to not get caught.

        • Riley is SO sneaky.  She waits until we're far away, out of the room or not looking to try anything. She KNOWS she is not allowed and she does it anyway... unfortunately a side effect of being a smart cookie.

          She would never steal something for attention, she is extremely independent and we could basically ignore her all day and she wouldn't care.  She just wants to eat!  The funny thing is she isn't really all that food motivated, she just enjoys forbidden snacks.

        • There is also great value in teaching a solid "leave it". That's how you get a dog who doesn't try to get near the plate of cheddar cheese on the coffee table (or ottoman, lol) when guests are over. 
          Jack was not super food motivated, but Jasper is about as food motivated as it gets. We started working on "leave it" before he was finished with his puppy shots. There is a wonderful game called "It's Your Choice" that I learned from Susan Garrett's videos, and we played it every day from before he was fully housebroken. He was Puppy Class demo dog when they taught "leave it." 
          Next time you and Clark are in town, c'mon over for cheese and crackers, and watch my food motivated Poodle stay completely away from it. :) 

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