Irish Setter Jumping On My Counter Top

Posted by sharrockzoo
Mar 7, 2008
Hello Everyone!

I have a male Irish Setter who is 23 weeks old and his name is Sam.

He is driving me nuts! He jumps up onto my kitchen counters looking for whatever pleases him. The other day, he was standing at my kitchen sink drinking the water out of the dirty pot that was soaking (even though there was water and food in his bowl). Last night, I found him on my bench that sits on my one side of my kitchen table with his upper body on the table just to eat the napkins out of the holder.

I am about to kill him! Can you help save my dogs life and my sanity with any suggestions?

I know both he and I would greatly appreciate it.

Posted by Blue
Mar 7, 2008
Hi there!
Not an uncommon problem for dog owners whose dogs have discovered the counters/tables are a good source of entertainment and food!

My dog also had this problem (and actually she stole chocolate cake off of the table last weekend and I had to take her to the vets!! ugh! :mad.

The first rule of thumb is to never leave temptation on the counter...that means anything that smells of food, or would be fun to chew on the counter when you're not near it. That includes dishes, pots, crumbs, napkins, wrappers, boxes... Clean up all crumbs and food right after preparation. The less opportunity there is, the more boring it will be to jump up and look for food! The earlier the dog learns this, the longer lasting the effects are - and Sam is less likely to be a thief in the future. (and with your whole family involved in cleaning the kitchen - it will be clean like never before )

Second rule of thumb is [I]never reprimand them after the fact[/I]. The only time you should reprimand is if you catch him in the act of thieving, even if this requires some sneakiness on your part!

Say Aaaah or use a gutteral growl to reprimand - it's more effective on a dog then a sharp no. You can also use a can of pennies/small pebbles - shake it vigorously for a second while reprimanding.

You can actually set Sam up to be caught, by purposefully leaving something that smells particularly good on the counter (peanut butter sandwich for instance). Walk away and then watch him without actually making any eye contact etc. As soon as he heads towards the kitchen, sneak up on him and catch him in the act!

For our dog Blue, she was really, really bad, so I actually performed the latter exercise a few times, while also having sprinkled cayenne pepper on the counter tops and a little cayenne in the piece of sandwich I left behind. After a few times of this, she doesn't steal from the counters any more... She probably thinks we're crazy spice lovers!!

Of course, the dining room table was obviously a different area that she suddenly got the urge to steal we'll have to work on that now too .

I hope this helps!