How to Stop Dogs From Jumping on Counters

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If you have a larger dog, you may have dealt with the frustration of your dog jumping on the counter, aka, “counter surfing”. We love our furry friends, but it’s frustrating when they constantly get into things they shouldn’t. Fortunately, there are effective ways to prevent this behavior. We’ll cover some tips on how to stop dogs from jumping on counters.

Why Dogs Jump on the Counters

You may be asking why is my dog counter surfing all of a sudden? There are several reasons why your dog may be jumping on the counter:


Dogs are naturally curious animals, and they may jump on the counter to investigate smells or food that they find interesting. I had a dog growing up who loved to raid trash cans and spread the contents all over the room.

Looking for Food

This is probably an obvious one, right? I’ve never met a dog who didn’t like eating “people” food. Dogs are opportunistic scavengers and may jump on the counters in search of food or treats that they can eat.


Dogs may jump on the counter to get attention. If they have learned that jumping on the counter results in attention or play, they may continue to do it.

Lack of Training

If you haven’t training your dog to stay off the counters, he doesn’t know that such behavior isn’t allowed. We’ll cover more on this topic shortly.

Counter Surfing Dog Breeds

All dogs love goodies and “people food”, so any dog may counter surf if given the opportunity. However, certain breeds are known to be more prone to this behavior than others. Here are some dog breeds that have a reputation for being counter surfers:

  1. Labrador Retriever: Labs are a wonderful breed, but they’re notorious for their love of food and their tendency to scavenge. They have a strong sense of smell and are always looking for something tasty to eat.
  2. Golden Retriever: Like Labradors, Golden Retrievers are known to explore countertops and tables in search of treats. Their friendly and outgoing nature can make them bold in their quest for food.
  3. Beagle: Beagles have a keen sense of smell and an insatiable appetite, which makes them prone to counter surfing. Their small size and agility enable them to easily reach elevated surfaces.
  4. Boxer: Boxers are energetic and intelligent dogs with a mischievous streak. They may use their athleticism and curiosity to explore countertops and snatch food when the opportunity arises.
  5. Border Collie: Border Collies are highly intelligent and energetic dogs that require mental and physical stimulation. If not properly occupied, they may counter surf to seek attention or find something interesting to investigate.
  6. Jack Russell Terrier: These small and agile terriers are known for high energy levels and an independent nature. They have a strong prey drive and can be relentless in their pursuit of food, which may include counter surfing.
  7. Australian Shepherd: Australian Shepherds are intelligent and active herding dogs. Without enough mental and physical stimulation, they can become bored and engage in undesirable behaviors such as counter surfing.

Remember that individual dogs within these breeds may vary in their behavior. Proper training, supervision, and providing sufficient mental and physical stimulation can help discourage counter surfing in any dog.

How to Stop Dogs From Jumping on Counters

The fastest solution is to remove what is attracting your dog to the countertops in the first place. Remember, if your dog is rewarded with goodies by jumping up on the counter, he’ll continue to do it. Here are some tips:

  • Don’t leave food on your countertops. If your dog doesn’t find food when he jumps up, he won’t be rewarded for counter surfing.
  • Wipe counter tops thoroughly after preparing meals. You don’t want any food residue on your countertops. Dogs can smell that and licking up something tasty is just as good as finding a morsel to snack on.
  • Restrict access to your kitchen while preparing meals. Put your dog in a crate or restrict access to the kitchen with a baby gate while preparing meals.

The idea is to remove what is rewarding the behavior so it will be less likely for your dog to jump up in the future.

The Permanent Solution

The best solution to the problem of jumping up on the counters is to train your dog not to do that. And, no, you don’t need to hire an expensive trainer to fix the problem of your dog peeing on the carpet! With the right information, you can easily do this yourself. It just takes a little consistency and patience.