I have a problem...actually Kaya has a problem. (long!)

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Shellby
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I have a problem...actually Kaya has a problem. (long!)

Postby Shellby » Wed May 04, 2005 12:06 pm

I know I don't get to post much, I just can't find the time...but I hope you all can help me with a problem I'm having with Kaya.

Kaya's background, in case anyone doesn't know:
3 year old rottweiler, eats Innova, excellent weight, stubborn, but well behaved. Is crated during the day if I leave the house, but out at night when we're sleeping. WONDERFUL with Tate (my 8 month old baby - the reason I don't get to post much!)

Over the last week or so, Kaya has started counter surfing. She has retrieved & eaten 3 loaves of bread with her newfound hobby.

The first loaf was left on the table, we blamed ourselves for leaving it too low. The second loaf was on the counter (we leave food here frequently) and we blamed the cat for knocking it down and Kaya getting to it...although we had no proof of this.

The third loaf was up on the counter, back in the corner, IN a bowl, well out of her reach. How she even knew it was there, I don't know. All 3 times, this has happened at night while we were sleeping. Needless to say, we are now keeping the bread in the microwave.

I just got home, put Tate down for a nap, let the dogs out, made some lunch and came to check my e-mail, etc. I heard a noise in the kitchen and went to investigate. I had mistakenly left the bread out and Kaya had her front paws up on the counter and was trying to get to it.

This is a dog that has never put her paws up on a person or a counter, etc. before in her life. I'm wondering if she is missing something in her diet that could be leading her to eat bread, or if she's acting out, or what it could be.

We just recently (about 2-3 months ago) switched her to Innova from Canidae. Marley wasn't doing well on the Canidae, so we switched them both for convenience. They both seem to be doing fine on the new food.

What really gets me is that when I walked into the kitchen and caught her, she just stayed with her paws on the counter! I calmly told her "down", which she did, then I said "kennel" and she raced to her kennel.

Anyone have any thoughts or ideas for me? I know the obvious answer would be to not leave any food out on the counter...I guess what I'm really looking for are any thoughts as to why she would have just started this out of the blue and what else I can do to get her to stop.

TIA! (Sorry this is so long!)

Calypso
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Re: I have a problem...actually Kaya has a problem. (long!)

Postby Calypso » Wed May 04, 2005 4:51 pm

Hmmmm - I'm not sure what to tell you.

I'm leaning more toward the thinking that Kaya happened to discover food is on the counter and now wants to engage in that behavior as often as possible. Afterall, it works!

I have some other thoughts bouncing around in my brain, but nothing is solidifying yet. If it does, I'll add to this.

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amyzon
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Re: I have a problem...actually Kaya has a problem. (long!)

Postby amyzon » Wed May 04, 2005 6:00 pm

Wish I had some words of wisdom, but I don't. Pepper did something similar at about 10 months; she suddenly discovered the trash can and decided to raid it every chance she got. This was after never touching it the entire time she'd lived here. We tried catching her in the act and everything, but she was like a drug addict. Just couldn't leave it alone. I finally had to break down and buy one of those big stainless steel cans with a foot-pedal lid. She was too smart for anything else! It was almost like she just accidentally discovered it one day; and had somehow looked over it up until that point.

Michelle
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Re: I have a problem...actually Kaya has a problem. (long!)

Postby Michelle » Thu May 05, 2005 5:55 am

Lady my Malamute has just discovered this "sport" also, she can be alittle slow but now that she has learnt she can get food from the table nothing is safe. Benny my GSD knew about counter surfing from the day we got him. I have tryed alot of things to get him to stop, but since it is a very self rewarding behaviour I haven't had much luck. Here is what I have tryed

1) when I wasn't home my brother tryed yelling and being real nasty to him (arg stupid brother!) this didn't help at all, just made him more sneaky. Benny's not stupid, he knows when there is someone around to punish him and when hes free.

2) when I noticed he was just at the thinking about stealing stage I would tell him "Benny, don't you even think about eating my food" in a lowish voice and he would stop thinking about it, and to this day this has been the best solution for me to keep him from doing it, him controling himself trying to be a good boy. Generally he leaves things alone unless they are right at the edge of the kitchen table, the middle and counter are safe 99% of the time the edge is about 60% safe. The less we leave stuff around the less he is in the habit of checking and the better he is also.

3) I have also tryed a consequence not directly related to me, I tryed throwing something noisy (a plastic jar with a few nuts in shells inside) near him when he started "thinking" about what was on the table, he soon learnt that it still came from me, so I tryed an even more sneaky approach, another noisy item, tied to a string which I had the other end to around the corner (I could see his reflection in the window so knew what he was up to) and I would pull it down to scare him. He soon decided this was a very fun game and started pulling the string himself to make it go bang (of course don't try any of that with a very sensitive dog or you might do alot of harm psycologically, obviously Benny isnt the kind of dog to be worryed by that sort of thing)

The only other thing I can think of to try is maybe getting a sacrificial loaf and makeing it super yukky tasteing with that bitter apple stuff and maybe he will learn that the bread on the counter isn't so good after all? I might try this with Lady, it is the only other way I can think of

Shellby
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Re: I have a problem...actually Kaya has a problem. (long!)

Postby Shellby » Thu May 05, 2005 7:29 am

Thanks everyone. Maybe I am just reading into it more than I should. I guess we'll just have to be super careful about what we leave on the counter!

Looks like I'll be baby-proofing & Kaya-proofing over the next couple weeks!


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