If you have a large breed dog then you know why I asked. But, I have seen small breeds succeed in this area too. Alright, imagine you are in the kitchen and you set your plate of food on the counter and turn toward your refrigerator. You open the refrigerator and “UHOH” no ketchup. Without a thought of danger toward your food you walk to the pantry. Now, enters the Villain, the Family Dog, drooling. Who, unbeknownst to you, has been stalking his prey (your plate), you conveniently left unguarded. There you are, your back to the counter, in the pantry with not a worry in the world, thinking, ‘this steak is going to taste so good with this Lea and Perrin’s and the fries are going to go good with this ketchup’, and you turn back toward your plate. “WHAT!? Where’s my dinner!?,” you scream as you see that someone has cleaned your plate. You look to see who did it and while you walk one way the Villain, known as the Family Dog, makes his escape in the other direction. Look at the bright side, you still have the plate so you are able to go back for more and it is clean too, LOL.

Does all this sound familiar? I can be a prankster myself and I have witnessed this before. No, I didn’t warn the victim. I couldn’t help but not say something because it was too good to pass up. Let’s just say that person learned the hard way because I had warned them before. You know kids, “I know, I know”, is their favorite saying when you give them advice.

What does this have to do with counter surfing? What I just told you is only the beginning. Our Canine Family Members tend to surf our kitchen counters when they know there is food to be found. Cats are worse. Ever seen a Cat and Dog team up to get what’s on the counter? Neither have I, but wouldn’t that be a sight? So, how do we stop a sneaking, counter surfer?

The first option to try cost as much as a meal at your favorite restaurant. You will need one aluminum can, 22 pennies or washers, duct tape, and fishing line. Place the 22 pennies inside the can, tape the opening closed and tie the fishing line to the tab on top. Next, place the can on a shelf above the counter. (The higher, the better) Now, let the fish line fall to the counter and tape it down near the edge of the counter. Ensure the line is tight. Set up quite a few for better results. Now when the trap is sprung you will know when it happens and be able to firmly say, “Out of the kitchen! or Bad! or Gotcha!” One thing is for certain, they will be less likely to repeat the event again and you will have a cool “Redneck Motion Sensor and Alarm” device. “Hey look ya’ll, it’s easy to reset.”

The second option you can try is a chemical deterrent called Boundary. It helps keep dogs and cats away from areas you don’t want them accessing. This product can be found at your local pet store. It is used indoors and outdoors. Be careful about its use in your food prep areas and be sure you read the instructions carefully before applying.

Option three is a shock collar. Shop around before settling on one. I would advise that you look at a rechargeable system, with a remote. The collar should be waterproof and have the option of a tone or vibration, and shock levels. Next time you hear them in the kitchen holler out and hit the tone or vibrate button. If they don’t comply then hit them with the “lightning”, but use the lowest setting first. “Sparky” will get the idea. Additionally, if you get the right collar you can buy an accessory known as “Zones” made by INNOTEK, an instant pet proofing barrier device that can pair with the collar. You place it where you don’t want your Canine Family Member to enter or get near and it signals the collar if they approach. If they ignore the warning it will activate the collar and stop when they are out of the zoned area. Some of these devices come with a collar already. Now, if Fido or Fidette, is still bucking the system, call me. Don’t wait until you have scorched their hair off please, LOL.
By: Joel Allen

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