Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Right of Passage

At our house, every good greyhound must counter surf.... in order to learn not to counter surf. This is Riley's second attempt at counter surfing and I was able to video the incident. Unfortunately, I thought I had filmed more of the aftermath (Riley running away and some additional verbal scolding), but I accidentally shut it off. Poor Reagan was in the line of fire, but next time she sees someone eyeing the counter, she will think twice about checking it out too.

To describe what is happening above, I like to place something appealing on the counter attached to an empty coke can with a handful of rocks in it. The bait is placed right on the edge of the counter. When pulled down by a nosey hound, the rattling can comes flying down on top of the dog. Generally, this is enough to scare a hound when counter surfing for the first time. I usually will follow up with a little scolding just so they know I am not happy about it either. I cannot stress how much I recommend doing this with a new hound. Setting a booby trap allows you to make sure something bad happens. If you wait until your hound tries it and something good happens or worse..... you wait until it happens several times, you will have to work much harder than if you had just set a few booby traps right away. Generally, I find that they need to set the booby trap 2 or 3 times to get the message. But again, if you allow for any successful counter surfing incidents prior to setting the traps, you will only increase the amount of work you have to do.

One other tip, the bait must be something difficult to eat. You do not want it to be something that can swallowed quickly. I usually use something with a tempting smell, but that is big and still in a wrapper. In this case, I used a sample sized bag of Nutro dog food that I had rubbed with a salmon treat just to give it a more noticeable scent.

Lastly, most kitchens have slick floors. Since it is likely that your dog will be startled and bolt from the scene of the crime, you may want to put a rubber runner or a bath mat down, so the dog has some traction to turn tail and get out of there without slipping or getting hurt.