What is canine counter surfing?

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Canine counter surfing is the act of a dog getting up on the kitchen counters in order to scavenge for food. Looking for food and hunting are part of a dog’s natural instincts, so counter surfing is a relatively normal behavior for many dogs. Dogs become quickly aware that food is kept on top of the counters, and their curiosity will usually lead them to jumping up on a counter at least once in their lifetime.

Some dogs counter surf much more frequently than others, especially when their owners aren’t home. This can be a dangerous activity, as there are also soaps and chemicals near the sink, and other potentially hazardous items such as knives with which a dog could come in contact. A dog might also accidentally turn on the stove and then burn his paws on the burners, in extreme cases.

Dogs scavenge for food on counters for a variety of reasons. They could simply be hungry or want attention; similarly, they could have never been taught that counter surfing is an unacceptable behavior. Dogs who are often fed human food might come to believe that they are allowed to seek out food at other times as well.

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