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Discussion Starter #1
Pixie has been doing this for a few weeks and it's maddening and I can not figure out how to get her to stop.

She started on my dishwasher first, then moved on to the bottom freezer, and now does the trash barrel most.

I'll tell her to stop and she turns at me like she's asking for SOMETHING but I can't figure it out except it's near the cabinent with her chewys. But why was she doing it to the dishwasher first?

I first thought OH CUTE she thinks it's a friend. Now I'm like WILL YOU STOP YOU ARE DRIVING ME NUTS [HELP]
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Will also accept help/suggestions on how to get her to STOP GRABBING STUFF OFF THE COUNTER AND TABLE
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Will also accept help/suggestions on how to get her to STOP GRABBING STUFF OFF THE COUNTER AND TABLE
Ok, I read this post and found help - so you can ignore this one. We need to be sure nothing on there is of interest to her which is normally the case but she will some times do her 'dancing bear' to see what's up there that smells so good (food).

That post also made me realize we need to be much better with what she likes to steal (shoes and gloves/hats off our table). :afraid:
 

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I can only say that if you have given in, and gave her a treat after she did this..........you have rewarded the behavior LOL! "OH BOY! If I scratch on this I'll get a treat!" I don't know how to stop it other than ignoring it by saying nothing (no scolding or talking) and just turning around and walking out of the kitchen, hoping that eventually she gets the hint that there is no reward for that behavior .......:dontknow:
 

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LOL been there and still occasionally. Not the scratching though but the nose surfing and grabbing off the counter. Renn has pretty much learned not yours, when his nose goes on the counter its eh not yours, then I Renn but with our boxer we put our shake cos not he counter, a empty soda can with precisely 13 pennies taped shut. When his nose would go on the counter the can would fall and he didn't like the noise. I could leave a steak there and the boxer won't touch it, of course I wouldn't tempt fate either. LOL I can now leave my shoes my the door and my husband has several pairs of slippers and he will no longer grab n run. Now I am mostly about and when I have to leave the house he goes into his crate. He does have one problem and that is socks. Now we are very good not leaving them out but he will grab one from the dryer as I'm sorting or even reach in the hamper and will quickly swallow it. I didn't even realize this until I found sock # 3 all thrown up. He got one after that but now we have a baby gate on laundry room and my daughter keeps her hamper in her closet. So hopefully he will grow out of this.
 

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My Pia will scratch the heck out of empty water bowl as a cue for me to fill it up. Pia makes quite the racket starting with the empty glass bowl and the starts scratching the plastic tray the bowl is in if I didn't hear her when she scratched the bowl. I guess I reward her behavior because I refill the bowl.
 

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Lily is an unrepentant counter surfer and will never change since she has rewarded herself too many times. Since she was already well established as a counter thief when Javelin joined the family and I didn't want that from him I took very definitive aversive steps to stop him as soon as I saw that his nose could appear above the surface of the counter with his four on the floor I sat at my kitchen island armed with a 20 oz. soda bottle with pennies in it and when I saw his nose I winged it at him and beaned him on the head, not hard enough to hurt him as it bounced right off but definitively enough to make an impression on him. He rarely even looks at the counters and it really only took that one time to make him understand. He also respects hearing the bottle shaking so the perfect timing connecting the bottle bouncing off his head and the clatter of the coins functioned the way some one off learning experiences in nature work. He actually now has coupled the phrase "Want the pennies?" with understanding he should stop what he is doing. Think this thing I ate made me super sick and look at the orange and black stuff I just puked up, never eating anything that looks like that again (this is the situation of butterflies like the unpalatable monarch and its mimics where the mimics benefit if a bird eats a monarch first and learns from that one experience not to eat that patterned looking butterfly again ever).


As to scratching at the stainless that would wildly annoy me too. Maybe spray some bitter apple to see if that discourages her.
 
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The trainer we took the boxer too taught us the pennie trick only he uses a light aluminum can with 13 pennies, all taped up. WE also there it and our boxer doesn't dream about counter surfing but your right once they reward themselves a few times you may never break the habit. My neighbors poodles are causing lots of trouble now when left alone, they seek to destroy whatever it left out, pill bottles, leather boots, magazines, cake, steak. They try putting everything away now but they seem to always find something, pastime her pantry door was not closed tightly and they opened it found their treats etc.. They had overnight guests and told them to be sure to close the bedroom door, well they did but not tightly. I think she should start using the crate again or coffin them to one room. They do have their own bedroom, complete with a f all size bed, blanket so I think a baby gate could prove to be effective.
 

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One of the many things that makes me glad mine is a mini - counter surfing is off the table - haha. In the past I had one that was really smart about it - and many that never ever did it. My smarty pants Dalmatian only counter surfed when we were not home and then with a vengeance...never had the heart to booby trap him as the trainer suggested. I groomed my mini on the counter a few times and I think that also set a clear signal, that if anything it is NOT a fun place and super boring up there.
 

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One of the many things that makes me glad mine is a mini - counter surfing is off the table - haha. In the past I had one that was really smart about it - and many that never ever did it. My smarty pants Dalmatian only counter surfed when we were not home and then with a vengeance...never had the heart to booby trap him as the trainer suggested. I groomed my mini on the counter a few times and I think that also set a clear signal, that if anything it is NOT a fun place and super boring up there.

Uh oh, I've heard of small dogs getting up to the counters by climbing stools and garbage cans! Watch out there...
 
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Uh oh, I've heard of small dogs getting up to the counters by climbing stools and garbage cans! Watch out there...
I know - and he is so smart that I was afraid he would. He can straight up jump on my shoulder from standing, so he could get there if he wanted to, but I think grooming him on the counter has kind of "soured" the location for him. He genuinely does not like being lifted up in the kitchen (I get the suspicious stink eye when I do) because it means either grooming on the counter or bathing in the sink - so the whole kitchen is a no-fly zone. Works for me!
 

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Pixie has been doing this for a few weeks and it's maddening and I can not figure out how to get her to stop.

She started on my dishwasher first, then moved on to the bottom freezer, and now does the trash barrel most.

I'll tell her to stop and she turns at me like she's asking for SOMETHING but I can't figure it out except it's near the cabinent with her chewys. But why was she doing it to the dishwasher first?

I first thought OH CUTE she thinks it's a friend. Now I'm like WILL YOU STOP YOU ARE DRIVING ME NUTS [HELP]
I just realized that yours is a mini also - and I think they can get slightly OCD about some things (mine does). I would block off her visuals - as in tape some paper or cardboard on all the shiny surfaces so she cannot see herself - if the visuals are the trigger. I had to do that with our glass front door when Napoleon decided the entrance hall and front door was his to patrol and monitor. This cut down the announcement barking by about 90%. After a week or so I gave him visual access back and he would lose it every time he acted possessive of the hallway/front door again. He learned extremely fast. These behaviors seem to come on quick and respond very fast to solutions - at least if you address them right away.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I just realized that yours is a mini also - and I think they can get slightly OCD about some things (mine does). I would block off her visuals - as in tape some paper or cardboard on all the shiny surfaces so she cannot see herself - if the visuals are the trigger. I had to do that with our glass front door when Napoleon decided the entrance hall and front door was his to patrol and monitor. This cut down the announcement barking by about 90%. After a week or so I gave him visual access back and he would lose it every time he acted possessive of the hallway/front door again. He learned extremely fast. These behaviors seem to come on quick and respond very fast to solutions - at least if you address them right away.
Yes my mini is TALL, when she stands up on her hind legs - which she does ALL The time by the way. We call her Dancing Bear as she walks around like that!!!!!! So she will get up on her hind legs and her nose hits the edge of the counter and she can grab a few things. She's only gotten one thing - it was a paper towel her FAVE THING TO SHRED is osmething white and soft so she's always looking now.

Great idea about putting up paper - I'm not sure if she's reacting to seeing herself or getting my attention when I tell her to knock it off as she instantly looks at me - so I'll try it and then I can ignore her!
 

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So many of you mention the penny trick and I'm so happy as my mother has been banging on about it recently and I've kind of tuned her out but since you all mention it - IT IS ON.

And maybe I have rewarded for the scratching by the garbage can with a chewy. I may have made my own monster there by accident in when I gave her one.....so i'll definitely cover the can and other items and IGNORE for a while!!!!!
 

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One thing I find that works well is to be very watchful or keep her out of the kitchen physically so she can not continue to "practice" this behavior. It is reinforcing to her for some strange reason. lol. So every time she succeeds at doing it, she's rewarded and the odds increase yet again that she'll do it again. So....either physically keep her out and/or if she makes her way close to the dishwasher, stand there hovering and just before she's about to lift a paw, when she's thinking of it, contracting the 1st muscles to lift her paw, get her attention on you and reward with something she'll like even better. (this is for training. When you can't watch her, get some baby gates or something and keep her out...prevent unwanted behavior in the first place) That is always the best policy.

As she leaves the dishwasher or whatever, attach a cue "leave it" or some other word that you always will use if need be. Try to interest her in something similar that's more rewarding...if she likes to scratch that, give her something else that she CAN scratch that you don't mind. Have it ready. In other words, redirect her to an alternative behavior that's more reinforcing. If you're going to use punishment or any kind of thing to stop the behavior you don't like, ALWAYS give an alternative that CAN be rewarded. You have to show her what you mean. Just saying "no" or intimidating her to stop alone...without a rewardable alternative can cause some side effects, depending on the dog's temperament. Be sure to use very high value rewards for this...real meat, cheese, lots of praise when she does this other behavior. Soon that behavior will work for her much better than scratching on the various stainless steel items.
 

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One thing I find that works well is to be very watchful or keep her out of the kitchen physically so she can not continue to "practice" this behavior. It is reinforcing to her for some strange reason. lol. So every time she succeeds at doing it, she's rewarded and the odds increase yet again that she'll do it again. So....either physically keep her out and/or if she makes her way close to the dishwasher, stand there hovering and just before she's about to lift a paw, when she's thinking of it, contracting the 1st muscles to lift her paw, get her attention on you and reward with something she'll like even better. (this is for training. When you can't watch her, get some baby gates or something and keep her out...prevent unwanted behavior in the first place) That is always the best policy.

As she leaves the dishwasher or whatever, attach a cue "leave it" or some other word that you always will use if need be. Try to interest her in something similar that's more rewarding...if she likes to scratch that, give her something else that she CAN scratch that you don't mind. Have it ready. In other words, redirect her to an alternative behavior that's more reinforcing. If you're going to use punishment or any kind of thing to stop the behavior you don't like, ALWAYS give an alternative that CAN be rewarded. You have to show her what you mean. Just saying "no" or intimidating her to stop alone...without a rewardable alternative can cause some side effects, depending on the dog's temperament. Be sure to use very high value rewards for this...real meat, cheese, lots of praise when she does this other behavior. Soon that behavior will work for her much better than scratching on the various stainless steel items.
Thank you! I can't really keep her out of the kitchen - it's where her pen is and where her 'space' is. Like when we have kids over to play she and I hang in the kitchen a lot. But - getting her attention and rewarding before she makes that move I can try. She is very play and food motivated - she seems to do it when she wants Mom's play time and attention which I can't always give her becauise I'm cooking. She DOES get play time with me after dinner every day (and before I go to work) so I think she's just trying to hurry it along. I could try gating her out of the kitchen when I cook - but it's not something I'd want long term.
 

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I've taught my dogs what "out of the kitchen means." So, they can come in the kitchen, but go out when I need them out. I can also just extend my arm straight out and they get the picture.

Good luck. The hard thing will be in your case is being consistent. It has to be that you prevent it every single time and that's next to impossible if you're not always right there. I'd do something to keep her out somehow...at least until she's uninterested in this scratching thing if she's never reinforced for doing it because she can't do it. lol.
 
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since her crate is in the kitchen anyway, can you pick her up and put her in the crate (about 5-10 minutes) each time she starts the scratching? presumably her crate is not a scary place, but she likes being out, so it's just a simple way of telling her no scratching. you wouldn't have to say anything, though if it were me i would say 'no scratching' so that if needed down the road you could apply the command in another situation.
 
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You’ve gotten great advice, I would also move the treats to another room.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well I've identified the scratching - it's when she's hungry. Unfortunately she will now do it in other rooms - like now I have her on a short leash as she went out in the snow and I want her to warm up and she is hungry and scratching and barking at me UGH. I call her pig dog as she will NOT let up if not fed 3x a day. We tried more food 2x a day and a small amount in a kong or puzzle at lunch and it doesn't help. Her last weigh at her spay in she was 11 lbs - she was down to under 10 a few months ago when we were having tummy problems with her. SO she's filled out nicely - but she won't stop complaining!

She's 9.5 months now - I just don't want to over feed her. She doesn't get table food except a rare bit of chicken for training. But this is driving me nuts now she is scratching in OTHER rooms to get food!!!!! :afraid:
 
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