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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone! I'm hoping you could give me some ideas on how to keep our 2 yr old AB from the kitchen table. We've had various dogs since 1974, including a pitbull/lab mix, but Chopper is our first AB & also the 1st dog we did not have since puppyhood. We adopted Chopper the end of May, have been to intermediate obedience training classes with him, & plan to continue. He's adjusted to our family "quite well". Makes himself right at home! It is his home now.

Anyways, Chopper likes to see what's up on the kitchen table. We have a heavy round oak table & laminate wood flooring which makes the table slide easily. Well, 90 lbs of bulldog slid the table all the way across to the other side of the kitchen. He's stolen & eaten the bannanas, tomatoes, graham crackers, etc. (We did own a St. Bernard who did get up to the dining room table at Christmas & ate all t he red Christmas candles & the philodendrum & then ate an entire Tupperware order. That was back in 1976/77). It's been quite a while since we've had a dog who liked to get into things. I've gotten one of those step-on trashcans to keep him out. I remove everything but the lazy susan from the table before I leave for work in the mornings. We have an older daughter who lives at home & works evenings & nights. So he has her attention for the better part of the afternoon. I'm suppose to be home by 4:30, but with the start of school, the past 3 weeks it's been after 5 pm.

Today I wished I owned a camera cell phone! I walk into the laundry room from the garage (you can see straight into the kitchen & have full view of the table). I'm expecting Chopper to be at the door ready to jump up at me to greet me. No, that's not what I saw! What I saw upon opening the garage door was this 90 lb. "beast" of a bulldog "laying in the down position on the kitchen table", his head cocked sideways & kinda saying "Look at me, look at me, ain't I the best?" I put my things down on the washer & calmly walk over to him. I took him by his collar to lead him down off the table & as I did, he starts piddling on the table. I told him "No Table" & walked him outside & put him on his lead to go to the bathroom. I have never ever come home to my dogs laying on our kitchen table. My sister had stopped by just as I put Chopper out. We cleaned up the table, bleached it & cleaned it again after that. Thank goodness for the heavy duty vinyl covering I had over the table cloth. My sister said to try putting inflated balloons on the table & when he comes up to the table to pop them & the noise should scare him. Well, I tried it. He came up to the table, put his paws up & then got right down because we were there. I coax him back to the table to pop a balloon, he backed away but wasn't frightened. I coax him to the table again, only to coax him too well & he jumped up onto the table & sat his butt right down in the middle of it. I told him to get down & he did. Afterwards he came back to the table to investigate the balloons & as he did, I popped 2 of them. I don't think it worked. I'm afraid if I leave the balloons on the table while we're gone, he'll go to investigate & his claws will pop the balloons & then he'll end up eating the pieces. That wouldn't be so good. He was the star pupil at obedience class, but not at home. Even our 2 cats don't get up to the table like Chopper does.

Does anyone have any other suggestions? We do have a crate for him, but he just fits in it. Most days he's really good, & then he has his moments, like today. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much & so sorry if I rattled on too long.

Maria W. in Bethlehem, PA

I'd post a picture of him, but I can't figure out how to do it.
 

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For his own safety I would recommend crating him while you're away. My Chopper is 109 lbs and we've got a HUGE crate for him.
 

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Cookies Mom said:
get a squart bottle and spray him, might work, but you have to catch him in the act.
One time I purposely left the room to leave holly by herself. I then proceeded to sneak around the side and caught her up on the counter. One loud NO! sent her reeling. She hasnt gotten up their since.

You have to be sneaky with dogs.
 

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Eh, Sam gets up on the table - I swear sometimes I think she thinks she's a cat. She's also a garbage picker and a counter surfer! rrrrrrrrrrrrr Anyway - a peice of advice I got once was to put a bunch of mouse traps on the surface of whatever and cover them w/ newspaper and then when 'someone' gets up there it freaks them out but they don't get hurt KWIM?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Here's a couple of pictures of Chopper. We have nicer ones, but our son piggybacked my old harddrive to his newer harddrive & computer & I need to figure out how to access them. Mr. Computer is in Tempe, AZ in college.





 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just want to say thanks for the suggestions. The water squirt bottle was what I started to reach for, but that's a game for him. He loves to drink from water bottles, hoses, etc. Crate - I've crated him several times, but on days that I know I can get home at lunch to let him out. His crate "just" fits him w/o much more room to spare. The towel with "Doggie Off/No" is something I'll give a try. Mousetraps -- I thought about them but was afraid that I would end up hurting him. Didn't cross my mind to cover it with newspapers.

Today, he ate my Christmas cactus & poinsettia off the family room table. It's a glass table & I said to Dad, it's a good thing I've got stuff all over the table. I could just picture him, taking a flying leap from the couch & into the glass center" That would not be good. Maybe it's time to put that away too. It's like having babies again & baby proofing our house.

Thanks again for all your suggestion.

Maria
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Up at the table....Part II

Chopper went on a rampage today. Our 26 yr old daughter works nights & when she gets home in the wee morning hours, she lets Chopper sleep on her bed. I let him out this morning to give him his meds, let him outside & breakfast. I asked Katie if I should leave her door open so Chopper could come back in if he wanted.

Well, he really wanted. He ransacked her room, ate her make-up, ate her straw hat, & some hair accessories. Then he hit "pay dirt"! He stole her purse & scattered it's contents throughout downstairs & started eating her money. Fortunately for her he only ate/chewed a couple of $1 bills.

This is what we've decided to try when we go out. Pen Chopper in half of the 1st floor. We put his crate in the dining room doorway with the crate door open blocking that entrance. This way he could still go in & out of his crate when he wanted. Then we got a baby gate & blocked the doorway to the living room. This will give him the family room, kitchen & laundry room areas during the day. What Chopper doesn't know yet.......there's a double doorway in the family room to the living room. We have a couch on both sides of it with a double set of curtains separating the 2 rooms. The cats know & use this passage often. It'll still all them to be able to access their food & the kitty door to the basement. I'm just wondering how long it'll take Chopper to figure that escape route!

I wanted to crate him when I left in the mornings & Katie would let him out when she got up around noon. She would then crate him when she would leave for work, usually around 3:30 - 4:00 pm. And I'm usually home by 4:30 - 5:00. My husband feels crating Chopper for such a long time is on the cruel side. He actually needs a bigger crate, he's outgrown this one. Let's hope this will work for us.

As someone told me the week we adopted him, "Give him about 3 - 4 weeks & then the honeymoon is over. He'll feel comfortable & start showing his real personality." Well.........the honeymoon is now officially over!!! We fell in love with Chopper when we first found him & won't consider taking him back to the shelter. He is truly an awesome dog!

Maria
 

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Get a proper size crate and crate him when you are not around.
Let him out only when you can monitor his behavior.
This way you can teach him what is expected of him. Right now he has no clue.

Do not allow him to do anything that you don't want him to do.
When you or someone else cannot monitor him well enough to be sure about this, he goes in the crate.

The crate is his, the rest of the house is yours.
He has no right to run around your house.
He has to earn that right by behaving properly.
Be consistent he will learn pretty fast.
Keep letting him do stuff like get on the table and eat your things and he will never learn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
We are going shopping for a "larger" proper fitting crate this weekend. Came home early from work today & it wasn't too bad. He finished up what was left of the poinsettia & started on another coaster. When I came in the door, he was asleep on the couch. He's allowed on the couch. Gave me the impression that he was telling us he doesn't like it when we leave. He must not bark, howl, or whine otherwise I'd be getting a call at work about that.

But I agree with you. I want to crate him in the mornings & when our daughter gets up around noon, she can let him out & then back in the crate when leaves for work. He would only be in the crate the 2nd time for about an hour.

So shopping we will go & hopefully my husband will see it my way.

Thanks for your good advice. We'll be registering him for another advance obedience class this fall. We're also looking into going to the "dog behaviorist" at our vets or to a local K-9 trainer that a person at work recommended. I looked up his website, www.k9educate.com, but "honeymoon wasn't over yet". Now's the time.

Thank you again.

Maria
 
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