Our own “Miss Harmony for Dogs,” Julia Levitt, recently wrote an article for AnnArbor.com about the dangers of counter-surfing. While it sometimes can be kind of funny, it can also have tragic results.

even small dogs can counter surf | Ann Arbor Animal HospitalJulia makes an important point—if your dog is counter-surfing, perhaps it “needs another job”—dogs who don’t have their energy channeled into activities like walks, play or even a job (like a therapy dog) are more likely to engage in potentially damaging behavior.

Julia’s checklist of factors that may be contributing to the problem include:

Has your dog been properly stimulated since it was a pup? Do you walk it regularly? Does it attend classes for herding, agility, obedience? (Do you take your dog for a bike ride or swimming in the summer?)

How about exhibiting symptoms of boredom? Chewing furniture? Eliminating in the house?

Does the dog disrespect you? Bark constantly, jump on you, or strangers and guests? Mouthing you and others? Has the dog bitten you?

When people tell me they don’t walk their dogs, I often think of the analogy, “How would you like to be locked in your house every day?” The house is a big kennel to a dog. They need exercise and stimulation. Don’t you?…

When you see your dog counter surfing, put away the squirt bottle. Stop and ask yourself these questions:

Am I providing an interesting life for my dog? Do I challenge my dog? Do I ask him/her to do some of the work he/she was bred to do? Do I provide an outlet for my dog’s energy?

Read more at AnnArbor.com.

Interested in dog training?
Julia will be conducting her House Party Dog Training sessions at 7pm on September 12, 19, 26 and October 3. Contact her for details or to register at julia@inharmonydogtraining.com.

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Ann Arbor Animal Hospital is a locally-owned animal hospital operating for over 90 years in Ann Arbor, MI.