with Lisa Peterson
Ask AKC with Lisa Peterson
Dear Lisa: We have a beautiful 3-year-old female, spayed, Irish Setter. She is a wonderful companion, well behaved and working on her agility, even beating out a border collie in the trials. We are so proud of her. Unfortunately, she has one behavioral problem we just cannot seem to solve – she is a counter surfer. I have tried everything from crating her, spraying bleach on the edge of the counter to deter her and nothing helps. We have to keep a baby gate stretched across the entrance to the kitchen. I maintain she is hungry and the vet says no, that she is just strong-willed and is doing what she wants. She weighs 59 lbs, a perfect weight, according to the vet. Any help or suggestions you might provide would be greatly appreciated. – Surfing for Snacks
Dear Surfing: Ah yes, the counter surfer! I have one in my family and she is a real challenge to keep from exploring what food is on the kitchen counter. But I have her trained to immediately stop by using a single word! Notice I have never cured her of the problem, but can stop her. My dog’s mother was even more talented. Her owner told me she learned how to jump “on” the counter before she surfed! I agree with your vet that she is a perfect weight and is most likely not hungry. She just needs to be reintroduced to some doggie manners with you in charge of letting her know what behavior is acceptable and what is not.
Here are two options. First, you must always be with her in the kitchen to “catch” her before she “surfs” and can interrupt the surfing and reinforce the desired behavior you want. Whenever you are in the house with her, put her leash on her collar and attach the leash to your belt loop. This way when you are in the kitchen, she is in the kitchen. When you are not, she is not because she is following you wherever you go since you are joined at the hip! The reason I suggest this is that I suspect those surfer incidents happen when you are not in the room. I’m also going to assume that you don’t leave any food within reach on the counter, which might entice this behavior.
One word wonder
Dear Lisa: I have a dog that I want to show in Obedience but I’m not sure which class to enter. I have earned a Rally title but never an Obedience title. My co-owner of the dog I want to show, however, has put a CD obedience title on another dog. What class should I enter our dog in Obedience? Novice A or Novice B. And what if we both want to show her on different days during the same weekend of dog shows? Thanks! – Obediently Yours
Dear Obediently: I asked AKC’s Director of Obedience, Rally and Tracking Pam Manaton and here is her response:
Simply put, Novice A is for dogs that have not won the CD title and the handler must own the dog, be a member of the owner’s household, or immediate family. The handler may not have previously handled any dog that has earned an AKC Novice, Open or Utility title. In Novice B the owner or anyone may handle dogs in this class to earn a CD title.
In your example, if the 1st owner has never titled a dog to an AKC Novice, Open or Utility title (even a Beginner Novice title) and the dog they are showing does not have their CD title, they would enter Novice A on Saturday. On Sunday, the 2nd owner that has titled a dog before would enter the Novice B class for Sunday; and the 1st owner would again be eligible to enter the Novice A class on Monday.
For her other question, her titling a dog in Rally does not impact the classes she enters in Obedience, but if she titles a dog in Obedience, it will impact the classes she is eligible to enter in Rally. The actual rules are included below.
Obedience Regulations, Chapter 3 - Novice
Lisa Peterson, a long-time owner/breeder/handler of Norwegian Elkhounds, is the AKC Director of Communications. If you have a question, send it to Lisa at email@example.com and she may select it for a future column. Due to the high volume of questions we cannot offer individual responses. Read previous columns here.