Question: We got a Lab/boxer mix puppy six months ago. He is very smart and is now totally housebroken and otherwise an amazing dog. He's as big as a pony, has a mouth as big as a bear trap and is tall enough to reach on top of our counters and devour any edibles we leave out. Loaves of bread or fruit or a box of cereal -- everything goes down his throat. We scold him when we see him doing it, and he seems contrite for a minute, but after the minute is over, he is back at it. One day he even got a bunch of bananas that were left on top of the fridge.
Are there any training methods you can recommend to do?
Answer: This is not really a training issue but a management issue. If you could follow the dog around all day long every day of the week and correct him (note I say correct and not punish) every single time he goes for a food item that is not in his bowl, then he would surely learn not to counter surf. But if that's not possible, the whole family needs to apply themselves to not leaving any edibles out. Then, when you can apply yourself to a training session, you can put out a loaf of bread and take the dog into the kitchen and correct him every time he goes for it. When the lesson is over, you put the bread away so the dog no longer has the opportunity to take it off the counter, and thus the memory of the lesson should be retained.