5 Notorious Counter-Surfing Dog Breeds

5 Notorious Counter-Surfing Dog Breeds

Exposure to Holiday Food Can Be Life Threatening

As the holidays approach and your kitchen is filled with aromatic temptations any hound would find hard to resist, beware the sneaky counter surfing behavior that could potentially have you ditching the festivities for a pet emergency.

Based on Nationwide pet insurance’s claims data and repeat behavior by, ahem, certain dog breeds, we’ve narrowed down the list to the top five most likely counter-surfing culprits.

Dog Breeds Most Likely to Counter Surf

While any dog could try to scarf food off the counter if given the opportunity, these dog breeds have a penchant for seeking out food samples, as if breezing by a Costco taste demonstration:

1. Labrador Retrievers


Smart and clever, these dogs excel at “retrieving” the goods. Ever seen a dog stand up and eat off a table? Watch out, Labrador owners.

2. Beagles

Energetic and a bit mischievous, the beagle has a nose that knows. Prone to obesity, keep these pooches out of the kitchen. They’re driven to eat.

3. Boxers

Playful and inquisitive, this working dog is devoted to its family—and its love of food. Reward your boxer for good behavior with a safe dog treat while everyone is eating.

4. Great Danes

This dog’s height definitely gives it an advantage and many Great Danes shamelessly think the counter is just another eating surface.

5. Border Collies

Border collies are considered one of the smartest breeds of dog, so you know if there’s a way to counter-cruise, they’ll figure it out. The border collie has the ability to wait, keep an eye on the target and spring into action when your back is turned.

Dog Breeds That Think They’re Really Vacuums

FrenchBulldog begging

You might thank your dog for licking crumbs off the floor, but be careful about what may end up at ground level; chopped onions, bits of unbaked dough—even a few raisins could be enough to send your pet to the ER.

Dog breeds that notoriously think it’s their job to clean the floor include bulldogs, basset hounds and dachshunds.

That being said, don’t take a chance: prevent any dog—pure breed or lovable mutt—from having easy access to potentially dangerous food.

Holiday Foods Toxic to Pets

Do you know which foods are toxic to pets? For the full list and symptoms of toxicity, check out our comprehensive, printable Toxic & Dangerous Food Guide for Pets. In the meantime, here’s a quick list of popular holiday foods that you may have on your counters.

  • Fatty foods
  • Bones
  • Raw meat and fish
  • Raw eggs
  • Rhubarb and/or rhubarb pie
  • Raisins
  • Onions, garlic, shallots
  • Nuts
  • Nutmeg
  • Yeast dough
  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee and tea

Health Ramifications for Counter-Surfing Dogs

Ingesting toxic or dangerous food can be life threatening to a dog. Some of the most common ramifications include:

  • Upset stomach (rich food)
  • Pancreatitis (fatty foods)
  • Toxicity (onions, garlic, shallots, alcohol)
  • Foreign body ingestion (bones, utensils, corn husks, etc.)
  • Choking (bones, utensil, corn husks)
  • Soft tissue trauma (such as knocking a bowl, plate or platter off the counter onto the head, tail or toes)
  • Burns (if the stove is on, a dog’s nose, mouth, ear or paw can come into contact; also, hot food off the stove can spill onto your dog and cause trauma)

Best bet, distract your curious dog with an activity while you’re in the kitchen or eating dinner in another room, such as a Kong toy filled with healthy peanut butter. Ask a family member or friend to entertain your dog outside while you’re cooking, or temporarily block off the kitchen with a removable gate.

Keep your dogs safely away from toxic or dangerous food and everyone can enjoy their holiday.