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  • Robert Berkelhammer, M.Ed.

Rover Off! Dogs Stove and Counter Surfing: Fire Proofing Range Tops and Behavior Strategies

Do you own a dog? Is your dog curious, long, and tall enough to counter surf by standing up and placing its paws on the front or top of a stove or counter top?

I have seen dogs kitchen counter surfing, moving over towards a stove while standing on their hind legs, and turning on a gas flame with their front paws! Electric controls have also been turned on by counter surfing dogs. This is a tremendous fire hazard! Imagine being away from home and a counter surfing "Rover" turns on a stove and the home goes up in flames! Additionally, other tenants outside your immediate family can be fire impacted, especially if you live in a multi-unit building.


1. Remove all human and animal food off of and near the stove, including kitchen counters near the stove. This includes food for humans, cats, dogs, bunnies, rodents, birds, fish, etc. A stove top with unwashed plates or bowls for serving food with ladles, knives, and forks will attract Fido.

2. Remove all flammable items off of and near stoves - pot holders, paper towels, note pads, mail, cardboard cereal boxes, etc.

3. Research dog training strategies to decrease your dog’s likelihood of kitchen counter and stove surfing. Victoria Stillwell, Cesar Milan, and other gifted trainers have practical strategies for decreasing dog counter surfing.

4. Research hardware products designed to child-proof and dog proof a stove. Child proofing stove controls may make it difficult for anyone but an adult to turn the stove controls on.

Another kitchen suggestion is to move the toaster or toaster oven away from your paper towel roll.

Also, cats frequent counter areas around appliances and may trigger an ON power switch designed to be pressed down.

Make sure to take the appropriate precautions to avoid a tragedy!

Robert Berkelhammer is the Author of Pet Care Givers & Families: Getting the Most From Dog Playgroups, Pet Sitters, and Walkers. Also, see our MULTI-USE FAMILY PET CARE CONTRACT, a must-have organizing tool for you, your family, pet care professionals, and most importantly your pets!

Please consider helping me continue my important work helping pets as I develop as pet care professional and expert. All Donors will receive a free copy of the 16-page Family Pet Contract! Learn more

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