Remove dog from trash, or trash from dog - before he ends up on the operating table. Labs are well-known for getting into anything and everything, and by age 4, you should have sorted out all these unacceptable behaviours. I'm afraid that when you have a dog, regardless of trying to force your will on him, you just have to compromise. If you leave food on the counter then in many cases the temptation will be too much. Get into the habit of not leaving food where he can grab it so when the phone rings, somebody comes to the door, whatever, he can't GET to what's up there.