Why Spray Bottles Don’t Work for Dogs

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As pet owners, we have to accept that our furry friends may sometimes show unwanted behaviors from time to time, whether that’s barking excessively or damaging things at home. Unfortunately, one bad advice that has spread across the web is to use a spray bottle.

We can’t emphasize enough why spray bottles or even water bottles don’t work for dogs. The spraying might temporarily deter your dog from his naughty behavior, but longer term, it could make the undesirable behavior worse. The underlying problem with punishment methods like spraying water is the fact that it doesn’t teach your dog what he should be doing.

Your mindset to training dogs should be less about stopping unwanted behavior and more about teaching positive behaviors. This is the reason why positive reinforcement training is one of the most effective ways to guide your dog to success.

The other reason that spray bottles don’t work for dogs is due to the fact that your furry friend can eventually become conditioned to it. His unwanted behaviors won’t stop and you will need to eventually find another method to stop him. Another bad method we discourage that has a similar but worst effect than spray bottles is using pinch collars.

At first, it may seem like your dog is barking less with a pinch collar on but he will eventually get used to it and if you stick with the same horrible punishment methods, you might start to think about using something worse like a choke chain.

So what should you be doing instead of squirting water at your dog? It’s simple. Use positive reinforcement. It’s not always the quickest solution but the results will be permanent once your dog gets it. Let’s take excessive barking as an example. With positive reinforcement training, you could reward your dog with treats and praises after he calms down from a bout of attention barking.

If you aren’t confident of doing it yourself then consider hiring a positive reinforcement dog trainer to support your journey. These professionals will use a variety of methods like verbal cues and hand signals to correct your dog’s bad habits.


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