Part of being a good dog owner is correcting bad behavior, such as excessive barking, stealing food, jumping on furniture or going potty on the carpet. Neglecting bad behavior can result in a dog that constantly misbehaves because he doesn't know right from wrong. One method of correcting bad behavior is by using a loud, startling noise. Every dog is different and it might take some trial and error to find out what works, but once you find that perfect noise, you'll soon have a well-mannered dog.
The Shaker Can
A shaker can or jar is an affordable tool to stop your dog's bad behavior. Make this contraption using an empty metal can. Put a few nails, beans, coins, or pebbles in the can and seal the opening with tape. Label the can so all family members know what it's for. When your pet companion gets naughty, shake the can to startle him. If you've never used the can before, shake it gently to make minimal noise, because this might be enough. If this is ineffective, shake it a little harder. Only use the shaker can for this purpose. Don't allow your dog to play with it, because he'll get used to the noise and it'll lose its effectiveness.
Although you can use an air horn to reprimand your dog, your neighbors might not appreciate the loud noise. Ultrasonic devices can stop your dog in his tracks and keep your neighbors happy. These devices make a sound that's not audible to humans. Your dog will be able to hear the high-frequency sound, which will startle him so he stops misbehaving. These devices might come in the form of a whistle or they can be triggered by a push of a button. They can work from a distance and are ideal if you have more than one dog or when you're walking your dog off the leash.
Whatever's Within Hand's Reach
Because it's often unpredictable when your pet companion will start misbehaving, readily available items can come in handy. When you catch your dog in the act, drop a metal cup, heavy book, ring of keys or an aluminum pie dish on the floor. The sudden noise will startle him and break his concentration so he'll stop misbehaving. Gauge your dog's sensitivity -- start with an item that makes minimal noise, and if this isn't effective, use another item that will have a greater impact. Don't throw the item at your dog or drop it where it may fall on him to avoid hurting him!
Whether you drop a heavy book, use a shaker can or blow a silent whistle, you always want to redirect your pet companion to acceptable behavior afterward. Show him a chew toy if he's chewing on your slipper, bring him to his designated potty area when he's going potty on the carpet or bring him to his doggie bed if he's jumping on the sofa. Use treats, petting and verbal praise to reinforce good behavior. Be consistent and make the noise each time you catch your pet companion in the act. Over time he'll associate his behavior to the unpleasant noise and will stop misbehaving just to prevent it.
By Kimberly Caines
My Dog!: A Kids' Guide to Keeping a Happy and Healthy Pet; Michael J. Rosen
Good Dogs, Bad Habits; Jeanne Carlson
Coastal Humane Society: Aversives For Dogs
RadioFence.com: Ultrasonic Pet Trainer
Why Do Dogs Like Balls?; D. Caroline Coile and Margaret H. Bonham
The Dog Bible: Everything Your Dog Wants You To Know; Tracie Hotchner
About the Author
Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. Caines holds a degree in journalism from Mercurius College in Holland and is writing her first novel.