Pet Correctors are bad news for Dog Welfare
A can of Pet Corrector spray releases a “hiss” sounding spray of compressed air, which claims to disrupt undesirable behaviour in dogs, such as aggression, jumping up and barking. The noise claims to be comparable to the natural warning noise made by a snake or a cat, and grasps the dog’s immediate attention.
Aversive training tool
The ethos behind this tool, to startle the animal, makes it an aversive training tool. I know for a fact it would terrify my dogs, as they are noise-sensitive. The claim that if it works, the dog will find it unpleasant, however this will only work for as long as the dog remembers the practice, and becomes to fear the red can! I don’t want my dogs behaving out of fear, and I certainly don’t want them to be afraid of me.
The Pet Corrector claims to scare your pet into stopping whatever bad behaviour they were doing at the time, however if you continue to use this aversive spray and don’t address the initial cause of the bad behaviour, there is every chance that you will discover that the spray will not work. Your dog will react aggressively to you, or may even develop additional behavioural problems that will almost definitely be more difficult to repair than the original issues.
Not a quick fix
Dog owners are quite often impatient and search for quick fixes. However, these quick solutions are rarely lasting ones, usually resulting in an aversive emotional condition in your dog, which could well develop into more dangerous and severe behaviour problems in the long run.
The Pet Corrector spray may result in increased anxiety, as the dog will not understand when the noise will occur, or even why it’s happening. It may also, in the same way that spray and shock collars can redirect aggression to other situations, mean that your dog associates the startling sound of the spray with incorrect stimuli. While you might think that there is an enormous difference between a sudden noise, a shock or a spray of air, the point is that they are all aversive methods designed to cause avoidance and fear. While there may be little physical damage to your pet, there will undoubtable be an amount of psychological damage.
No place in positive dog training
A dog never really does anything wrong – sometimes they do things that we don’t like or want them to do, but they really aren’t doing it to annoy us, but only because it seems to be a good idea to them. There should never be a reason to “correct” your dog, only to teach him better behaviour. There should be no place for Pet Correctors in positive dog training. It’s a much better training method to show your dog how to do what you want, by manipulating the circumstances and then to reward him for his better behaviour.
Please be conscious of this before you go out to buy the latest corrective device on the market. Say NO to all aversive training!