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Two of the most common home animals (pets).

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There are some inexpensive tools that you can use to discourage unwanted behaviors from your dog.  Some, you might have already heard of.  Some might be new.  Either way I wanted to make sure you were aware of the options.

The most effective option with my dogs is a simple squirt bottle.  I use it to startle them if I catch them counter surfing, barking excessively, or generally misbehaving.  They don’t care for it.  I put it on the stream setting.  The mist setting doesn’t do much to discourage them.

The next most effective option I’ve used with some of my clients is a plastic bottle with some pennies in it.  A caution is that this can scare dogs instead of simply startling them.  You don’t want this.  It can cause some negative effects including making your dog scared of you.

Both of these options mean you have to be there to catch your dog in the act of misbehaving.  Punishing after the fact doesn’t really help you to teach your dog.

I don’t recommend using anything that uses shock to teach your dog.  First, I don’t approve of shock collars, pinch collars, or anything that causes your dog pain.  I use only positive reinforcement for training and the startle effect with discouraging bad behaviors.

What about when you are not home?

If you want to keep your dog off of a surface when you are not at home you can use double-sided tape and put it on a piece of poster board that is cut to the size you want.  You put it on the surface you want and when he puts his paws on it, they will be stuck to the tape.  This would discourage him, after a few tries, from jumping on the surface.  You can use this on couches, counter tops, chairs, beds, etc.  Many of my clients have used this to good effect.

By using these tools, you can discourage bad behavior while you are teaching your dog good behavior.