A dog’s hearing is absolutely impressive. While the average adult human cannot hear sounds that are higher than 20,000 Hertz (Hz), dogs can hear sounds as high as 47,000 to 65,000 Hz (1). Dogs can also detect much softer sounds than humans can.
So a sound that is loud to a human is much louder to a dog, such as a vacuum, car alarm, ambulance, and even a power drill. This could explain why high-pitched greetings get a dog’s attention more than lower-pitched voices. This is also one of many reasons why dog owners choose a pet corrector spray to help train their dogs.
Whether it’s needed to stop excessive barking, stop a dog from running all over a home, make him pause while jumping, or avoid something that he shouldn’t be getting into, this may be all the tool you need to correct a dog’s behavior.
What Is Pet Corrector Spray?
Pet Corrector Spray is intended to stop unwanted activity by emitting a harmless hiss of air. Made by The Company Of Animals, a United Kingdom-based company founded by world-renowned animal psychologist, Dr. Roger Mugford, this product has been tested to make sure it works correctly and effectively.
While it’s not intended to make you discard all of your other training methods (i.e. repetition, using the word “no,” crate training, etc.), pet corrector spray is an additional option for your pet training needs.
If other techniques work better for you, continue those. This is just another one to add to your pet training arsenal.
The hissing sound from this spray can mimic the kind of natural warning noise that animals hear that would stop them in their tracks. If you’ve ever been out walking with your dog and he stops in his tracks to look at something you can’t hear, expect your dog to respond like that.
This is a more humane way to train your dog instead of newspaper swatting, yelling, water bottle spraying, and other more aggressive training methods that do more harm than good.
Meant to be used in short bursts, larger cans will have more opportunities to use them (ex. 200 milliliters can emit 200 uses). However, keep in mind that the larger the can you buy, the more awkward it may be to hold.
You may want to consider buying small individual cans that can be easily carried when needed. If it takes more time to figure out how to hold the can steady without fumbling than it does to correct the dog’s action, you risk your dog not understanding what he’s supposed to stop. This will be no help to you or your dog.
How Does it Work?
The goal is to make your dog stop an unwanted action. For example, if your dog keeps licking water from a toilet bowl, use the spray to get your dog’s attention away from the toilet bowl before he can drink. Eventually, he may associate the toilet bowl with that noise and stop this activity.
Some owners choose to add to the spray option by giving a dog a treat to encourage him or her from participating in unwanted activities.
Unfortunately, using it plus a treat may backfire, according to some pet corrector reviews. The primary reason is a dog may affiliate that sound with a treat, and then perform that unwanted action in hopes of getting the treat.
This is different than something simpler like giving a dog a treat for shaking your hand or sitting or staying or rolling over. Whether the dog gets the treat or not, these tricks hurt nothing.
But if the pet corrector spray plus a treat are used to avoid chewing on a dining room chair, get ready for your hungry dog to chomp on the chair for treats.
This is why it’s a better idea to just use the pet corrector spray to eliminate an activity instead of treating your dog for doing the activity. Save the treats for another time.
Keep in mind that the goal of the spray is to “alarm” or “warn” your dog to stop something. If used too often, your dog should understand why this product stands out.
Have you ever had a neighbor whose car alarm always went off? Initially, you may look out of your window the first few times to make sure that the car is OK and no one is fiddling with the locks or trying to get into the trunk.
But after that overly sensitive alarm goes off for the millionth time, you will probably stop looking outside and stop paying attention.
Pet corrector spray can be that overly sensitive car alarm if used too often. But the car alarm that rarely goes off probably has a valid reason for waking up the block when it does.
Keep this car alarm theory in the back of your mind when using it around your dog. You don’t want the sound to blend in so much that the dog thinks it’s just another noise like the vacuum on house cleaning day.
Is it safe and humane?
Just as humans must protect their ears from loud music on a stereo or other loud sounds (such as blasting headphones), dogs are protective of their ears too. That’s one of the reasons that they may run for cover or howl when they hear a loud noise.
While the Fourth of July fireworks may be big fun for you, it’s not party time for your dog. If you live near a fire station or a popular route for ambulances, be prepared for your dog to be a little fussy.
The same can be said with this pet corrector spray. With current minimum prices for a one-pack at $11 (a little more than an air duster), this spray (which is made up of fluorinated greenhouse gases) is only meant to be used 50 times maximum.
And just as you wouldn’t use compressed air on your keyboard for every small crumb, the same rules should apply for your dog. When the spray is used, make sure it counts. If not used excessively and closely, you avoid the risk of harming your dog’s hearing and making your dog immune to the sound.
Under no circumstances should it be operated by children nor should it be overused. Just as certain breeds tend to be sensitive about roughhousing and louder, more active children, they may react aggressively to the spray.
Make sure to test around your dog in a safe space to see what his immediate reaction is, as well as follow-up reactions. Some dogs may stop the action immediately. Others may try to “find” the noise.
If you’ve ever seen your dog jumping on couches or chairs in what looks like an imaginary game of tag, that’s about how it may sound. Usually, this will die down fast, especially if the dog has nothing to “chase” because the noise has stopped.
Again, this is why this corrector spray should not be used as a toy. If used by children or non-professionals on a regular basis, your dog may associate the “correction” idea as just another loud game the way he would to squeaky toys.
How to use it properly
If you’ve ever used compressed air duster for your computer keyboard, you’re already pretty familiar with how the pet corrector spray works. Just as compressed air should not be sprayed right into the motherboard of your keyboard—which can damage your computer and potentially rub letters off—keep your distance from the dog when using this spray.
The first time you test out pet corrector spray, make sure to be at least 3 feet away to confirm just how sensitive your dog is to the sound. It is not recommended to use on puppies or pointed directly at a dog of any age.
Additionally, read all instructions before first use. This can must be kept away from heat, sparks, hot surfaces, open flames, and any other ignition source. The can should never be placed on top of a stove, near candles or next to electric appliances.
Never apply to skin and/or swallow the product. And although it is a better idea to keep the product in a snug, bag pocket to avoid it tipping over or bumping into other products, if you choose to keep it on your person, make sure the safety cap is on and locked in place. Treat it the way you would household cleaning products.
If you choose to keep the product on tall cabinets or bookshelves where other animals can reach (ex. cats), be aware of this. It’s best kept in safe, secure areas that are locked or at least have a door that cannot easily be opened.
If knocked down, the can will have the cold sensation that keyboard compressor air cans have. Avoid prolonged use and keeping your hands on the cold surface for unnecessarily long periods of time.
Have you read everything above and still wonder “Why should I buy this product? What if it doesn’t work?” The truth is no training method works instantly. With any new training method, it takes time for your dog to acknowledge and adjust to whatever behavior you want him to do.
Just as puppies (or adult dogs) don’t instantly learn to sit, roll over, give handshakes, play dead, come, stay, attack, or any other action you want your dog to complete, pet corrector sprays may take time to work as needed.
A noise that may be distracting to one person (or dog) just may not be the same distracting noise to another. If you’ve ever been around a room of screaming kids and wondered how anyone else can deal with this noise, ask a teacher.
Those joyfully rambunctious kids may be an instant headache for you and just blend into a world of noises for a kindergarten teacher.
The noises that are regularly around your dog may make all the difference in how your dog reacts to the sound. If you live in a reasonably quiet neighborhood, this pet corrector spray may be noticeably loud to your dog.
If your home is full of loud noises on a consistent basis, it’s possible that this pet corrector spray may just blend in with all the rest of the noisiness in your home (or backyard or neighborhood).
But quite frankly, if the biggest gripe that a pet corrector spray review has is “It didn’t work,” that beats more aggressive training methods that could harm your dog. Just as all dogs don’t wear the same dog harness or dog leash or dog collar, all pets have their own personalities and react on an individual basis.
It is up to you to dedicate the time and attention to train your dog and learn how to properly be house trained (or behave well outside of the home) with these training techniques.
1. Stephanie Gibeault, MSc, CPDT, 2018. Dogs Don’t Have a Sixth Sense, They Just Have Incredible Hearing, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/sounds-only-dogs-can-hear/