I am not sure that I find this endearing - nor does my lovely cleaner, much as she adores the boys !
Has anyone resorted to the spray bottle/squirt gun method of correcting their "B's" misbehavior? I caught BUG pulling books out and ripping up their spines. (picture "the Predator" ripping out the someone's spine in the jungle) I've tried to address the behavior before and, well, I kind of lost it. I got my hair mister bottle out, adjusted the spray from mist to stream and when BUG started to eat the spine off one of my books tonight - she got it. It made her jump (but we all know it didn't hurt her). She went back to my books and tried it again and she got another squirt. There was no third time.
I'm going to need a holster for my suirt gun!
Perry's breeder uses that approach with her pups......and Perry was the absolute best Basenji I have ever had in terms of being reliable in the house. He didn't even take tissues from the wastebasket! Also, all her dogs learn early what is available for chewing and what is not. Again, Perry never trashed his plush toys. I could leave them with him and he never, ever chewed one up. His breeder tells me most of her pups are the same in their new homes. Anecdotal evidence, to be sure, but certainly my boy's behaviour was exemplary.
IMO, "all positive" is leaving out the important concept of consequences. Aversives need not be severe, but they do need to be unpleasant enough that the dog prefers to avoid them. In nature, dogs learn what is pleasant and what to avoid when they have negative experiences. So do humans, come to that! However, the most important element of training, whatever method you use, is consistency. You can't have one rule today and another tomorrow, but if you draw a line the dog will learn what is acceptable and what is not.
I have tried both the plastic jar of pennies to toss, and squirt guns, on most my dogs. Sigh. They all got used to the penny noise (and several wanted to play with it and make more noise). MOST liked the stupid squirt gun. So if it's working, by jove you got a winner. And I'm with Shirley. When a dog knows what is expected, a little aversion response is a good thing. Moose, the wild Samoyed, gets to go in time out (down next to me) when he won't stop bothering Cara or grabs clothing/socks/dishtowel... or doesn't do a command. I go get him, bring him to where I am sitting, and put him in a down stay. I tried the squirt bottle on him, btw... he loves it. DO IT AGAIN!!! he cries. But a time out is misery. So when he starts in on something, I can say "do you need a time out?" and he usually stops.
We used a small squirt gun when our two were puppies. It worked on one, who loathes water, but the other thought it was some type of new game. Eventually (and a few books/sofa/pillows, etc. later) we found Grannick's bitter apple spray. One or two spritz near or on the object solved the issue. Good luck!
The squirt gun didn’t work for me. My dog learned how to squint his eyes before he would do the thing he knew he wasn’t supposed to do.
Only time I ever use something similar is when one of them gets into the greenhouse. I have a wire door to keep them out and let air in. EVERYthing in there gets watered and I only have to pick up a can and the dog disappears !
Squirt cans / bottles/ guns - NO ! The potential damage to my furniture over-weighs any possible improvement in behaviour ! I have an aversion to aversion therapy anyway.
I have a different approach. If they shred newspapers I make a scene, cry, shout BAD dogs - so if mine want to punish me for something - you've guessed it - they find a newspaper and tear it to bits. No harm to anyone and satisfaction for the Basenjis that they've been REALLY bad !
What works, depends a lot on the individuals involved, both human and canine. You just have to figure out what works for you. I found that body language that is congruent with energy works best for me. No touching needed, and very few words.
@falcon LOL At least he has a "tell"!
@elbrant The only thing I wonder about spraying water to correct them is could it backfire come bath time? Zuzu had a dislike for water when we got her and it took a while to train her to like it. Some people on other pet forums use small air horns to stop their dogs from doing undesirable things like barking and jumping, but that doesn't sit well with me because it could possibly damage their hearing.
I have a stainless steel dog whistle that I use to break Zuzu's concentration and it always stops her dead in her tracks. Works anytime I want to distract her from doing something she shouldn't or get her attention. Not sure if it would work for the destructive action you described because the whistle stops them before they commit their crime - she doesn't mind the whistle noise, it just makes her cock her head with her ears perked up. I baby proofed my house when we got a puppy so she doesn’t get into much trouble or destroy stuff, so far that’s worked out well. Now that she’s a bit older I can leave some things within her reach and she doesn’t seem interested. Keeping fingers crossed.