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Pandemic Puppies and Problem Behaviour in dogs.

The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) conducted a study as part of the Pandemic Puppies project, following a cohort of puppies purchased during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The study focused on identifying risk factors related to owner-reported problem behaviors, training methods, expectations vs. realities of behavior and training, and seeking professional advice for these puppies at 21 months old.

Key findings of the research include:

Aversive Training Methods: Approximately 82% of 'pandemic puppy' owners reported using aversive training methods to address their dog's problem behaviors. These methods involve negative reinforcement and positive punishment, such as shouting at the dog.

Impact on Animal Welfare: The use of aversive training methods was found to negatively impact animal welfare, often being poorly effective and, in some cases, leading to the development of new problem behaviors due to fear and anxiety.

Common Problem Behaviors: Owners reported an average of five problem behaviors in their dogs at 21 months, with pulling on the lead, jumping up at people, and not coming back when called being the most common issues.

Training Methods: While 96% of owners reported verbally praising their dogs, 80% also used aversive methods. Physically moving the dog, shouting at them, and leash corrections were among the most commonly used aversive training methods.

Impact of Online Puppy Classes: Owners who attended online puppy classes during the pandemic were less likely to use aversive training techniques, highlighting the importance of early education in humane training methods.

Future Concerns: The study emphasized the need to address problem behaviors, as they can be a major welfare challenge for both dogs and owners. The researchers recommended attending puppy classes as a crucial way to support owners in using effective and humane training techniques.

Battersea, which funded the study, expressed concern about the increase in dogs with behavioral issues and stressed the importance of positive training and support. The RVC plans to continue investigating this cohort of dogs for broader outcomes, including the potential impact on adult-dog behavior, health, and the bond with their owners.

Here at Wacky Pets we offer several training aids that could help you with problem behaviours in you pet dog.

Pet Corrector Sprays

Pet corrector sprays can be a wonderful addition to your training routine and can provide quick interruption if your pet is being naughty. Alongside traditional training methods as well as other training tools (such as crates, chew stopping spray, and new, appropriate toys), pet corrector sprays can be a handy part of your arsenal to help stop bad behaviour.

What are Dog Behaviour Sprays For?

Training your pet can be done in many ways, and sprays to help correct poor behaviour can be useful in many instances. We recommend the sprays for helping to interrupt bouts of loud barking, prevent dogs from stealing food or items from around the house, and to help stop your dog from jumping up guests. Pet sprays can be great for all sorts of behavioural issues where interrupting the bad behaviour is the first step of training.

For pets who chew things around the home, behaviour sprays can also be beneficial – they provide you with the opportunity to interrupt your pet and follow up with some positive training. Wacky Pets also offers a wonderful chew stopping spray for dogs who struggle with chewing furniture, if you’d like to add additional training measures to your routine.

Do Pet Corrector Sprays Work?

Pet corrector sprays are a super simple tool to help you train your pet. For most pets, pet corrector sprays provide an immediate distraction from whatever mischief they’re getting up to, so you can intervene quickly.

For most people, using the sprays sparingly offer the best results – constant exposure to the spray can result in your pet becoming somewhat indifferent! We find that following up usage of the corrector spray with immediate training can also offer surprisingly good results without the need for lots of additional training methods.

Of course, not every training method will work for every pet! Correction sprays tend to work with most pets, due to how they work.

Are Pet Corrector Sprays Harmful?

Whilst some products could be harmful to your pet or your home, pet correction sprays offer a natural, harm-free training method. When you use a pet corrector spray, your pet will become distracted by the loud, sudden noise, which provides an opportunity for you to swoop in and correct any bad behaviour.

Sprays that are intended for use to correct bad behaviour do not contain harmful chemicals, they simply emit an inert gas that provides a ‘hissing’ sound loud enough to surprise your pet.

How to Use a Pet Correction Spray

Pet correction sprays can be used at home, with a pet of any age! Using them couldn’t be more simple. When you witness bad behaviour from your pet, quickly give one short burst of the spray into the room – remember to direct the can away from your dog as they only need to hear the noise, rather than be hit with the air.

Once you’ve successfully distracted your dog, we recommend immediately following up with some brief training, such as giving them a command (such as ‘quiet’) and then rewarding them. You can reward your pet with anything they enjoy, such as lots of praise, or a tasty treat (we have a range of excellent dog treats to help you with dog training!).

High quality pet corrector sprays available from Wacky Pets online

Choosing a Pet Correction Spray

There are plenty of correction sprays on the market, so it’s a good idea to make sure the one that you choose is safe for use. Wacky Pets offers a wonderful spray that comes with a built-in safety cap to offer more accurate activation.

Our spray is reliable and doesn’t require an additional safety lid, making it much quicker to interrupt any unwanted behaviours. If you choose to purchase your correction spray from Wacky Pets, you’ll need to give a firm press on the first use to break the safety seal – once this is done, the product will disperse as required.

Anti-Chew Sprays - Do Chew Stopping Sprays for Dogs Work?

Puppies and older dogs can often struggle with chewing, and you may find yourself coming home to your favourite pair of shoes chewed up, or some suspicious marks in your sofa. You might wonder ‘is there a spray to stop puppies from chewing’? The answer is yes! Alongside traditional training, there’s great ways to help encourage better habits in your dogs, and chew stopper sprays for dogs can really assist in training your puppy to stop chewing things they really shouldn’t.

How does Chew Stopping Spray work?

Chew deterrent sprays work by coating objects in an invisible residue that some dogs hate the taste of. Much like nail biting polishes for people, chew sprays can leave a nasty taste in your puppy’s mouth (both figuratively and literally!) to help deter your dog from chewing it again.

When you use a chew stopping spray, don’t be worried about leaving marks. Most sprays are good for use on most types of furniture and materials, but we recommend that you test it first on a small, inconspicuous area of the furniture or material to make sure.

High quality Johnson's Anti-chew Training Spray available from Wacky Pets
Wacky Pets offers a high quality, tried and tested chew stopping spray at an affordable price

Does it Work for all Dogs?

Like people, dogs can become accustomed to specific tastes. This is especially true for puppies! When training your dog to stop chewing household items and furniture, chew stopping spray may not work 100% of the time, so it’s important to use additional methods when training your dogs, too. Some dogs may even quite like the taste.

Chewing furniture can be a big problem for dog owners, and it’s a good idea to start training before your dog starts chewing up furniture. With the chew stopper spray, you may wish to put it on certain areas of your home that your dog may chew before they do – this works a bit better than reactionary training in most cases!

How To Stop my Puppy from Chewing?

If you’re looking to use other training methods in tandem with using a chew stopping spray, there’s plenty of ways to help your dog. The golden rule is to be attentive to your puppy – dogs can be curious about their surroundings and being attentive means that you can stop your dogs from chewing before they do damage. If you do catch your puppy chewing things, it’s a great idea to distract them, and then divert their attention elsewhere.

Another great idea to stop your dog from chewing the furniture is to make sure you offer appropriate toys! Always ensure you’re buying quality toys that are designed with the safety of your dog in mind (you can view some excellent dog toys available here), that are designed for your dog’s size and age. Rather than offering your dog an old pair of shoes to gnaw at, giving them some fun, durable toys is a great way to help encourage good behaviour.

There are many ways to help encourage excellent behaviour in your dogs, and using a chew stopper spray is a wonderful way to train your dog. We advise using a quality, safe chew stopper spray such as Johnson's Anti-chew Training Spray alongside additional training methods, and always being sure your pup has a range of toys to play with, as well as getting enough exercise.

Urine Sprays

"Don't Pee Here" spray by Sharples is a highly effective solution designed to deter dogs from urinating in undesirable areas. This spray is an excellent tool for pet owners seeking to maintain a clean and odor-free environment around their homes.

Don't Pee Here

Here's a simple guide on how to use the "Don't Pee Here" spray:

Identify Problem Areas:
Begin by identifying the specific areas where you do not want your dog to urinate. These could be spots on your carpet, furniture, or outdoor areas where the smell may be offensive or cause damage.

Clean the Area:
Before applying the spray, make sure to clean the target area thoroughly. Use a pet-friendly enzymatic cleaner to eliminate any existing urine odors. This helps remove the scent markers that might attract the dog back to the same spot.

Read Instructions:
Familiarize yourself with the product instructions provided by Sharples. Different sprays may have slightly different application guidelines, so it's crucial to follow the manufacturer's recommendations for the best results.

Shake the Bottle:
Give the "Don't Pee Here" spray a good shake before each use. This ensures that the active ingredients are properly mixed and ready for application.

Apply the Spray:
Hold the spray bottle about 6 to 8 inches away from the target area. Spray a generous but even amount of "Don't Pee Here" over the surface. Be sure to cover the entire area you want to protect.

Reapply as Needed:
Depending on the product and your dog's behavior, you may need to reapply the spray periodically. Some sprays offer long-lasting effects, while others may require more frequent application. Follow the instructions for guidance on reapplication.

Positive Reinforcement:
While using the "Don't Pee Here" spray, reinforce positive behavior by rewarding your dog when they use appropriate areas for urination. Offer treats, praise, or affection to encourage them to associate the designated areas with positive experiences.

Consistency is Key:
For optimal results, maintain consistency in using the spray and reinforcing positive behavior. Consistency helps establish boundaries and prevents your dog from returning to the undesirable spots.

Remember, "Don't Pee Here" spray is a training aid and should be used in conjunction with positive reinforcement and proper training techniques. It is essential to be patient and consistent in order to successfully redirect your dog's behavior.

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