Does leaving your pet alone in your home for even a few minutes leave you quaking in fear of returning? Of you worried, you will find valuable items chewed on in your home? Or your pet digging up the whole backyard including your prized roses? If so, then aversive may be useful at helping you pet learn to modify his or her behaviors. Aversives are tools and techniques that help your pet understand what areas they can venture into in the home and use punishment to show them which behaviors are unacceptable and need to be stopped. If using aversives on your dog, there are several major conditioning techniques worth considering.
Textures can be used to cover areas where you do not want your dog to venture. Double sided carpet tape works well indoors while sharp rocks placed in the dirt identify which areas to avoid outside. These textures are uncomfortable to the dogs' paws, making it likely he will get the message and stay away. Adding toys and treats to acceptable areas may also work to deter your puppy from wandering into undesirable locations.
Since a dog is unlikely to chew up or bite into anything that they find offensive to their taste buds owners find the use of certain substances discourages biting and licking. Citrus from peels and concentrated juices can be used as can commercial taste aversion products. Hot products like cayenne pepper and hot sauces will also put your dog off and limit their chewing. Test out a taste aversion by putting a small amount on a tissue. Then let your dog sniff it before placing it in your dogs mouth, then making them spit it out.
Pay attention to their response to see if you have found a taste that will deter them. He will learn to associate the smell with the unpleasant taste and will avoid items that you cover in that substance in the future. Taste aversions are one of the easiest conditioning methods to teach your dog. Progress often occurs after a single bad experience with a taste.
Human/Remote controlled aversives
A human controlled aversive is one where the owner has to be present to make work. By monitoring the dog's behavior, immediate interaction can then be taken to show the dog the correct behavior instead. In a human controlled aversive, consistency is important. On the first occasion and every additional occasion, that a dog wanders into the wrong area or displays inappropriate behavior action must be taken. The action must also be done within a few seconds of occurring so the dog can associate the aversive with the behavior. A whistle, air horn or a spray bottle can be used in a human controlled aversive.
Remote controlled aversives also work when the owner is unable to be around. These methods can use water spraying motion detectors ad static shock mats among other methods as punishment for venturing into the wrong areas.
When using aversives, care should be taken since these methods only focus on teaching a dog what behaviors are not acceptable not showing what behaviors is preferred. Owners must also be careful not to inspire fear in their dogs. For best results start with the taste and texture aversions then progress cautiously to a higher level aversive only if these methods do not work.