• Lisa Mullinax, CDBC


From sonic noise machines to citronella sprays, cans of compressed air to electronic shock collars, there is a never ending stream of products and techniques advertised to STOP problem behavior. But do they provide real solutions?

Let's say you just started a new job. The pay is good, you have a nice office and the people around you seem very friendly. But after several months, you haven't received a job description or any on-the-job training. But everyone seems to still like having you around, so you don't worry about it. One day, you are asked to give a presentation to a very important client. As you start your presentation, your supervisor begins yelling at you, telling you everything is completely wrong.

You stop the presentation. The boss turns his back on you and starts talking to the very important client.

Now, what should you do differently for the next presentation?

Don't know? Neither does your dog when aversives are used to interrupt unwanted behavior.

Here's a dog training example:

Your dog jumps on visitors. You try saying "no," you try jabbing him in the neck with your fingers, you try squirting him with water, you try spraying him with compressed air. Now, which of those approaches tells your dog what you want? None of them.