JJ (our dog) is naturally really well behaved. But every now and then he needs a little discipline to help set boundaries. Call me a wuss or a weirdo (or a hippie), but I don’t believe in hitting – so we’ve raised JJ completely violence-free (these hands don’t hurt).
So, without hitting, the methods of discipline have been interesting. You can’t really do “time out” with a dog, because we can’t have a chat and explain the reasoning afterwards.
When we first adopted JayJer, he had been trained with a squirt bottle. A spray of water in the face would come his way if he did something bad. At least its not hitting, but spraying him in the face didn’t really sit well with me either. First of all, it makes a mess when you have to use it in the house. And secondly (and more importantly), we’re trying to teach JJ to swim and love the water, so using water as a punishment wasn’t jiving.
My awesome friend Jenny made an epic suggestion – put some coins in a can and shake it near him when he does something bad. She taught me that dogs HATE that noise, and whatever they’re doing when that noise happens, they’ll stop.
I chugged a ginger ale, tossed some pennies it, and voila. IT WORKED! Jay responded immediately to it, it was great.
The only downside? An empty soda can sitting around the house is ugly and gives the impression I don’t clean regularly.
I happened to finish a can of crunchy noodles the other day and realized with the lid – it was perfect to use as a new JJ shaker.
Of course I can’t have that ugly can sitting around… so I took the wrapper off, painted it
and decorated it, and ta-daa… I have a cute new device of behavioral enforcement.
and for the record, JJ loves pink. I know that dogs are technically colorblind, but he always picks pink toys and likes those best, for reals he does. So I really did decorate it with his feelings in mind. Only the best for my lil sweet pooch!