Thou call’st me dog before thou hadst a cause, But since I am a dog, beware my fangs.
- William Shakespeare
There are techniques where if a dog is woofing at something, or displaying an undesirable behaviour, trainers tell owners to fill a tin with stones, and throw it on the floor as a distraction. Sometimes they will suggest a water pistol, squirting an air spray, or even to throw a set of keys on the floor.
These are negative reinforcement techniques. If you have a dog who is barking because they are scared or behaving badly because they are nervous of something, then the negative reinforcement techniques can make that dog even more scared and agitated. The scary noise / action may well increase that fear.
These techniques can cause even more dangerous behaviour. Teaching your dog they are in trouble when water in squirted has, in some cases, caused dogs to become violently aggressive around water. Hosepipes become a huge source of fear, and now you have a dog who is terrified of having a bath or shower.
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