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Bitter Apple

newdogowner
October 5th, 2003, 12:56 PM
What is the feedback on using "Bitter Apple" as a training aid? They say it doens't hurt the dog, but I'm not really in favour of using it, even though we do. :( We mainly use it when our dog, Bandit is barking when inappropriate to bark. (not when he has to go out)

Bueller's Mommy
October 6th, 2003, 12:40 PM
I'm not sure what you mean when you say you use it to stop him from barking. I really hope you're not spraying it directly on the dog because that stuff is nasty!
We've used bitter apple for our beagle. I was under the impression that it was only used to spray on items that you don't want your pet to chew on such as cords, furniture or cages. I stopped using it because the spray circulated into the air and made me very sick. It wasn't worth it, in my opinion, to have that stuff in my lungs in order to save a bit of baseboard.
As far as the barking goes, well the only thing I've ever heard anyone have success with is the shock collar. I tried it once on my dog and he yelped so loud that I cried and ran to remove it from his neck. I can live with the barking I guess. I can't bear to hurt my baby.
I think a pet needs to be punished for bad behavior, but I think you have decide for yourself what you consider 'cruel'. I think if you feel uncomfortable using certain methods, maybe you should look for an alternative. Good luck with whatever you decide. I'm sorry I can't give you any more insight on bitter apple, but that's my experience.

newdogowner
October 6th, 2003, 09:10 PM
Thanks for the feeback. My friend swears by it but I too, feel bad using it. I prefer just a water bottle spritz when needed. I think the Bitter Apple is nasty - I just wanted some input because I haven't heard too much about it. This is all so new to me!

andria
October 11th, 2003, 03:06 PM
I agree, I've seen bitter apple sprayed on objects such as shoes, leashes, furniture, etc that a dog may be chewing up, but I've never heard of it actually being sprayed at the dog itself. I know it is non toxic, but I'm with you - I would use a spray bottle and just water for the barking. If the barking is really out of control you could consider a couple of squirts of lemon juice into the water in your spray bottle - but for most dogs water will do fine. In extreme cases, a citronella collar would also be a safe option - but a definite last resort.

I would say that you should explore the reason for the barking.. Is it for your attention? For food? at some sort of external stimuli (aka doorbell, fly, cat, other dog, strangers, etc). Does your dog stop if you ask for a sit, or redirect him/her to other behaviours?