Dog Obedience: Do Dogs Like Being Sprayed with Water?

It’s perfectly normal for pets like dogs to misbehave in front of a visitor or client. Just like humans, dogs find it difficult sometimes to stay obedient. Many pet owners have adopted one disciplinary method or the other for correcting the behaviors of their pets. However, is spraying water on them one of those methods? Do dogs like being sprayed with water?

The answer to this question is somewhat complicated. Some pet owner disregard the water spraying thing as ineffective in the long run. Some also claim the method to be inhumane. Others claim that it worked instantly and the punishment was able to correct the insolent behavior. However, there is more to it than meets the eye. Spraying water on your dog can work in many ways, and is always not that efficient.

Why Spraying Water on Your Dog May Not Be Efficient

The method spraying water on a dog has been in existence since over two decades. This method only serves to correct his behavior temporary. At first, it may seem that the behavior has stopped, but once you and the spray bottle are no longer there, the dog resumes his insolent behavior. He sees their absence as a way to continue acting up.

Another thing that could hinder this method from working is the type of dog that is being sprayed upon. Naturally, some dogs love water so much that even bathing becomes fun to them. Spraying water on their faces may be new to them, and may even correct their behavior at that time. That’s because it was unexpected, but the moment it becomes a habit, that is once they get used to it, they see it as something fun-filled and not as a punishment.

Besides, continuous use of spraying water on your dog will detest him from having to bathe like before, and that’s risky. If you have a sensitive dog, spraying water on his face with a bottle or something might trigger fear in the dog.

Each time you try to raise your arm or hand to touch his face, or anytime he sees you approaching, he runs or goes the other way. That’s because he is thinking that you are actually going to spray water on his face. This will kill the relationship between you and the dog. You risk teaching the dog to be afraid of you and the sprayer or spray bottle.

Punishments, like spraying water on your dog can work instantly, usually in the first few trials. However, if it doesn’t work on your dog, there is no point continuing with that method. It will termed an abuse or an aversive and you will need a new method of punishment.

What is an Aversive?

An aversive is a term that you use to describe something that can put an end to a dog’s insolence. An aversive is usually something that the dog finds distasteful and annoying. Many aversive methods are cruel and it’s often advised against using them alone. Example of this includes; using the sound of a shaker, using electric shock, spraying water on your dog, etc.

When training a dog, aversive methods are usually employed. When paired with obedience training, it will be more effective. Aversive methods like spraying water on a dog will only make the dog obedient for a while. Repetition will be like encouraging the dog to do it over and allover again.

While aversive methods are quite effective, you need to understand the different things that you can use as an aversive, and most importantly, pay attention to the reaction of the dog. For example, if your dog loves chewing your mat, you can put up something like pepper, vinegar, or any other thing that is bitter on the mat. Once he chews it and realizes that it’s bitter, he won’t have to chew your mat again.

However, you need to be careful when using an aversive. This is where paying attention to the reaction of the dog comes in. The efficiency of an aversive method greatly depends on the dog. Dogs are different and react to things differently.

At the application of an aversive method like eating pepper on a mat, for example, some dogs may stop chewing your mat instantly at the first taste. Others may find the task enjoying and may never stop chewing your mat. If you happen to own one of such dogs, change your method and make sure it’s serving the purpose for which it was intended.

Any Downside of Using an Aversive?

When you overuse an aversive, it becomes less effective. As earlier stated, spraying water on your dog frequently each time he did something wrong will only make the dog to love being sprayed. This will then render the method ineffective.

If you must use an aversive, do it with moderation. Use a variety of other methods to correct the behavior, whether it’s an aversive or obedient method. Reward the dog if possible, and he will learn to behave responsibly, even in your absence.

What You Must Avoid with Aversive Methods

Also, avoid using an aversive on fearful dogs. Most fearful dogs are timid and don’t react so well to aversive methods. A simple scare can drive them away from the living space, possibly drive them away from you.

Dogs who are severely punished tend to react with more aggression in the long run. Punishments like hitting the dog or giving him a leash correction will trigger an aggressive reaction like biting. The dig may perceive everything as a threat, even if it was meant to be fun. That is one of the reasons why most owners hate to use aversive methods. Instead, they use positive reinforcement techniques.

So What Do You Do Instead of Spraying Water on Your Dog?

It’s crucial that you invent positive methods to correcting your dog each time he misbehaves. Instead of spraying water on the dog, reward him with something incompatible and positive. For example, if your dog love digging the ground, you can give him a space at your backyard to dig. That way, he won’t have to dig in the front yard or the sitting room.

If your dog loves jumping, a simple reward for sitting down will make him adjust to sitting. These obedient methods will less likely make your dog to be aggressive or violent in the future.


Spraying water on your dog is an old method of getting your dog to be quiet and responsible. It’s equally not so effective, especially after you must have done it thrice of multiple times. The fact is most dogs like being sprayed water, but not all of them take it as a punishment. It’s essential that you adopt other methods, including positive methods to correct your dog for his misbehavior.

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