When you see your four-legged comrade doing something bad, you’ll have to do something to startle him to make him stop. The trick is to use the noisemaker right away to divert his attention and then give him something else to do. Otherwise, you’ll wind up distracting him for just a moment and he’ll go right back to his naughty behavior. Play around with a few different types of noisemakers until you find one that makes Lucky stop dead in his tracks.
The Soda Can Trick
You probably already have everything you need to build a noisemaker right in your house. Put several small pebbles or pennies into an empty soda can and tape the top closed. Leave one can in each room of your house and one in the backyard too. When you catch Lucky going through the hamper in your bedroom or digging in your herb garden, you’ll be able to shake the can and create enough noise to make his bad behavior stop. You can always use plastic water bottles instead, they just don’t create quite as much noise as aluminum cans.
Some whistles make a loud noise for everyone to hear, while others make a high-pitched sound that only dogs can hear. Either way, a whistle can surely distract your canine from his bad habit. The kind you choose depends on your situation and how your dog responds. Dog whistles can come in particularly handy if you have young ones at home. With a quick blow, you’ll give off a sound that Lucky despises, but you won’t interrupt anyone who is still sleeping. Some dogs aren’t phased by a “silent” dog whistle though, so you might need the traditional variety.
An ultrasonic trainer looks like a small remote. When you push the button, it’ll give off a sound that is so high in pitch, you shouldn’t be able to hear it -- much like a dog whistle. Many of these devices also have another button that sends out a positive sound to comfort your pooch. This lets him know that he’s doing something good. So if he starts chewing on your shoe, you’ll push the negative button to make him stop. Then press on the positive one when he turns to his chew toy instead. You’re letting him know that the first behavior isn’t acceptable, then encouraging him to go ahead with the good behavior.
If you see Lucky sticking his nose in the trash can while you’re making dinner, by all means, grab a nearby spoon and bang it on the counter. By the time you walk into the living room to grab your noisemaker, his bad behavior is already over with and he’s just sitting there wagging his tail. Use whatever you have nearby: Bang a book on the desk, slam the cookie sheet down or simply clap your hands. Just don’t throw the object at him. You want to distract your fur baby, not hurt him.
No matter which type of noisemaker you decide to use, always start with just a minimal sound in the beginning. Your goal is to startle your pet, not traumatize him. If Lucky doesn't respond to a quick shake of the pebble-filled can, shake it harder the next time. You'll have to work with your dog to determine how much noise he responds to.