Quit It! is a can of compressed air that emits a loud hiss when you press the button on top. This sound is designed to interrupt your dog’s mindset when he is doing something that you’re trying to stop, such as jumping on visitors, digging in plants, or barking at the neighbors.
I had heard about the sound deterrent concept, and had tried some coins in an aluminum can, to no avail. I also tried the water gun, which worked on one dog, but not the other (who seemed to love it) I was a bit skeptical when I received the can. It seemed gimmicky and I wasn’t sure it would work.
But it just so happened that I had a dog who runs around the yard barking at the neighbors’ dogs in their yards. She would throw her hips at the fence, and since she’s a large dog, I was concerned that she might actually get the fence loose or break a board. One of my neighbors’ dog actually eggs her on, coming right up to the other side of the fence, barking and digging under the fence.
This same dog of mine also stole food off the kitchen counters. She was getting bad about it. No bagel (or stick of butter) was safe in my kitchen.
It took me a few weeks to try the product, since I wasn’t excited about it, but once I did my attitude totally changed. I sprayed it when she was stealing a piece of bread off the kitchen island and three months later, she hasn’t done it since. Wow.
Encouraged by my success, I tried it on her when she went out into the back yard. As soon as she began to run for the fence, I sprayed the Quit It! and she turned around and ran toward me. No barking, no hurling herself against the fence, no drama. It took about three times on three different days to cure her of it.
I totally underestimated this product. My husband explained it to me. He’s a law enforcement officer and he said that when we are in a highly agitated state, our minds operate in a continuous loop of processing stimulus and reacting to it. Dogs may operate in much the same way. It is instrumental in both hunting and escaping danger. When I try to use a treat to get my dog away from the fence bordering my neighbor’s yard, she doesn’t seem to notice the treat because her mind is cycling in a loop of stimulus and reaction. But a loud noise interrupts that cycle, breaking her out of the loop momentarily and giving her a chance to think about something else for a second or two. If I did nothing at that point, she might go back to barking at the dog, but probably with much less intensity. This is the philosophy of the citronella bark collars, too. A fine mist of spray is unexpected and momentarily disorients the dog, giving the brain enough time the disengage from the overwhelming focus on the stimulus. This is also why police SWAT teams and military soldiers use flash bang grenades before entering a hostile situation. The flash of light and loud bang break the targets out of their concentrations and allow the good guys a chance to slip in and get control of the momentarily disoriented perpetrators.
There’s more information about why it works at the manufacturer’s website (below).
You may have to spray a handful of times the first time you use it. Because it surprises the dog, she may just stop what she’s doing at first, and look at you. But if you spray it again, she’ll likely get down, drop the shoe, stop barking or whatever she was doing. After that, she may respond at the first blast. Or, as with my dog, she may stop the unwanted behavior just by seeing you grab the can.
Some dogs are very tuned in to auditory training cues, and I think my test dog is. I can stop her with my voice from doing some things, and she’s sensitive to our family members’ tone of voice. She seems distressed if she hears someone who’s upset. So it may not work as quickly on other dogs, and on some, not at all. But my experience with this product was successful and fast. It worked so well on my dog that I don’t even need the can anymore. Now, when ever she freezes and stares in the direction of a neighbor’s dog whose tags are jangling and who is barking, I just say, “Shhht!” and she comes to me.
NOTE: You should not use the product close to your dog, as dogs have sensitive hearing and you could hurt their ears or damage hearing if you’re too close. Also, you may have other pets in the room or yard who could be affected when you’re using the spray for the problem dog. But that could be a good thing, too. I’ve seen this product stop a dog fight at the dog park. It made both dogs pause long enough for both owners to grab their collars and get them separated. I carry it with me when I go to the dog park, in case there’s another fight. I carry it when I’m walking my own dogs around the neighborhood, in case there’s an aggressive loose dog around.
At $24 for two 4-ounce cans, it is on the pricey side. However, when you think about solving a problem for $24, it may sound pretty darned affordable.
Here are some other reviews I’ve found, from testers who used it on both dogs and cats.
- About.com – Pet Supplies (cats and dogs)
- A Lucky Ladybug (cats)
- Does-The-Product-Work.com (dogs)
- Bubblews (dog)
- WithOurBest.com (dog)
Buy it from: BuyQuitIt.com
The manufacturer’s website says it’s $10, but you also have to pay $6.99 shipping, and you also have to pay $6.99 for a second can (you do not have the option to order just one). So the real cost to buy it is just under $12 per can. Still, it’s affordable as a training aid that may work for you.