Bitter apple spray for dog training

Bitter apple spray works to stop a dog's chewing and other bad habits.

Bitter apple spray is a bad tasting liquid you can spray on furniture, leashes, your hands and dogs' bodies to get them to stop licking or chewing that area. It tastes bad, so they avoid it.

There are different brands of the spray, and it comes in a gel form, too. I have only tried the spray.

The first brand I tried about nine years ago was Grannick's Bitter Apple (affiliate link). I got it for my golden retriever puppy, Brittni, to prevent her from chewing objects, especially her leather leash during walks. It worked.

Of course, there are other, better ways to teach a dog not to chew something, but the spray is a quick fix. Brittni did not chew her leash again after she got a taste of the bitter apple spray.

Bitter apple spray on AmazonPuppies need to be taught limits, like what they can and cannot chew, whether or not they are allowed on the furniture and not to bite hands.

Obviously, a dog owner can't spray everything in the house with bitter apple. But for an especially difficult puppy that keeps chewing something in particular, or if you need to put a stop to something right away, this spray really does do the trick.

The reason I am writing about bitter apple spray to begin with is because Ace has been licking his feet a lot lately. This is most likely because of allergies, and I am working to solve that medical problem.

Until I can figure out what is really causing his obsessive licking behavior, the spray is blocking the bad habit. This time I tried the Pet Botanics version called The Bitter End (works just as well as the Grannick's brand and was cheaper).

Since I bought the spray earlier this week, I have only had to use it twice. When Ace obsessively licks his feet or, between his back legs, I tell him no. If he ignores me, then I spray a small amount of the bitter apple on his paws.

He stops licking immediately once he has the spray on his feet and does not go back to licking any time soon. Again, this is not really solving the problem, but it's blocking the habit.

Apparently you can buy bitter apple spray for cats, birds, horses and ferrets, too. I have heard of a few dogs that seem to actually like the taste of this stuff or at least ignore it, but the majority of animals find the taste to be really bad.

Just out of curiosity, I even sprayed the bitter apple on my own arm and licked it. This stuff is very, very strong and leaves a taste in your mouth for a few minutes. I can see why dogs hate it!

Another plus: Humans can't see it or smell it, and it will not stain furniture or clothes. So, in my opinion, why not have a bottle around? It can't hurt. Oh, and an 8-ounce bottle only costs about $7. Order yours here.

Have you ever used bitter apple? Did it work?

Post updated: 5/14/15


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