When I first heard about The Pet Corrector spray, I knew it was just a matter of time until someone asked me about its applicability to guinea pigs. Sure enough, the questions have come in from some folks wondering if they could use it to resolve some "behavior issues" in their guinea pigs.
If you haven't heard about this product, it's a spray made for dog training, to deal with barking, stealing, and aggression. According to its Web site, the spray "emits a loud HISS sound which is a natural deterrent (geese, snakes, and possums are some examples of animals in nature who use this)." Somewhere on the Web I saw a video in which a product reviewer successfully used it with barking dogs of all sizes, and found some additional hilarious applications for everything from stopping arguments in meetings at work to stopping people from stealing food off your plate.
The folks asking me about this product were trying to interrupt guinea pigs who were pestering their roommates either out of boredom or out of an alpha-pig desire to dominate or bully cagemates. Neither of these are issues that can be resolved with a spray. And for a species that hears far better than it sees, a spray that mimics the sound of one of this species' predators in the wild (snakes) just creates fear and stress at a guinea pig's most primal level.
To be clear, the manufacturers aren't marketing Pet Corrector for any other purpose than dog training. But the questions have started, and we've seen enough over the years to know that people like to get "creative" and try to inappropriately adapt products for larger animals to use for smaller creatures. And while some "aversion therapies" might work for some problems in some animals, other problems -- such as boredom and dominance issues among guinea pigs -- need to be dealt with at the root level, not the symptom level.
If you are having these issues with your guinea pigs, please check out these related posts of ours: