Homemade barking dog stopper

Meet Charlie Machete’s new enemy.

bad dog can

Loud LaCroix puts bad dogs in their place.

Loud LaCroix, aka the Bad Dog Can, is on a mission to end Charlie Machete‘s reign as the scary black dog who barks at passersby the self-appointed guardian of the Trolley Trail.

While it’s kind of nice that my foster dog could effectively scare off bad people with his mean-sounding bark, it’s less cool that he makes joggers, walkers and their dogs feel that they have to rush by our house for fear that the big black dog might hurl himself over the fence. (Knock on the wood of the new deck, he hasn’t yet.)

Letting a dog get all riled up can result in unintended consequences.

For example, if either Luke or Charlie Machete get overly excited about something, they are more likely to get into a scuffle with each other. And there’s no need to encourage that kind of behavior.

So, I’ve been trying to figure out how to keep Charlie Machete from getting all worked up when he’s in the backyard (a definite trigger zone for him).

My voice alone is not enough to startle him out of the territorial posturing he demonstrates for passersby.

A splash of water works, but the hose is never handy. Plus, I don’t want him to become any more suspicious of the hose than he already is at bath time.

Another volunteer from Midwest Adopt-a-Bull who was having trouble with her dog fence fighting with the neighbor dog gave me the “bad dog can” idea.

Basically, you just drop a few small, metal items in an empty aluminum can, seal the opening with tape and rattle it when your dog does something he shouldn’t.

I wasn’t sure the can I dubbed Loud LaCroix would be enough to intimidate old Charlie Machete, but so far it works. In fact, after one vigorous shake of the can two nights ago, he seems to barely make a peep on the deck anymore, even if I’m not standing right over him with the can in hand.

As long as Charlie Machete doesn’t develop an immunity to the sound of Loud LaCroix, I think my neighbors might be a little happier with me from now on.

Make Your Own Bad Dog Can

1. Find an empty aluminum can.

2. Drop in a five to ten coins, small screws or other items that will make noise when you shake the can.

3. Seal the opening of the can with tape.


Tip: Don’t rattle the can in the dog’s face or use it in a threatening manner. The sound alone should be enough to break his concentration on whatever he’s doing wrong so that you can redirect his attention positively.

Have you ever used a bad dog can? What else works to keep your dog from barking?


About crystalwayward

I live with two formerly wayward dogs. I care deeply about the environment, and I think gardening is a revolutionary act.

Posted on October 2, 2012, in Dogs, Fostering, Machete, Neighbors and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 33 Comments.

  1. What a great idea! We might investigate this for persistent offenders on our trips.

  2. These work really well a few people at my training class use them. Whether its a plastic bottle with rocks in, one of those money donation boxes with coins in or like yours above. They seem to do the job.

  3. I will be trying this! I too have a dog who has to introduce himself to all the passerbys. 😉

  4. I do believe I will make one tonight. The barking at passerbys seems to be escalating lately, and with 3, even when one drops it, they seem to still join back in! ACK!

  5. We have several of these gems in our house – although I never thought to label it. I may need some masking tape… ! 🙂

  6. I trained my dogs the no bark command – one got it and the other not so much (he was a bassett hound and liked to bay, which was a little more eerie than barking at times). Good Luck!

  7. I’m SO going to try this! I read that dogs are trying to protect their house when someone or something passes by. They learn that barking is a good behavior because they think their barking made the thing leave. Thanks for the great tip, Crystal!

    • That’s an interesting thought, and I bet it’s right in Charlie Machete’s case because he can see over the fence when people and dogs are approaching, and then he can see them leave. I’m sure he thinks he’s such a big, bad dude that he scares off ten things a day!

  8. changeforbetterme

    I use to raise German shepherds and used this technique to quiet unnecessary barking. It worked. When they barked if someone came into the yard that was different. Because I lived out in the country and wanted strangers to know I had a big dog. But I used it if they barked for no reason that I could see. When they started to NOT bark at every little thing I praised them with a small treat. It seemed to make an impression of when it was okay and when it was not okay to bark. After a while they knew the difference.

  9. Great idea! And, might I add that’s a tasty drink too!

  10. This is brilliant and I can totally do this! Thank you for the tip. We have three dogs and typically they’re great, but sometimes trying to break their attention can be tough. I’ve learned to watch their body language to see if they’re about to go off the rails. Each of them has a tell 🙂

  11. LOL I love the name ” Loud LaCroix”

    I have used the bad dog can but sadly they did become immune to it and just started ignoring it, however it has been a long time since I used it so maybe I should introduce it again and see what happens 🙂

  12. I am going to try this. My good girls have been barking at everything lately. We have been getting out more and being around more people and this barking at everything starts when they are home in the yard .When we were home a lot and not seeing many people they were good girls.

  13. Yes we did use a can! It worked until Laddie came along.. he decided it was a challenge and grabbed it and chewed it flat before I could catch him and retrieve it! LOL…… But, then that is Laddie the Baddie… It does work on MOST dogs and try it everyone….

  14. Wow, what a simple idea!

  1. Pingback: A little romance « Wayward Dogs

  2. Pingback: Highlights from 2012 « Wayward Dogs

  3. Pingback: Best DIY and Food Posts from Last Year « Wayward Dogs

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: