If you’re struggling to maintain a training regimen that your dog will stick with, you may need to find help. There may not be a substitute that is as effective as consistent interaction with your dog, but the unfortunate reality is that people don’t often have that kind of time to spend with a new dog. If there is a way to make the training easier and for it to happen faster, then you should probably consider it. A dog deterrent spray may be exactly what you and your dog need, but what kind do you need? We’ve done the research so you won’t have to spend your nights trying to find answers.
It’s important to note that a deterrent spray will often rely on your dog’s sense of smell or taste and that means that each dog’s response will be slightly to drastically different. Some people like the smell of skunk, after all, and that kind of disparity exists in our pets, too. That’s something you’ll need to keep in mind when perusing our list and each product’s reviews and ratings. These kinds of pet training tools generally rate lower than other products and rather than the usual 4+ star rating, you can expect to get a 3+ star rating for a quality dog repellent spray. Because our dogs can’t tell us what smells they hate, we just have to test to see – and that can lead to a few misses before you get the spray that will be successful for your pup.
We reviewed dozens of dog repellent sprays to identify the best of the best. We looked for the sprays that will correct a behavior immediately, so you can spray it on your dog when you see him misbehaving and those that will eliminate the pheromones left in his urine to tell him that it’s appropriate to mark at a particular location. We found the sprays that use essential oils for a deterrent and those that address your dog’s need to chew. No matter what kind of help you need from a dog deterrent spray, we’ve found the right one for you.
During the course of your training, you’ll probably want to invest in some training treats to help you along the way. While you’re considering what kind, read up on The Best Dog Training Treats. And for more tricks and tips on how to handle your dog’s behaviors and habits, check out our Pet Training Series: How To Train A Dog.
Early in our research, we identified The Company of Animals Pet Corrector as the obvious choice for our top pick spot. It’s a safe product that won’t harm your pup but will allow you to have full, hands-on control in indicating what isn’t acceptable behavior for your dog and he’ll appreciate those clear signals.
The 5 Top-Rated Dog Repellent Sprays
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Best Dog Repellent Spray Overall: The Company of Animals Pet Corrector
The Company of Animals Pet Corrector is an excellent immediate response dog deterrent that will allow you to respond to your dog’s behavior to show him exactly what he shouldn’t be doing. You’ll need to respond immediately, so this isn’t a training tool for the dog parent who isn’t home much. If you’re not consistent, then you won’t get very far in showing him that the behavior is the cause of the spray.
You shouldn’t spray this deterrent directly at your pup; keep in mind the hissing sound that the spray emits is the more useful and effective deterrent. That makes this best suited for inappropriately timed barking. Even if you do happen to spray this at your dog, though, you needn’t worry about harming him; the only thing contained in this is compressed air. It will surprise him out of the behavior if you do accidentally hit him with this, but it won’t hurt him. More than likely, though, the hiss alone will do the job.
There are over 2,300 customer reviews on Amazon for this spray deterrent and with that many people who’ve come back to give their opinion, you can trust that the overall rating of 4.0 stars is accurate.
The Company of Animals Pet Corrector Key Features:
- Hiss sound; compressed air
- Buy more and save: 3 packaging options
- Approx. 50 uses per can
Best Dog Repellent Spray for Training: Quit It! Instant Pet Training Spray
The Quit It! Instant Pet Training Spray is perfect to make sure that your dog knows exactly when he’s doing something he shouldn’t be doing. When your brazen dog brings you a shoe he’s chewed on with no shame, you know there’s something wrong happening with his training. You’ll need to catch him in the act, but this spray will stop bad behavior caught in the moment immediately.
As you may expect, a deterrent like this will only be as effective as you are; you’ll need to catch him in the act for him to connect the spray with the bad behavior. You can’t spray him later or only sometimes. The more you use the spray on his behaviors, the more effective it will be. It’s also best when used in conjunction with your verbal cues; a firm “no” and then praise when he’s behaving well will go much further than any other training aide you can buy. But this can certainly help shorten your overall time spent training!
Because the effectiveness of this deterrent is largely dependent on you the consumer, you can imagine the reviews would be reflective of that. While the name suggests “Instant,” this is a slight misnomer and there are some reviews that call the product out on that. However, if you use what you know about training your dog and what we’ve told you about consistency, there’s every reason to believe that you would be in the majority of satisfied customer reviews giving it an overall rating of 3.9 stars on Amazon.
Quit It! Instant Pet Training Spray Key Features:
- Ideal for barking, jumping, and other bad behaviors
- 4 oz spray
- Hissing deterrent
Best Budget Dog Repellent Spray: OUT! Orange Oxy Stain and Odor Remover
The OUT! Orange Oxy Stain and Odor Remover uses a powerful oxidizing formula that will eliminate the odor and pheromones left behind by your pet’s urine (and other messes, too). It will permanently eliminate the urine left by your pooch and more than that; it will deter future markings by eliminating the pheromones and any sign that his mark was ever there. Instead, it neutralizes pet orders and leaves a pleasant scent behind.
The formula of this urine eliminator will keep working to make sure everything’s gone, long after you know it. Neutralized urine, no more marking, and a smell that will make sure your dog knows that particular place is yours, not his. This spray is a big win for urine marking problems. It can even take care of old, ground-in stains, and it’s safe to use around your pets and children when used as directed.
There are more than 1,000 customer reviews on Amazon and it does have an overall rating of 4.4 stars, but that’s not the best part of this spray by far. It also has a price tag of just $7, making it a total steal.
OUT! Orange Oxy Stain and Odor Remover Spray Key Features:
- Pleasant scent
- Completely neutralizes odors
- Works on all types of pet stains and even old stains
- Helps prevent repeat marking
Best Aggressive Dog Repellent Spray: Halt Dog Repellant Spray
The Halt Dog Repellant Spray is the dog deterrent spray for when you mean business. It’s not for deterring your calm pup from minor infractions or for training, but if you need protection from your dog, or for your dog, this spray will take care of that for you. It uses capsaicin, which is derived from chili peppers and will prove more than a slight irritant for animals sprayed with it. You can take it to the dog park, or on your walks, particularly if you’re worried for your dog’s safety with other dogs or if your dog has started showing aggressive behaviors that make you fear for yourself or your child.
We do want to reiterate: this is not for training your dog. It will sting when sprayed into his eyes and while it won’t damage him, it will not be particularly kind nor will it effectively teach a dog; plus you’ll run the risk of causing aggression in him. It also won’t completely stop a fully grown, large dog charging you or your pup, but it can slow it down for long enough that you can get away from him. If that’s what your goal is, this can give you some needed protection.
This spray has been reviewed by nearly 500 customers on Amazon that have awarded it an overall rating of 4.3 stars. That’s more than enough to suggest that if your goals are similar to theirs, this will help you and your dog.
Halt Dog Repellant Spray Key Features:
- Repellent from dog attacks
- Keep out of reach of children
- 1.5 fl oz
Best Dog Marking Deterrent Spray: ANGRY ORANGE Ready-to-Use Citrus
The ANGRY ORANGE Ready-to-Use Citrus will go a long way to make sure your dog is deterred from marking where he ought not. Not only will it spray a scent that’s overall unpleasant for dogs, should he have already marked a place you didn’t want him to, this will eliminate all trace of that, as well. So this will deter by eliminating his mark, keeping him from identifying it as his “pee spot” and you can also use it even if he hasn’t marked there ever. The strong citrus will keep him away, regardless; making this doubly effective.
You’ll be able to use this deterrent anywhere your dog can potentially mark; it works safely on carpet, tile, and wood floors, and it won’t kill your grass or damage your home’s exterior, either. And with the pleasant (to you) smell, you’ll love to spray this liberally, keeping your dog well within his boundaries, marking only where he should.
There are over 100 customer reviews for this spray on Amazon, giving it an overall rating of 4.5 stars. And while that may not be a huge amount of reviews, a rating like 4.5 stars certainly suggests you’re likely to be satisfied with the product.
ANGRY ORANGE Ready-to-Use Citrus Key Features:
- All-natural deodorizer
- 24 fl oz
- Works on carpet, hard floors, out, and indoors
Who Should Buy a Dog Repellent Spray
If your dog has any problem with learning his boundaries, a repellent spray can be just what the doctor ordered. If he’s been chewing on a piece of your furniture – a table leg, for example – a spray every few weeks on the leg can help him break the habit. If you’d rather have an aide to help you train your puppy without using the electric collars, or expensive training classes, then a deterrent spray can help you establish boundaries for your dog, both literal and figurative. It’s ideal for the compassionate puppy parents who don’t have the time they’d like to devote to their dog’s training, morning, noon, and night. If he’s barking and you need to make sure he knows that’s not a behavior you’ll allow, an immediate response with a behavior repellent spray can help with this, too.
If you have a dog that’s not yours whom you want to keep out of your yard, or if there’s something or some area that you don’t want your own dog getting into, the spray can help keep fur friends away, too. A strong odor will keep him out of the areas he shouldn’t be and if you create a boundary around your property, it may serve well to keep out other dogs and random critters. If you’d like to make sure that your dog isn’t marking, then you’ll almost need a good odor and pheromone remover. If you don’t ensure his pheromones are removed from any place he’s had an accident, you’re ensuring that he’ll continue to mark there. A deterrent spray that masks – or better yet – removes the marking completely is the best way to deter urine marking.
If your puppy has allergies or had a history of them, then he may be a big licker. In doing so, he will likely slobber all over your furniture, carpet, bed, and more. And, if you’ve ever had a dog wake you up in the middle of the night licking on his paws, you know that the licking isn’t exactly quiet. The best bet to prevent this licking is, of course, address whatever sensitivities he has that are causing the licking. However, even after you’ve solved this problem, you may notice he’s developed a habit that you’ll need to break him of or face the consequences. The drool is gross, and the sound annoying, but if you don’t stop him, he can lose the hair on his paws or get himself sick licking off all the bacteria and germs he’s walked through each day. A spray that is gentle on his stomach while he learns, but strong enough to deter at least some of the licking or chewing is a big help in keeping him comfortable and healthy.
Important Features to Consider
A repellent spray for dogs should do several things well. Here’s what to consider when selecting a repellent for your dog:
Odor removers. For urine repellent, the best defense is a good offense. When a dog has an accident, you’ll need to make sure to remove all trace of it, or it will become the place to go for him. If he smells traces of his own urine in a place, he’ll be attracted to it, thinking that it was left there on purpose and that he’s supposed to go there. For that reason, sometimes the most effective way to repel a dog’s urine is to rid your home of it. Since there’s a good chance there will be accidents before you even get the chance to place repellents, a good odor remover will work wonders for you. If you can find one that specifically advertises ridding the area of the pheromones that you can’t catch a trace of but serve as a beacon to your dog, all the better.
Essential oils. Nearly all dogs dislike the smell of citrus, but there are a few others that may work to repel a dog, too. Cinnamon and eucalyptus are each known to keep dogs away in their own right, as well. If you find you aren’t having luck with one, try another before giving up on the essential oil path. You can even opt for a homemade spray that you mix up yourself, based on how strong your dog needs it. You can spray it stronger in the beginning and build layers of the smell over time, slowly diluting it as you go to train your pup in a way that will definitely save you over time. Check out the larger and “undiluted therapeutic” grade oils for the best option on this tactic. ArtNaturals has an excellent product that may have the added bonus of promoting happiness in humans (that’s what the smell is supposed to do for humans.)
- Strong odors vs bitter tastes. Using a strong odor that is generally displeasing to a dog is most effective for “scaring” off the dog with a bad smell. He won’t know that you have anything to do with it, so if you’re relying on your dog understanding your wishes and adhering to them, this won’t do that. However, if you just want to make sure his curiosity doesn’t extend to a specific place that he’s already not too terribly interested in, this should do the trick. Note, it’s not likely to keep him out of a spot he’s developed a habit of going, but it will probably be enough to keep him from wandering into that area out of curiosity. In order to prevent chewing, though, spraying a smell probably won’t be enough. A bitter or sour taste, however, should do the trick. (Plot twist: a very small percentage of dogs love sour things and may even think it’s a playtime game you’ve done for them.) The bottom line is that smells will establish off-limits areas and tastes will prevent chewing, so get the type you need for the task you want accomplished.
- Immediate response sprays. With an immediate response spray, you have to see the bad behavior and be quick to respond with the spray. This is perhaps most effective if the behavior you’re trying to change is excessive barking. This is the same concept of the water bottle to spray your cat down from the counters when she hops up. But for a dog, who often love water and are inclined to think you’re playing with them, they’ll likely need something a bit heartier. You don’t want a mace or something that will hurt your poor pup, so don’t think the worst, but a spray that will give your dog an immediate but brief unpleasant reaction will work best. Perhaps that’s a bad smell or taste – it may even be different for each of your dogs.
- Sound. This is the kind of spray that won’t need to be any kind of specific chemical or have any ingredient as a prerequisite because it will rely more on the bottle itself to deter your pup. The nozzle will have a very small hole with a big build-up of pressure and pressing the handle will release a loud hissing sound. Much like the immediate response sprays, you’ll need to use this when you see the behavior, but unlike the vast majority of those sprays, the spray bottle may not even contain anything beyond pressurized air. You also have the added bonus of not needing to be as close to your dog to make sure the spray connects with your pup. Because dogs have sensitive hearing, the hissing sound will be the deterrent and can be just as effective several feet away. You’ll make this more effective (as with almost any training) by using it in conjunction with verbal cues from you. A firm “No” said before or after his name simply can’t be replaced in terms of its effectiveness. After a while, he won’t need to hear the sound of the spray, but rather just need to see you grab the spray after saying his name before he stops his misbehavior before it even starts.
- “Go here” sprays. These don’t seem as universally effective as you may hope. The idea is to spray the ground or puppy pad where you’d like your dog to urinate when you’re not around. It will spray the pheromones that you need to get up if you’re trying to prevent additional accidents, but the pheromones will probably be significantly less obvious for you than if a dog is actually marking the area. This may clue the dog into this being a “pee area,” but if you’ve ever noticed a dog’s potty habits, he’ll mask another dog’s pheromones no matter how badly he has to urinate. That means that if he does, in fact, register the area sprayed by these sprays as another dog’s mark, he’ll squeeze a bit of urine out to cover these spots, but probably not go there exclusively.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a dog repellent spray and what does it do?
It may be an obvious answer, but a dog repellent spray is a spray of some kind that will deter your dog from something. It can help you in his training, keep him from chewing, or protect areas that he just can’t help but mess up. A bitter or sour-tasting spray will prevent your dog chewing and that includes even things he’s made a habit of chewing on up until this point. Of all the dog deterrent sprays, the anti-chew sprays are perhaps the most effective. Not far behind those are the immediate response sprays that will require your consistency and attentive observation. It would be the most effective, but it requires a lot more work on your part and as such, takes a bit longer to solidify in your dog’s head. For a lot of dogs, however, this is the more long-term fix. A longer time for the training, as with most anything, means the longer-term the solution. You can also put a strong and unpleasant odor around your property line to both keep him in and other animals out, which is particularly helpful if you don’t have a fence.
While some of these sprays will be more universally effective, you need to bear in mind from the beginning that your dog isn’t every dog. No dog is, and as such, there won’t be a guaranteed fix with dog deterrent sprays. Just like some people like weird smells and tastes and sounds, your dog may just be the canine version of a person who likes the smell of gasoline, drinks chocolate beer, and listens to polka.
What can I spray to keep my dog from peeing?
In an effort to prevent your dog from marking, the first and most effective deterrent will be eliminating all smell and pheromones that are left behind from previous markings. You’ll want to make sure to clean up all you can see of his mess, absolutely, but the smell you missed while cleaning the mess will be faint enough you probably won’t be able to identify it. The pheromones left behind will signal him that the area is a “pee zone” and no amount of saying “no” will counter that when he’s looking for a pee place. Masking the odor is a good deterrent, removing the pheromones and all trace of the urine is better. You’ll want to look for the sprays that are labeled clearly as a “pet urine remover” or “pheromone remover” and if you opt for a double killer of odor and stains, make sure odor or urine gets top billing. A stain remover that just happens to also cover the urine will not be nearly as effective as the pheromone remover. When you’re looking at the reviews or ratings, make sure you’re prioritizing what you should be; you may have a stain there that needs removed, but if you don’t take care of the pheromones left behind, cleaning the stain will be a waste of time. He’ll leave a new stain there every day until you’ve found the right deterrent.
What scent will keep dogs away?
While there are common smells that work for a dog, we have to make note (again) that there isn’t a guarantee. Since most manufacturers won’t advertise this fact, there aren’t amazing reviews on a lot of dog deterrent sprays. People will purchase a spray with a commonly displeasing smell for their dog and be upset if it doesn’t work, but you’re playing the odds. It’s likely your dog hates the smell of citrus, eucalyptus, cinnamon, and sour apple – but it’s not certain. Luckily, most of those smells are pleasant, so you won’t be too upset making your house smell of these, even if it’s not as effective as you’d like. Any particularly strong smell runs a good chance of deterring your dog from an area, though. (Just make sure the strong smell isn’t a chemical that shouldn’t be breathed in.) You may be able to keep him from an area with a strong cleaning supply odor, even. (And what motivation to keep your home clean!)
Is Vinegar a good dog repellent?
Vinegar may very well be all you need to deter your dog from an area, particularly if he has an especially sensitive nose. Better, though, is the likelihood that you will be able to determine if your dog will be deterred from smell by watching how he responds to the smell of vinegar. Vinegar is a strong smell so if he jerks back from it, that’s promising to indicate that a stronger, or more displeasing smell will work to deter him. We would caution you to not be too hopeful that the solutions is so simple. Even if he responds to the smell of vinegar, it doesn’t mean that it will do much to deter him long-term. If that’s the case (and you can probably plan on that), then it’s still possible that the deterrent will establish his boundaries before becoming ineffective. After all, it’s a training aide for your pup, and not intended to smell your house or yard up forever. Eventually, he’ll understand the intention is to keep him away from an area and it will click in his training. You may also just move onto a scent that is more typically displeasing to dogs. (Like the ones on our list.)
Also worthy of note, if you want to deter him from your gorgeous flowerbed, the vinegar will not do you any favors maintaining their glorious blooms. You may just end up killing the flowers trying to protect them.
Other Dog Repellent Sprays We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other repellent sprays for dogs. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best dog repellent sprays list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your dog. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
Dog Repellent Sprays for Behavior
This spray will use essential oils to make sure your dog doesn’t want to go anywhere near the area you spray.
- Includes lemongrass, thyme, rosemary, and citronella
- To be used in conjunction with verbal training
- Establishes boundaries
This citronella based spray will deter without harming your dog, and if you’d like to take it on your run and deter any dogs who want to chase you, this is an incredibly humane way to do so.
- Minimizing eye irritation
- Safety lock to prevent accidental spraying
- Effective with aggressive dogs
This repellent will keep all forms of critters away from your off-limits areas, including your own puppers.
- Effective for up to 30 days
- Repels with scent and taste
- Dries odorless to humans
This spray will release an unpleasant pheromone in conjunction with a hissing sound to stop unwanted behavior immediately.
- Best on jumping, barking, and aggression
- Clinically proven safe for dogs
- Lavender chamomile fragrance
Dog Repellent Sprays for Chewing
This bitter spray will work to keep anything you put it on out of your dog’s mouth.
- Lemon-scented and flavored
- 3 sizes available
- 100% nontoxic
This bitter deterrent will keep your pup from chewing on your furniture and is safe enough that you won’t need to worry about the taste he gets before determining the chew isn’t worth the bitter.
- Manufacturer claims this is the most bitter spray on the market
- Interactive 14-day training program included
- 100% satisfaction guarantee with 1-year warranty
This deterrent spray is wonderful for training your puppy what is and isn’t appropriate for his teething needs.
- Original taste; developed in 1960
- Refill size; sprayer sold separately
- Made in the USA
This spray is a natural and safe bitter liquid that you can spray on his paws, as well as the furniture, to prevent his chewing and licking them.
- 8 oz bottle included
- Safe for all locations and surfaces
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
This spray comes with a warning: should you get this spray on your hands, wash immediately. Though it is safe, the bitterness is incredibly intense!
- Buy more and save; 2 packaging options
- Safe for furniture, paws, bandages, and more
Spraying this on your shoes, power cables, or table legs will keep your home safe from your puppy’s chewing.
- Alcohol and propylene glycol free
- Strong scent for humans; bad taste for dogs
- 100% money-back guarantee
This bitter spray will work to make sure your dog isn’t putting his mouth where it should not go.
- Safe for furniture or skin
- 8 oz bottle included
- 100% guaranteed
Dog Repellent Sprays for Marking
This will deter your pup from urinating in inappropriate places by drawing him into a designated area in which you spray this.
- For continuous use in designated pee-spot
- In or outdoor use
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
This is a good solution for your dog with unique smell preferences as it uses the uncommon mustard scent to deter.
- Indoor use only
- Natural mustard scent
- 17 ox bottle included
While this cleaner isn’t focused on the pet training, it is specially formulated to break down urine and the odors and stains left behind by it.
- Commercial grade cleaner
- 1 gallon
- Safe for hard or soft surfaces (but not directly on your pet)
This all-natural spray uses a bio-enzymatic formula that allow active bacteria to feed on urine until it’s completely eliminated.
- 32 fl oz
- 2 scents available
- Carpet & Rug Institute (CRI) certified safe for use on carpets
This urine mark eliminator will erase stains and smells while remaining safe for people and pets alike.
- 2 sizes available
- Calming lavender scent
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
If you have a large outdoor area you don’t want your pup to go in to urinate, then a spray you can connect to your hose to cover more ground in less time could be just the answer you needed.
- Citronella formula to deter pets and eliminate marking
- Made in the USA
- Satisfaction guaranteed
This spray works on virtually any surface: carpets, floors, furniture, clothing, kennels, beds, and more!
- 2 packaging options
- Subscribe and Save for additional savings
- 2 sizes available
The natural bacteria contained within this bottle will feed on the urine and make it appear to have never been there at all.
- 100% natural “green” cleaner
- Safe for use around children
- Mint essential oil scent
This spray deterrent will keep your dog from identifying his markings by killing 99.9% of the bacteria left behind from your dog’s marking.
- 2 packaging options
- 22 oz bottles
- For use on fabric, upholstery, or carpet (not leather)