Why "No" Is Useless In Dog Training

Why “No” Is Useless In Dog Training

Uh oh! French Bulldog

Did you know that you could making your dog's behavior worse by saying "No"?

Daily we get emails from people who say that they say "No" a thousand times a day to their dog and they just don't understand why it isn't working and why the dog's behavior is getting worse.

There are two questions I want you to ask yourself:

1. How did you train your dog to response to the word "No"?

2. How much time do you spend on Facebook?

Wait, what!? What does Facebook have to do with anything?

Well, you see, most people never even train their dog to response to the word "No".

Unless you have a dog that is fearful of sudden or loud sounds; in which case, we definitely shouldn't be using "No" in this fashion anyway for other reasons not covered in this post, your dog will not behave how you expect because they don't know what you expect.

"No" is just a sound to a dog and it rarely works at all from the start and if it did, it soon won't due to daily overuse of the technique.

If you are repeating "No" all day long and your dog never actually stops these behaviors for good, you fall into this category.

You obviously wouldn't ask your dog to do a backflip and expect them to do a backflip without any training, right? Of course not, because dogs don't come programmed to response to English by default.

Now, back to Facebook, what does it have to do with anything?

How often are you on the computer, watching tv, or doing something that doesn't involve your dog and then you see your dog in the trash can or chewing on your shoes for the fifth time that day?

You get up, yell "No" a few times, and finally your dog stops if you are lucky. Then you go back to what you are doing and there they are AGAIN doing the same behavior ten minutes later.

This is where someone would start saying their dog is stubborn or disobedient, right? The dog clearly isn't learning anything. This is clearly a "bad dog".

Well... not exactly.

What if your dog has been trying to get your attention all day while you surf Facebook?

They tried everything "good" they knew.

They sat at your feet, they offered a paw shake, they even gave you puppy eyes, maybe asked to go outside when they really didn't need to go.

Sounding familiar?

And then finally, they figure out if they just go to the trash can or chew on these shoes (dog things they already REALLY love to do), their owner will come over, make some noises, AND finally pay attention to them!

Do you see why this may be a problem? You see how you could actually be increasing the likelihood that your dog will do the "bad" behavior again?

If you were ignored all day long by your spouse while you cooked dinner for them, tried to talk about their favorite subject, tried giving them some smooches... and the only thing that finally worked to get their attention was going into a yelling screaming fit, you would probably have a pretty loud household, no?

You would start yelling a lot sooner every single time you wanted their attention.

Rethink how you address your problems with your dog. Ask yourself what would I rather my dog do instead when they want my attention. Maybe lay on a dog bed under my desk while I work and get attention every now and again for doing a great job, nose boop my leg, play independently until I am finished, or sit patiently.

If you aren't sure how to address this in your own dog, let us help you!

Check out our private training programs and group classes coming up this Fall in Braxton, MS - which always address the very topic of "No", what to use instead, and how to avoid reinforcing unwanted behaviors by mistake.

We look forward to hearing from you soon!