GO!

Saying 'No'

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Sat Nov 24, '12 12:40pm PST 
I agree with the above (Keiko). "No," at least in this english language, is a pretty strong word. I think simply using it can lead to the stereotypical problems. Just because of our language, we have all these lesser phrases we can use, such as "if you don't mind," "could you please," "hey, you know what I think?" and so on. "No," in comparison, is a strong word and....please flow with my humor here....a little bit of defensive drive laugh out loud intuitively to us.

The concept isn't the problem. I think it's a good concept, a real life concept. Good to have that sort of communication with your dog. I have employed the abstinence approach with some who just can't go there and not get all emotional with it. Just for a while practice alternate ways to get the dog to stop, and then reintroduce the cue when they see the potential once they step away from the mindset.

It's a super critical point when I puppy coach, as there redirection is your golden rule. It's what I always coach, and is nicely foundational, as it enhances lines of communication, really lets you get inside his head as to what can get him to redirect, is a great primary for command transitions. Really important stuff....how do I get my dog to quit that and flow into something else. I know with Onion, a game of "where is that thing?!" and he would go BANANAS! No matter what he was so tanked about, he'd drop it in a split second as we stormed to look under beds, in closets for "that thing." laugh out loud So funny that years down the line, no matter what he was doing and he'd stop on a dime with that one phrase. Massive positive association, and really helped me learn about HIM, that he loved, loved, LOVED games! It was back then feeling around and finding whatever it was inside him, as an individual, that totally lit his rocket. I'd done all the reinforcers, all the long line stuff...whatever you could think of....that weren't proving to dissociate him from the behavior. He'd just go back. But that one phrase really rocked his socks wink

At any rate, that is what I coach. Those young ages aren't for "no," but for redirection, which I think is one of the very best ways to get to know your dog. How intense he is about various stimuli, how you work to regain focus, what his values are in terms of stimuli and other things to enjoy. To me, "no" is more of sophisticated command, best introduced a little later. Where you know a dog a bit better, he has more maturity, more history and understanding as to "how the world works" in terms of reinforcers, etc., and the owner can enter the "world of no" with a much better mind frame and even an intuitive skill via the redirection work.

Edited by author Sat Nov 24, '12 12:42pm PST

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Dr. Watson

Not a wiener- dawg!
 
 
Barked: Sat Nov 24, '12 1:29pm PST 
I don't use "No" a lot, more for dangerous situations; I perhaps use "enough" more. And I don't have a terribly happy happy voice, except with my pups and my timid new doggie. Just isn't natural. But I use a LOT of praise, and my two red dogs love it. The others get food rewards more.

I feel it's so very important to teach a Drop! or an immediate Sit or Down as a safety cue. Can save a dog's life. thinking This is a case of training an alternate behavior.

But for snarky behavior, scuffling, etc., a "enough" comes in handy.
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Dr. Watson

Not a wiener- dawg!
 
 
Barked: Sat Nov 24, '12 1:34pm PST 
p.s. I also find "no" useful as what is called a No Reward Marker (NRM) what is said when the dog doesn't perform the known behavior correctly. Some people use Oops or another word -- just doesn't come naturally to me. In that case, there would be no point in asking for an alternate behavior. Sitting on a cold surface would be a good example. Sometimes, up here in the north, it's just a necessary behavior. Don't want your dog to run out on the middle of the pond ice! shock
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Savannah- Blue Belle

A Heart of Gold!
 
 
Barked: Sat Nov 24, '12 1:35pm PST 
I mostly use the word "wait" which I did sort of by accident when I was free walking them, and wanted them to stop before crossing a road.

I did it often enough that it is our "stop" go-to word. And then "go ahead" to continue. Or "come here" if I want them to leave something alone.
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Dr. Watson

Not a wiener- dawg!
 
 
Barked: Sat Nov 24, '12 1:49pm PST 
Funny, I use wait for mommy when I am walking slowly or down stairs or across walks! They really understand that one. wink
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Smokey

Let's play tug!!
 
 
Barked: Sat Nov 24, '12 2:46pm PST 
Dr Watson, whether you can use "no" as a no reward marker might depend on the dog's temperament. I actually use "good boy, try again" most of the time, as long as the behavior isn't really undesirable. Smokey is anxious and uncertain and can just shut down during freeshaping. He needs the encouragement that randomly trying stuff is exactly what he's supposed to be doing. I will use "no treat" and maybe stop the game if I really don't like the behavior and think he already knows that. Like if we are working on picking something up and handing it to me, and he runs off and starts chewing on it. I pretty much use "no" when something is dangerous or otherwise really bad and I can't think fast enough to ask him for an incompatible behavior- like when he almost rammed his eyes into the curb after eye surgery or jumped toward the counter which had a knife on it. Since I use it rarely and say it in a very strong, commanding voice, he takes notice. I agree that if you're using it every day or using it repeatedly in the same situation, you probably need to do some management that sets the dog up to succeed.
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Lobo

"Stubborn" dogs- don't need- corrections
 
 
Barked: Sat Nov 24, '12 3:13pm PST 
See, I don't even use NRMs. I'm sure for some dogs it's a good idea, but the dogs I've known either shut down, or don't need it. For one person's dog, the idea of disappointment shuts him down. My friend has tried NRMs before, and even though it was light, it didn't work. I think it's because of the emotion behind it? For some dogs, it just isn't a good idea.

For Lobo, I don't think it would matter either way. The fact that I don't click for a certain behavior is enough for him to realize he should try something else.

Poppy can easily become over-aroused by too much voice(hence why when we're working, even praise is extremely light and quiet). If I used an NRM for Poppy, it would probably make him panic.

Disclaimer: I'm not discrediting NRMs. I think for some dogs, it's a good idea. I'm just saying that it's an extremely bad idea for some other dogs. I keep NRMs in my head in case I come by a dog who absolutely *needs* them. (I haven't found one yet)
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D'artagnan

I'm not lazy,- I'm just waiting- to play..
 
 
Barked: Sat Nov 24, '12 4:05pm PST 
I do use "no" because first, Dar had literally a 30 second attention span (now it is up to maybe 10 min) per activity and second because sometimes he really just couldn't give a hoot about what treat I happened to have in my hand. Raw, hot dogs, cheese, whatever. Makes re directing not the easiest. BUT he actually naturally responded to "AH"/ "uh-uh". I just used that to train "no", although he still responds to "uh-uh" much better.

Not to say that I haven't ever gotten upset and used "no" in an emotional, 'bad dog' way, but I try not to. I do my best just to use it as a 'you need to stop what you are doing' command. I will agree with Tiller (I think it was) that you should try and start using it later in the dogs life to try and get to know your dog first. This just reminds me of Dar when he alert barks at the door. After he keeps barking and barking it can get a little frustrating and he wouldn't stop when you said "no" (I wanted him to alert, but to stop after a couple of barks) BUT I learned that if you went and checked the door and told him 'good boy' he would calm right down and happily go back to whatever.

I do think that people can abuse the word and make it a punisher which is the problem, but an owner can really make ANY word a punisher. I have heard people use 'sit' when they are mad at a dog too, so a dog could respond just the same to that as with 'no'...No is usually just more of a human reflex.
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Dr. Watson

Not a wiener- dawg!
 
 
Barked: Sat Nov 24, '12 5:12pm PST 
I don't use "no" in a commanding voice, Smokey. Before they understand "drop it" and "leave it" I use a simple "eh eh" a la Victoria Stilwell. I do have a rather deep voice, can't help it, but signals are given in a neutral voice.
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Sanka- I'll Miss- You

The ground is my- newspaper.
 
 
Barked: Sat Nov 24, '12 6:03pm PST 
I, out of habit, usually say no in more of a funny, light-hearted tone. Like, with the dog I'm watching now, I found out that he's quite the poo eater. If he happens upon poo, I say "no, don't eat that poo. That's yucky" or any variation of no and just tug him along. I don't really see it as much of a correction. Given I'm only seeing him for 10 days, I'm not really training him.

Then I say no all the time to my 2, but again, with the light-hearted, comical tone. When Sanka buried a treat under his dog bed and proceeded to bite the bed to help "bury" it more, I told him no. But laughed while saying it...because how does someone not find that scenario funny?laugh out loud Then there's Kato, who will stare holes into me at work when he wants to go outside. I just say no or nope out of habit.

I think my dogs see it more as senseless babble than anything of relevance to them.

There is one thing I do say with a stern tone to Kato on occasion, and that is "hey." No need to yell. Kato doesn't handle yelling too well. A lower tone in voice with me saying "hey" is enough to make him jump. I rarely use it. But when he decides to go pee on somebody's mailbox despite knowing for years those were off limits, well, he gets the correction. And quite honestly, I don't see how one could possibly live with dogs and not have some sort of correction or interrupter or whatever you want to call it. Kato is as eager to please as they come, but even he has his goofs, whether intentional or just temporarily forgotten.
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