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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Jackson Tan

Lad about town
Barked: Sat Nov 24, '12 6:18pm PST 
I've thought about it a bit, and actually I don't really use no all that much. Ah Ah gets used more because the two sharp syllables are such a good interruptor. Ah Ah is kind of my leave it in that moment, because the sound is nice and clear and can break through that thick head. It's not intended as punishment. It's intended just to give feedback and seize attention.

Pairing a word with punishment? Yes, it does work. I've seen clickers paired with punishment too, severe punishment, and it shuts down a behavior like you wouldn't believe, as a lion retreats from the crack of a whip, but it's not something I would like to employ. I actually feel a bit ill when I see a trainer's dog I know put itself in a dead straight sit when it hears a click. I think about what it took to get it to that level of compliance, and from all reports, it wasn't pretty.
Maggie,- Tika, &- Porter

Aussie-tastic- Trio
Barked: Sat Nov 24, '12 6:27pm PST 
I use "No" and I use it in a variety of situations. It means stop what you are doing. I can holler, yell, say, or whisper it and the dogs will stop whatever they are doing. It is rarely followed by anything negative and I use it more as an interupter...I could probably use the word "refrigerator" and they would stop too, but "No" is natural to me.

I will admit that there are some people who use "no" in conjunction with a punishment and that causes issues.
Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Sat Nov 24, '12 6:49pm PST 
I say 'no' to the dogs I have raised as my own as a 'stop what you're doing NOW and MOVE away'. They know this really well. If my dog starts pulling stuff out of the garbage, an immediate 'no' followed up by a 'leave it' is given and he complies.

However, I NEVER use it on fosters because I don't know their association with the word, and I NEVER add any aversive tactics to the word. My dogs don't associate it with me doing anything that might upset them in any way. The worst I have done is taken a dog by the collar, guided them from the room, or grabbed a toy or treat to redirect their attention after giving the 'no' to what they were doing.

I don't think it should be used very loosely with rescue dogs, just because you don't know their association to the word, or the tone that can often come with it, but I think it's fine when you've raised your own dogs with it and they understand what you mean by it. To me, it's no different really than a firm 'leave it' command, or a good 'out'(my out means leave the room) command, or a 'drop' command. It all comes down to what it's combined with, and how it's used with the dog, really.


Let's play tug!!
Barked: Sat Nov 24, '12 7:39pm PST 
I don't think Smokey could handle no said in any kind of voice during training. Even silence can intimidate him. I have to sit down, use a quiet clicker, give him calming signals, etc. And it's just easier for me to use words that match the tone I want to use than try to remember to use an unnatural intonation. I don't think "good boy, try again" even is a no reward marker for him, per se, I think he understands it to mean keep doing stuff and you will eventually get a treat. When I say no, I am basically wanting him to freeze so I can remove him from harm.

It ain't over- till the fat- kitty sings
Barked: Sat Nov 24, '12 7:43pm PST 
I think "STOP" said in a way deep tone is more effective than "No". No is kind of subjective. Stop conveys I am not pleased with what you are doing attention must be paid...NOW

"Stubborn" dogs- don't need- corrections
Barked: Sat Nov 24, '12 9:28pm PST 
"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."

A "correction" and an "interrupter" in our household have different meanings. An interrupter is like... a kissy noise, to break the focus, and then that's followed with a cue.

Oh oh! I have the perfect example from earlier today! It's kind of a brag, because Lobo did so well and I'm proud of him.

we will dance in- the ring without- words
Barked: Sun Nov 25, '12 7:30am PST 
I've seen clickers paired with punishment too, severe punishment, and it shuts down a behavior like you wouldn't believe, as a lion retreats from the crack of a whip, but it's not something I would like to employ. I actually feel a bit ill when I see a trainer's dog I know put itself in a dead straight sit when it hears a click. I think about what it took to get it to that level of compliance, and from all reports, it wasn't pretty.

wow, I certainly would be interested in information about that trainer. Clicker as a cue? Very odd. Do they have a website, JT (most trainers do today).

Lobo, I do very similar. I usually use the dog's name as an interrupter, but it has been classically and operantly conditioned, so it works well. Or I just ask the dog for what I WANT the dog to do.

I try to avoid NRM's also. I used them a LOT when I first crossed over, but I find that as my skills get better, I need them less and less.
Jackson Tan

Lad about town
Barked: Sun Nov 25, '12 10:43am PST 
No website, I'm afraid, just someone who has set up her own training business in my old town. She adopted a very dog aggressive standard poodle from the shelter, and she was making eyes at my mother in law's cat when I found out about her technique. She pulled out a clicker and clicked, and the dog went into this crazy fast smart sit, prey drive seemingly shot down in an instant.Even stopped pointing. She told me she beat the dog while clicking and it simply associated the sound with the pain, the way Romans used to train their circus cats, I guess.

It was eerily effective, though... for now, at least. She could walk the dog through the crowded dog park and it wouldn't so much as look at another dog. She does agility and I think has titles. She takes it to dog restaurants. Still attacks golden retrievers. thinking I guess she couldn't beat that out of her.

If I see her coming with that dog in the park, I take JT and get the hell out of there. I can see it all falling apart at a spectacular rate, and I don't want to be there when it happens. That woman scares the bejesus out of me.

I will ask if I see her again if she has a website but I've searched before and come up blank. I don't even think she has insurance. It will all come to a sticky end, that I know. Last time I saw her she told me how badly trained my dog was, so I'm not really in a hurry to see that crackpot again.

Edited by author Sun Nov 25, '12 10:47am PST


Belly Rub! Belly- Rub!
Barked: Sun Nov 25, '12 3:16pm PST 
These are my two cents Watson: There is a difference between a "no" used in training or as a correction for refusing a cue and a "no" used in everyday life. In training, I strive to not use any negative terms whatsoever, and don't find them necessary or useful. In fact, I would strongly recommend against them, even if its just a nicely spoken "no". The same goes with a refused cue. Forget about the "no" and skip ahead to figuring out why the cue was refused, and address that instead.

In everyday life, however, there are times when you have to convey to your dog that what they are doing is not liked. It's true that you can train different behaviors like "leave it" that minimize the occassions where "no" might feel necessary. But it's impossible to predict and train for everything your dog will do. And sometimes you just need to tell your dog to knock-it-off.

The problem is that it becomes a habit for most people, and they get stuck always correcting their dogs for stuff. When you commit to eliminating "no" from the repetoire, it forces you to teach your dog the right stuff, instead of always telling him or her what the wrong stuff is.

I eliminated "no" from my vocabulary (well, no one's perfect, but you get my drift), and believe me it wasn't easy. But now I find that the occassions I would have felt the need for it have been reduced to a minimum. And instead of the "no", what comes out is an "ei" sound I also use with little kids when they're about to get into trouble. Works fine, and doesn't come with all the baggage.

So, in my house, we don't use "no" as a training tool or as a correction for refusing a cue. But if the dog is playing too roughly with the cat, or eyeing an unattended plate of human food, "ei" comes out.

Belly Rub! Belly- Rub!
Barked: Sun Nov 25, '12 3:21pm PST 
lol, Jackson, I got the willies just reading about that trainer.
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