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How to Tell Your Dog No

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One of the most important lessons your dog or puppy needs to be taught is the concept that “no” or “leave it” means to stop the thing she’s doing prior to causing harm to yourself, harming the person you are hurting, or causing damage to property. This can help your dog develop some self-control and ensure that she is a good family member.

Teaching Your Dog the Command

Let your dog know the behavior. The goal of teaching your dog any command is to help her connect the command to the desired behavior and strengthen the relationship through positive reinforcement. To help her learn “no” or “leave it,” start by modeling the behavior you would like to see.

  • For instance, hold a chocolate treat in your hands and then tell her “no” before closing your fist around the sweet treat. Allow her to take a sniff and kiss your hand, but do not offer her the treat. When she is done and walks away, show your praise in abundance and offer a treat with your other hand. Not the one that came in. 
  • Use a firm voice to make the command clear however, don’t shout or make your dog think that you’re punishing her. Choose a neutral, stern voice instead of the joyful voice you typically employ with your dog to make sure she doesn’t take the command as positive reinforcement.

Take your time. You can anticipate repeating this routine 10 times or more before your dog realizes that she can get the treat when you leave your hand unattended. Keep your patience with the process and be sure to give lots of praise when she does eventually leave the closed hand to herself (shows the desired behavior).

  • Spread the trials in order to prevent each of you from becoming annoyed. Do it several times a day for many days.

Be aware of the body language you use. Your dog will recognize body language as well as the command. Make sure you stand tall and give the command with a confident voice, but don’t attempt to make your dog fear you. You want her to obey and understand the instructions, not just scare her.

Train your dog to pay attention to you in order to earn the treat. You don’t just want your dog to walk away from the object on its own However, you’d like her to pay attention to you when you make the command. This will enable you to instruct her to “no” to stop a behavior, but also “come” in case the object that you want to let go of is hazardous such as. Once she is aware that “no” means to leave the object to itself then you can add details to the command and focus her attention on you.

  • Instead of immediately expressing your appreciation whenever she turns her back to your closed fist, do not make any statement or act. Because this isn’t the way she would expect it to happen her eyes will turn toward you to ask for instructions. When she’s done you can give her the reward and praise (still with your hand on the other side).
  • Repeat the exercises until your dog is looking up and is looking at the person you are talking to when they respond with “no” instead of staring at your fist for a few seconds before turning at you. It could take a lot of repetitions, up to forty or fifty.
  • You can help her concentrate and display more self-control by gradually increasing the length of time she must keep her eyes on you prior to giving the compliment and reward.

Train your dog to obey by placing the treat placed on the ground. “No” is more attainable when your dog doesn’t get the treat in the first place (when it’s placed in your palm). Next step placing treats on your floor, with your hand securing the treat, rather than fully covering it. You might have to begin by wrapping your hands surrounding the candy, however then, after many times, start lifting your hands until the treat stops when you tell her “no” even with the treat open.

  • To help to make this a success to make it a success, you can use a treat she enjoys but isn’t keen on when she’s on the floor. Make sure to reserve her favorite reward for the time you give the treat and praise after she leaves the floor. Keep up your positive encouragement.
  • Make sure you do not give the dog a treat until your dog has looked toward you after you have said “no.”

Try it outside on the streets. The final test for your dog is to make sure that she is able to repeat the behavior in a more controlled setting. Start by using the command in a variety of environments instead of only in the home. Inform the girl of “no” outside while other exciting events are taking place. If she is consistently obeying in these situations this is when you can tell she is in complete control of the command.

  • You could, for instance, place treats on your walking path prior to taking your dog for an outing. If she is able to smell it and starts walking towards it, signal the command and continue walking. If she starts pulling the leash towards the food, then pull her at a distance. When she stops pulling and looks at you. If she does, offer many hugs and hand her treats from your pockets, not the ones you put in.

Reduce the need for treatment time. As your dog is beginning to obey the commands regularly limit the times you offer a treat while continuing to give all the praise to obey the command. They will still comply even if you just offer a treat every five or six times that she obeys the request, so long as you are constant with the other elements in positive reinforcement.

Taking Additional Steps to Help Your Dog

Make sure your dog gets lots of time to exercise. A rambunctious dog with a lot of energy in their system is more likely to be a rebel or exhibit problems with self-control. Try to take your dog for an hour of exercise each day with a steady pace for dogs who are active.

Take away the item that is causing the problem or the cause of the behavior. You simply cannot constantly be around to teach your pet “no,” so set your dog up to be successful by taking out the objects she’s not allowed to be around. Place plants and other fragile objects on shelves high, store shoes in a locked door and make sure that clothes are away from the floor.

  • It’s also a good idea to be aware of this even if you’re at home, as she’s still learning to obey the commands and isn’t always following.

Get your dog distracted. Once your dog knows and follows “no,” then she’ll be able to resist the lure of the prohibited object however only for a brief period of duration. Instead of telling your pet “no” over and over it is better to distract her with other things, like her favorite toy or stroll.

  • As an example, suppose your dog is always trying to climb up onto the couch. Instead of telling him “no” over and over throughout the day, repeat it only once. Then, say, “Where’s your toy?” Go to get her most loved toy, and throw it, or play tug-of-war it for a few seconds. They attention of her will be diverted from the couch.
  • Distraction is a great option to make when your dog is learning to obey the no-command. Be sure to stop your dog prior to the time she exhibits undesirable behavior, such as when she is spotted sniffing at the couch or jogging across the room such as. In the event that she does, she could start to think that you are using the toys as a reward for the behavior.

Utilize prevention methods. While your dog is still learning or she’s struggling with her consistency, then you could also take preventative measures. If it’s furniture that is the cause of concern (for example) search for sprays that repel dogs such as orange oil, or bitter apple. Spray them all around the area of furniture or other objects your dog is drawn to.

  • Check an unnoticed spot before you place the object in order to ensure the repellent spray does not damage the object.
  • There are also mats with electrical components or chargers that you could place around or on top of objects. If your dog wanders into the proximity of the object (shock collar kind) or gets in contact with objects (direct contact kind) your mat, or the charger can provide the dog a gentle shock to discourage the dog from coming into contact with the item.

Train your dog to follow the commandments. While “no” is an effective preventative instruction for the dog to obey, this may not be the best option, particularly in the event that your dog decides to perform the behavior anyway. In these situations, it’s helpful to teach your dog additional associated commands that you could utilize to help her learn the behavior you want from her.

  • For example, if you instruct her to “no” before she runs through the yard and she goes off regardless, it’s advantageous for your dog’s response to commands such as “come.” Start with this command by stating it before forcing your dog to chase your dog and then giving positive reinforcement. Find more details about teaching your dog to obey this command in How to Teach your Dog to Come
  • Similar to that training your dog to say “down” if she jumps into people after being taught “no” can also help. To accomplish this, be completely uninvolved when she jumps at you, except for”down. “down,” and then provide her with plenty of praise and treats after all four feet are to the ground. This is far more effective than simply pushing her off which she may mistake for playing.

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