When do you use the word No? I say "enough" when I want the barking to stop. I say "off" to get them off the couch or off a person. I say "leave it" when I want my dog to not take something or if I just want them to leave something alone.
The word no I use for if they are being really bad. Digging in the yard I yell no. If I catch my dog chewing up my daughter toys I yell no. Stuff like that.
Are too many words confusing or is it more confusing to have one word mean everything?
I guess I try to "save" it for the bigger offenses. And in that case, it comes out loud, deep and no-nonsense. What's kind of funny is what each person "sees" as the "worst" offenses.
I don't know about digging in the yard, Bails doesn't dig (yet?) but anything he puts his mouth on that he should leave alone gets the "leave it."
I had to pull out the big NO card tonight. I live on a high hill, mostly surrounded by trees and brush (but appears far more open now that the leaves have fallen) and there's a neighborhood way down below me. They were doing some big Halloween thing with kids and a bunch of them were running around down below. Several were throwing a football around and they'd strayed from the area and the football landed at the outskirts, but inside, my yard. (The kids had really wandered from where they were supposed to be -- at least 200?ish feet to be in my yard.)
So about 3 little boys were trying to retrieve their football and Bailey and I were playing frisbee. He saw them lurking and BANGPOWOHWOW, he goes rushing over there, alert, barking. I hadn't seen them at all, so I was like HUH, NO
!!!!!!!!!! Bailey NO
!!!!! And I am happy to say, he froze. I called him back and he came back to me. (Sigh of relief.) That was our first real test of control and recall under an unknown, totally unpredictable situation.
Actually, I had no idea their football was in my yard and I told them, boys, you shouldn't be playing up here. They were like, "But we lost our football in your yard!!!!!!"
I threw it back, they left, no further issues.
Sorry for the ramble there, but I guess my thing is again, saving the NO for the really big stuff. I think these dogs are smart enough, especially as they get older, to understand the difference between OFF, LEAVE IT, etc and so on. At least if you keep using those commands for the same infractions, they are certainly smart enough to pick it up over time.