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Let's say you walk into a room and your dog is laying on your couch, chewing on a sock. You say "NO!".

Did you mean:

  1. No - don't lay on the couch
  2. No - don't chew on the sock
  3. No - don't chew on the sock WHILE laying on the couch
  4. No - don't chew on THAT sock
  5. No - don't lay on THAT couch
  6. And so on ...
Dogs DO NOT GENERALIZE - especially puppies.


Instead of NO - try teaching these commands:




  • If your dog is on the couch and you don't want them up there - teach them OFF.
  • If your dog is chewing something they shouldn't - teach them LEAVE IT.
  • If your dog is pulling on the leash - teach them EASY.
  • If your dog is barking - teach them QUIET.
  • If your dog is rushing out a door - teach them WAIT.
 

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Let's say you walk into a room and your dog is laying on your couch, chewing on a sock. You say "NO!".

Did you mean:

  1. No - don't lay on the couch
  2. No - don't chew on the sock
  3. No - don't chew on the sock WHILE laying on the couch
  4. No - don't chew on THAT sock
  5. No - don't lay on THAT couch
  6. And so on ...
Dogs DO NOT GENERALIZE - especially puppies.


Instead of NO - try teaching these commands:




  • If your dog is on the couch and you don't want them up there - teach them OFF.
  • If your dog is chewing something they shouldn't - teach them LEAVE IT.
  • If your dog is pulling on the leash - teach them EASY.
  • If your dog is barking - teach them QUIET.
  • If your dog is rushing out a door - teach them WAIT.

This I already do and I find that "come" can be a borderline command too. Thats why I don't tell my dogs to come if I'm giving medicine, brushing the teeth, grooming, etc..anything that they might not like I don't use come but I go to them. You don't want come to be associated with anything that might be bad in the dogs eyes.
 

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I'm kind of lazy when it comes to this stuff. I've never really taught "leave it" but I use the dog's name to redirect their attention to me (since it does that anyway). I do say "no" a lot but my dogs react to my tone of voice rather than the word. If I'm stern, it's basically a verbal correction. If I'm neutral, it's an NRM.
 

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I generally use "AH-AH!" and she seems to understand that that means stop whatever you're doing. I used it from the get go instead of no because no is a word one uses all the time in everyday conversation, and I was worried she get desensitized to the word.
 

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I use "off", "leave it", etc and also ah-ah. The tone of my voice definitely communicates a lot! Even NO works when hysterically screamed from across the pool, as Stella was getting ready to step onto the solar cover....:shocked:
 

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I need to show this thread to my other half :) He typically uses the wrong commands -"down" when he means "off", "sit down" to mean "sit". Drives me nuts.

And "leave it" is the first thing I ever teach a dog. Best command EVER! All my dogs will stop dead in their tracks if I tell them leave it. No yelling, just a low "leave it" works.
 

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Great post, Lauri! Human nature makes us say, "NO!" when we see our puppers doing the unthinkable. But it truly doesn't help the pup learn anything when we squeal in a panicked state at them!
 

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No, is not a command it is a negative marker, just like yes is a positive marker during training. The disobedience is marked and the dog is removed from the couch. If you say off, and the dog obeys and you praise the dog, you have praised the dog for getting off the couch. So getting off the couch is a fun/happy thing to do, so this will not discourage the dog from getting on the couch again and you have diverted away from the issue which is being on the couch in the first place.
IMO disobedience should not be corrected with another command, the original fault must be corrected first.
 

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I honestly use the word "no" very little. If I catch the dog in mid-naughty, I usually make some kind of sharp, gutteral sound like "Aaat!" or "Hey!" which seem to grab a dog's attention better than "no".
 

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The disobedience is marked and the dog is removed from the couch.
How does the dog know specifically what the disobedience is? Sure, he's on the couch, but he might be doing any number of other small things in addition to that. YOU know that being on the couch is the problem, but how does HE?

If you say off, and the dog obeys and you praise the dog, you have praised the dog for getting off the couch.
And this is a problem why? :thinking: He obeyed your command - he should be praised!

So getting off the couch is a fun/happy thing to do, so this will not discourage the dog from getting on the couch again and you have diverted away from the issue which is being on the couch in the first place.
Praise isn't all that fun and happy, I don't see why a dog would bother to jump up on the couch just so you could tell it to get off and then be praised for that. That just doesn't make any sense. And if you train the dog not to get up on the couch without being invited (or never, if that's your preference), then it definitely will discourage the dog from getting up there again.

I actually trained Cassidy not to jump on furniture by tossing a treat on the floor when I told her "off". Horrors - I rewarded her for getting off the furniture, when she should never have been on the furniture in the first place! There was a specific reason why I trained it that way, and guess what? She not only learned what the "off" command meant, she also learned that she was not allowed on the furniture and it was never a problem again.
 

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How does the dog know specifically what the disobedience is? Sure, he's on the couch, but he might be doing any number of other small things in addition to that. YOU know that being on the couch is the problem, but how does HE?
You can't correct multiple things at the same time without confusing the dog. Correct the biggest problem first. He knows he should not be on the couch because you do not let him on the couch. If you come into the room and he is on the couch, mark it and remove him off the couch.

And this is a problem why? :thinking: He obeyed your command - he should be praised!
Because there was no correction for being on the couch. As I mentioned IMO giving a dog a command he will perform is not a correction for prior disobedience. For example, If your dog gets into a fight with another dog, and you recall the dog, you have lost any opportunity to correct the dog for the original problem.

Praise isn't all that fun and happy, I don't see why a dog would bother to jump up on the couch just so you could tell it to get off and then be praised for that. That just doesn't make any sense. And if you train the dog not to get up on the couch without being invited (or never, if that's your preference), then it definitely will discourage the dog from getting up there again.
But there is still no correction for the disobedience. Per my previous point.

I actually trained Cassidy not to jump on furniture by tossing a treat on the floor when I told her "off". Horrors - I rewarded her for getting off the furniture, when she should never have been on the furniture in the first place! There was a specific reason why I trained it that way, and guess what? She not only learned what the "off" command meant, she also learned that she was not allowed on the furniture and it was never a problem again.
I'm not really talking about how to train any of the commands, I'm talking about how I would correct a dog that has been trained and knowingly disobeys the command and how the "No" is a negative marker.
 

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I honestly use the word "no" very little. If I catch the dog in mid-naughty, I usually make some kind of sharp, gutteral sound like "Aaat!" or "Hey!" which seem to grab a dog's attention better than "no".
It's not the two letters N O that the dog understands, rather the tone of voice in which the it is issued. You could just as easily train "yes" as a negative marker by using the right tone of voice. My son says "How come this, how come that.. " all the time, our dog does not hear "come" "come" because the tone is not a command.

Exactly, whether you use Aat, Hey, No, eeh or whatever random word you choose it is the tone identifies it as a negative marker.
 

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whenever i use "no" my dog always seems to know
what i'm talking about. i think once a dog is trained
they can associate a word or a group off words with
an action that's required whether they're words or a word
that they know for a certain action.
 

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One of the +R trainers up here always says to use a verb instead of NO. I think it is very good advice - tell the dog what you want it to do vs. just telling it it's doing something wrong.

I do use "no" as a marker - when shaping behaviors I'll say no if the dog is wrong so they know to try something else. It works for me although that same trainer would probably have my head :)
 

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No, is not a command it is a negative marker, just like yes is a positive marker during training. The disobedience is marked and the dog is removed from the couch. If you say off, and the dog obeys and you praise the dog, you have praised the dog for getting off the couch. So getting off the couch is a fun/happy thing to do, so this will not discourage the dog from getting on the couch again and you have diverted away from the issue which is being on the couch in the first place.
IMO disobedience should not be corrected with another command, the original fault must be corrected first.
Using the OP's example, if I caught my dog on the couch chewing on a sock, I'll tell him (her) "Off!" When they get off the couch I'll say, "Thank you". If they still have the sock in their mouth, I'll say "leave it" and when they drop it I'll say, "Thank you". "Thank you" is said in a light tone. I've let them know that they have complied with my request.

In all of my years, I've never had a dog - of any breed- continue an act of disobedience just to receive the reward.
 

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One of the +R trainers up here always says to use a verb instead of NO. I think it is very good advice - tell the dog what you want it to do vs. just telling it it's doing something wrong.

I do use "no" as a marker - when shaping behaviors I'll say no if the dog is wrong so they know to try something else. It works for me although that same trainer would probably have my head :)

I would 100% agree with that in the training phase. However once the dog understands the command then I will use negative markers/corrections.
 

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No, is not a command it is a negative marker, just like yes is a positive marker during training. The disobedience is marked and the dog is removed from the couch.
How do you remove the dog from the couch?
 

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How do you remove the dog from the couch?
A sharp tug on the collar in a direction away from the couch and then lead the dog off the couch by the collar. If the dog gets off the couch before you get to him, no problem continue with the correction and lead the dog by the collar to his bed. The disobedience has been marked with the "No!" when you entered the room, the correction can (and must) still be applied even if the dog gets off the couch by himself.

IMO
 
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