NO NO NO part 1 of 2 - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 07-05-2009, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
Dave T
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NO NO NO part 1 of 2

Here are three articles on "NO" . In two parts
IMPORTANT: Take the word "No" out of your dog training. It does not work. This is a very
bold and daring statement. Removing the use of this word is important to developing a relationship
with your dog and your success as a dog trainer? First of all "No" does not teach the dog anything
about what you want it to do. Also the dog gets no information about what you did not want it to do.
And most importantly, "No" can create fear and avoidance behaviors in your dog. The word, "No"
is not a magic wand intended to correct any and all unwanted behaviors. Here is a comparison that
may help you understand.
In my classes, if you want the dog to learn a behavior, you use this equation.
Behavior (sit) followed by a marker (Yes) followed by reinforcement (food)= increase of behavior
Now look at this equation.
Behavior (jumping) followed by a marker (No) followed by reinforcement (attention)=???
What you get is more or increased jumping because the dog has gotten some sort of attention
(verbal, pushing down, reprimands) and for the dog, these forms of attention are very, very
reinforcing. Even a kick in the ribs can be attention for an attention-starved dog.

Article 2
One reason that trainers avoid telling people to say "No!" is that "No!" is ambiguous it doesn't clarify what the dog is doing wrong. If you say "No!" to a dog who is jumping on your guest, your dog might think it was the friendly greeting you don't like (the dog might think, "What, I should be barking and threatening this person?") or something else about the performance. Even if you say something like "No jump!", have you really taught the dog what "jump" means? Have you taught a "Jump!" command so he knows the contrast? Even with human children (who have generally been demonstrated to eventually understand English, unlike dogs) we may say "No!" but follow it up with "Don't stick your fingers in that electrical socket!" or " Stop hitting the dog!" so that we can clarify what is wrong. Better still is when we tell kids what they should do instead "leave that alone; here, come play with your toys" and "Pet the dog gently, see he like it under his chin!". We stop the bad behavior quickly with a sharp sound and then quickly redirect it into a better action.

Same thing with dogs. Go ahead and say "No!" when, in spite of your prevention efforts, your dog engages in an annoying or dangerous action. Stop that action in the moment! Then be sure to follow up that stop with an informative, familiar command like "sit", "come" or "leave it". "No!" by itself will put an immediate stop to the behavior but only a temporary one. If you don't replace the undesired behavior with another one, you'll have no long-term improvement. So don't justsay "No!". You'll just have to keep repeating "No!" every time the situation occurs. And that's what we don't want!

The focus becomes put on the action that you want, rather than the action you don't want. And "No!", instead of a frustrated mantra, becomes a quick tool for interruption so you can go back to working on that behavior that you want.

Dave and Molly
Ian Dunbar was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from I.P.D.T.A. Here's a picture of me accepting the award on his behalf.
Member of IAABC ,International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants , Member of Pet Professional Guild
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