Chicago Paws Dog Training Blog

Covers positive reinforcement dog training strategies and tips. Jeff strongly believes that positive reinforcement training is the only option and he is a vocal critic of other methods. You can also find product and book reviews and clicker training tips.

Do you say, "No!" to your dog alot?

"No" (which means don't jump on the guests).
"No" (which means don't chew on the couch).
"No" (which means stop barking)
Sound familiar?

I see a lot of situations where people train their dogs primarily by saying one word. "No" or the dog's name are the usual choices. For instance, "Jake!" (don't jump on the guests), "Jake!" (don't jump on the couch), etc.

Why is this not recommended? 

Here are the reasons why you should be more precise with your training requests.

  1. If you just say, "No" your dog has to understand your desire based on the context of the situation. There is too much room for interpretation and it can be confusing.
  2. If that is your main form of communication, it often means that you haven't spent the time to teach your dog the individual behaviors that you want your dog to do. For instance, if your dog constantly jumps on people, spend the time to work on "Off" and also reward the absence of the behavior (reward anything appropriate).
  3. Dogs can learn very precise cues or commands, but they can't read your mind. It is often a sign of a household that has a really confused dog and one or more frustrated people.


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What Can You Do To Avoid This Problem?

  1. Determine which behaviors you want to teach and teach them.
  2. Do not repeat cues when teaching. Your dog can start to tune you out if you repeat cues. Read my posts on how to avoid repeating cues. Dog Training 101, Do Not Repeat Cues

Make sure everyone in the house uses the same cues and has the same expectations

How long should dog training sessions last?
Be a better dog trainer - understand criteria

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