10 Jun How To Teach Your Dog The “No” Command…
If there’s one word you’ll be saying more than any other when you get a new dog it’s the “No” command. It’s only natural for a new to not know the rules of your house. A puppy obviously knows nothing when you first get it and a rescue most likely came from another environment with a completely different set of rules under their old roof. Either way teaching them the “No” command is vital to stop unwanted behavior. One of the main reason I teach this command is to stop them from picking up things on the ground on a walk. That’s a sure way to get your dog sick because most likely anything they’re picking up on the sidewalk isn’t loaded with vitamins and minerals. If trained effectively it can really make life easier for you and your dog. As always there are many ways to train a command so here’s just one of the way’s I like to teach the “No.”
The only tool we need for this technique is treats. Have several different kinds handy that the dog really likes and be sure they’re hungry as well. If you train this technique while the dog is full you’re doing no justice. You don’t want them too hungry, but hungry enough to where you’ll really get their attention. So now what we’re gonna do is hold one of those treats flat out in your hand about 6 inches from the dogs mouth. Unless the dog cares nothing about that treat they’ll naturally try and grab it. When this happens you’re simply gonna say the word “No” and quickly close your hand back up into a fist. Be sure when you say “No” to say it with a little conviction. You don’t wanna yell, you simply wanna get the point across simply by your tone. A lot of dogs will keep trying to mouth the treat in your closed hand. Most will stop in about 10-20 seconds. If they don’t stop simply pull your hand away and let them reset and calm down. Once they’re calm you’ll once again place your open hand at their eye level about 6 inches away from their mouth. Once they go for it you’ll once again quickly close your hand into a fist while saying the word “No.” Repeat this process 5 times then stop for 5 minutes. The 5 times/5 min break is a session. It’s very important to train in these short sessions because it doesn’t overwork the animal and just as important it let’s the brain reset. Most dogs after 5-10 sessions will grasp the concept. As they progress you’ll notice they’ll stop lunging and mouthing at your hand so from there you can keep your hand open and just say the word “No” but keep sharp because they can be sneaky when they see that hand is staying open. The real test is when can place the treat on the ground and say “No.” It might take a few days of consistent training for them to get there but they eventually do. I’ve done this with thousands of dogs over the years and I’ve never seen a dog not get it. However I have seen a few take a little longer so if they’re a little slow just keep at it a little while longer.
Now they’ve grasped the concept of the “No” we’re going to give them the “Ok” command. This is to let them know it’s now ok to take the food. This is to only be done when they’ve respected the “No” command and its meaning. Once they’ve performed correctly for you several times with a “No” command you’ll simply say the word “Ok” and put the treat directly up to their mouth. This is teaching them basic manners and respect. “No” means “No” while “Ok” means “Yes.” The last thing you want is a dog that constantly snaps and lunges for food. The beauty of this command is it will translate to so many areas where your dog is often badly behaved so use it as you need.
The details are always the key to training so here’s a few to point out: It’s important you’re quick on the draw when closing your hand. If you allow the dog to grab that food out of your hand too many times while training this you’re teaching the dog they can easily beat you at this game and they’ll constantly challenge you in other areas of training. If you notice they’re too quick for you the first couple times what you need to do is hold your hand a little further back when holding it out. A foot should be good enough. For the dogs that are really stubborn with this connect a leash to them and correct as they lunge forward. This will stop even the most difficult ones with this problem. You need to win at the game more than they do. This is how the command is set in stone. If you beat them at a game enough they’ll give up. If they beat you more often they’ll forever challenge you. It’s a timing and persistence game and DO NOT move too fast. As I always say animals learn at the speed of life so keep in mind it’s a marathon not a sprint.
Try it out and let me know how it works. Ruff.