So, how do I go about teaching a puppy No ?
Teaching a puppy no is a vital lesson. It runs hand in hand with the command "leave it", which you'll definitely find useful. No is a small word with a big meaning; most people who try to train their pet's overuse it, or use it inappropriately:
- Pet owners frequently use the "no" command after the fact. It's no use telling a dog no when the problem arose 10 minutes ago. The "no" command has to be issued as the unacceptable behaviour is happening, otherwise it's meaningless to a puppy.
- Likewise, people shout the "no" command- often repetitively. Using the command "no" in a suitably stern tone, reinforced by a raised finger will have a real meaning for your puppy.
- "No, no, no", sounds like one word to a puppy. Shouting it only causes your pet to become excitable, as she interprets your shouting as barking.
- Even worst is the owner shouting "no" and using the pup's name at the front or tail end of the command, as in "no Sheba". This also sounds like one word. Use your dog's name to call her, or to attract her attention- never to reprimand her.
- Many new puppy owners use the word "no" for even minor infractions. Save it for the big occasions- those when you definitely don't want your dog to carry on with what it is doing.
Teaching a puppy no--before she gets in to trouble.
Your puppy has a different concept of good and bad behaviour to yours. No behaviour is good or bad to a puppy. It's up to you to teach her what you find acceptable and unacceptable.
There are various training techniques that will arrest most of the bad habits that your dog may develop. A useful way of looking at any problem that does arise is to ask yourself how the problem has arisen, whether your puppy realises that she is misbehaving, and what steps you can take to change or prevent that behaviour.
Learning that when you say "no" you mean no is the first step in correcting bad behaviour:
- Place a biscuit, or a piece of chocolate on the floor. Or, something that will attract your puppy instantly- but is destined to be forbidden.
- In another room, place a lead and collar on your pup, and get her to sit using the sit command. Then issue the "heel" command and go in to the room with the taboo item.
- Walk towards the item, and as soon as your dog pulls towards it, issue the "no" command once only, and reinforce it with the raised finger of disapproval. Pull her back from the item, and walk on.
- Repeat this exercise over the next few days until your sure that the; teaching your puppy no- message has sunk in.
- What your puppy has learnt is: No means no, and you are in charge.
The "leave it" command is one naughty step below no. You would use this when you catch your puppy in the act of sniffing at something that she may view as edible and you view as potentially nasty. When your puppy starts paying undue attention to favoured slippers, shoes, newspapers etc, the "leave it" command should be used.
Save the "no" for major infractions; I'm sure that I don't need to give you examples, especially if you've already got kids!
Teaching a puppy to sit is just one segment of our puppy-training guide.....
So why not find out All About teaching a puppy to fetch.