The Art of Saying "NO!"
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Thread: The Art of Saying "NO!"

  1. #1
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    DefaultThe Art of Saying "NO!"


    I thought of this topic because this morning I heard my wife saying no to our young puppy by saying "NoooOOOOO!" Kind of with an up tone! And she kept on saying that!!! I heard her and I realized that when I say no it is a firm short relatively loud "NO!" Then when she stops what she is doing I give her a "Good Girl!!!!". I try to explain that Petals doesn't understand the word only understands the sounds and if you change the sounds then she will not understand at all.

    I guess next is the perseption of hurting her. Last night we were laying down with her in the living room and she came at me with one of those love bites (to the nose) and I said "NO!!!" and she jumped back and hit her head on the crate. She tried to play again with the bite and I said "NO!!!!!!" and she jumped back again and hit her head again. After that she went to one of her toys and I gave her a big "GOOD GIRL". I look over at my wife and she has a tear in her eye because she thinks that I was mean to her. I tried to tell her it is a learning process and when she went for her toy she started to learn and that we need to be patient.

    I guess to get back to the subject of the Art of Saying No, I see it all the time with owners of other dogs that when they say no they say it like it is a joke. You need to be firm and let them know by your tone that what they are not doing is good. You can say Mickey for all I care but the tone and how and when you use it is key.

    Any additions to this or suggestions would be great and welcome.

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  3. #2
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    DefaultRe: The Art of Saying "NO!"

    You are so right. Your tone/inflection makes a big difference. We women sometimes have a harder time, with our higher voices. But a firm 'no' makes the difference. And it doesn't have to be a mean 'no', just firm.

    Using your voice in other ways makes a big difference, too, with your dog. Want him to come faster to you....use short, high-pitched words...come-on, come-on, come-on! (or whatever words you use) If you use a whistle, use 3-4 short blasts...speeds 'em up.

    Higher-pitched voice, short words fast, speed them up. To slow them down, use lower pitch, slower words (eeeeaaaassyyyy).

  4. #3
    CoCosMom's Avatar
    CoCosMom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: The Art of Saying "NO!"

    I've just noticed that CoCo finally gets "NO" (the short, firm "No")... if she's going after something that is not hers (shoes, toilet paper, etc) and I say "NO!" she'll actually stop! Yay! And then I direct her to her own toys and say "Goooood Girl" in a happy voice.

    I have a friend with a cocker spaniel that neeeeever uses short, firm corrections or commands, and believe me it SHOWS with this dog! This is a dog that gets into the garbage, and the owner corrects her in a high baby voice!!! Although, these are the same people that thought putting the dogs food on the coffee table at a party would teach the dog to eat its own food and not the people food right beside it... :

    ~Jo & CoCo


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    Ender's Mom's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: The Art of Saying "NO!"

    Also... you must praise the behavior you want. I'm constantly reminding Eric that "don't just tell Ender "No"... you have to praise him when he's doing what you want"

    I'm constantly looking at Ender when he's at my feet laying down or chewing his bone or whatever and saying "goooooood boy Ender!... here's a treat for being soooooo good!"
    ~Lindsay

  7. #5
    Chester B. Dickens is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: The Art of Saying "NO!"

    No by itself is a VERY general instruction, and dogs have a tough time with generalities. No... what? No barking? No wagging? No smiling? No wiggling? No standing? You get the idea.

    Better, IMHO, to use a command word. NO BITE. NO BARK. NO VISIT. You can then use the same word in the praise ("Good no bite!") and the concept will (should, individual performance will vary) catch on that much quicker.

    Vocal inflection IS important. We see a lot of this in beginner obed. Owners ASK their dogs rather than tell them. Poopsie... SIIIIIIIIT??????????????? SIIIIIIIIIIIT??

    No questioning! POOPSIE! SIT! //Good sit!//

  8. #6
    Ender's Mom's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: The Art of Saying "NO!"

    I catch myself doing that all the time. Sit?... Sit???... Ender! SIT! (Oh sure... NOW you listen to me) and he's thinking (oh ok... she said SIT!...so now is when I sit... )
    ~Lindsay

  9. #7
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    DefaultRe: The Art of Saying "NO!"

    Great advice all. I agree with Dweck tell them don't ask and use a command with no so they know what you don't want them to do and what they are doing correct. NO BITE, NO BARK, Good Sit, Good no bite.....etc. For biting I also grab their mouth and shut it for a second while giving the command to reinforce it.

    Beleive me your not hurting her by telling her now or closing her mouth when she's biting. You definately need to fix problems like this now because she's going to get big fast and it's twice as hard to fix after it's been ok for a few months. Same with jumping, stop it now (from experience) It's very hard to break later. Absolutely no attention should be given to her until she's siting. It's not easy but if you don't want a 95 lb dog jumping on a 35 lb kid it's for the best.

    Also as far as the voice tone I'll second that it is very important a firm command will get their attention. There are occasions where a happy fast command is better such as recall and heeling but normally calm and firm are better.

    a side note my bf's brother picks on their shi-tzu by saying "I love you" in a mean voice and he gets all barky and growly with him it's not nice but hillarious to watch.

  10. #8
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    DefaultRe: The Art of Saying "NO!"

    Some people need to learn this art when dealing with their children.

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