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  • Writer's pictureKate Atkins

Saying NO to your dog doesn't work!

Updated: Dec 28, 2022

Whenever a dog presents us with an undesirable behaviour, such as jumping up, barking, pulling on the lead, aggression, stealing items our immediate and natural human response is to say NO to the dog.

When we see these behaviours from a human perspective and then also try to deal with them in a human way it causes miscommunication between you and your dog, giving them a different message from the one you intended.

For example - Your dog jumps up at you.

How you might be dealing with this behaviour

We read this behaviour as the dog being over excited or naughty. We then make eye contact and say 'NO! Get down' to communicate that we don't want them to do this

The dog gets your attention through eye contact and you speaking to them for this behaviour.

From the dog's perspective their behaviour worked, and they will most likely repeat it.

How you could deal with this behaviour

See the behaviour as questions - Who is in charge? Who has the responsibilities? Do I get attention on my terms?

Gently and calmly guide the dog away without any eye contact or talking.

The dog's questions are answered - that didn’t get any attention. Then the dog figures out over time, using their own intelligence, that jumping up equals nothing!

If the dog repeats the behaviour more than twice then you can leave the room or you can guide your dog out of the room to be on their own. Giving the dog the message that repeated jumping up doesn't only equal nothing it also gets them to be on their own

So, the next time you go to say 'NO!' to your dog try dealing with the behaviour differently and stop the miscommunication.

This is only one small part of the bigger picture in communicating with your dog in a way they understand and its only by seeing how all behaviours interlink and communicating with them as a whole you can start to see your dog respond to you in a calmer more responsive way.


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