Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just curious on everyones thoughts about saying no to their dog? I know a lot of positive reinforcement people are against saying "no", personally I don't agree with that. I would say no to a toddler so I don't see a problem with saying it to my dog and then redirecting to something they are allowed to do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,886 Posts
"No" typically has no meaning to the dog if you don't train them to recognize a meaning to it. A toddler is a human and understands language, so they will probably understand that when their parent yells "No!" that they have to stop what they're doing. A dog...doesn't. No might not mean the same thing in different situations to the dog, because dogs don't have that understanding of language that humans have. So "no" for chewing on furniture is not the same as "no" for peeing on the floor. It's a useless word, really, and many owners overuse it, so the dog just doesn't understand exactly what "no" means.

"No!" has certainly sprung out of my mouth a time or two when my dog has gotten into something, but it only served as an interrupter to get my dog to look at me so I could redirect to something else. I don't expect him to know what it means. If he's getting eating something on the ground, "leave it" suffices as a direct, "this is what I want you to do, leave that thing be" command that gets the dog a reward. The dog knows exactly what "leave it" means. If you wish, you could certainly use "no" as your "leave it" command, but many people don't choose to do that because "no" is often what automatically/accidentally springs from people's mouths when their dog gets into something, so they don't want to poison the word.

So sure, you can use "no", but you have to train the dog to realize it means something. They don't learn language like toddlers do. Otherwise, it's just a word that the owner yells angrily sometimes, which does not help the dog and is often confusing. So why say "no" when simply redirecting will do the trick? I tend to use something like Oopsy! when I need to interrupt a behavior, because I only say it to the dog and it doesn't come off as threatening like "no" often does. I have a sensitive dog, so I kind of have to be careful with my word choices.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,925 Posts
During daily life with my dogs I say no. I also say hey!, knock it off, ask what the eff they're doing, ask if they're aliens, threaten to skin them alive, and call them names. They all serve as interrupters, at best, and mostly just me talking to a dog who is clueless because I'm cheerful about it - or at worst mildly exasperated

In training, I use very, very sparing 'no reward markers' to mean 'this isn't what I wanted'. They don't really serve a useful purpose for the dog, either. Simply not giving the dog the reward, setting up and trying again and rewarding when right does. However, I'm human and 'nope!' comes out of my mouth once in a while.

Overall though, basically I find teaching new behavior with use of negative markers (or punishment, or aversive methods) to just make the process take longer because the dog's less excited to train with me, and there very, very few situations where my goal is to STOP a behavior, rather than have them perform another one. So, for me, communicating 'no' isn't bad, it's just pointless.

Well, for me and my dogs. I have very biddable dogs who try very hard and are very handler sensitive. So it doesn't take much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,145 Posts
I use it as an interruptor, although I usually say "no, no" just out of habit instead of just "no." Or I use "eh eh!" if I need something with a bit sharper sound to more quickly get attention.

I use it consistently in my house to mean a particular thing, so yes it absolutely has meaning to my dogs. Just like any word, it doesn't inherently have or not have meaning, it's all in how and how consistently you use it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,145 Posts
I'll add, though, like CptJack I rarely use it in training. I mostly use it in every day life, house manners kinda stuff.

In actual training, if they offer the wrong thing? Depending on the context I might say nothing, I might give a cheerful "nope!" or "whoops!" or often "what can you do?" or "think hard!" All of which (again with consistency) just come to mean "that particular thing isn't right but I don't want you to stop doing things altogether."

I mean. Dogs are experts at figuring us out and are far, far better at making distinctions between subtle differences than we are, IMO. As long as you are consistent you can use a lot of phrases to mean a lot of things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,385 Posts
In teaching, "no" typically gets paired with some kind of aversive or negative action, such as a collar pop, a poke, or the removal of an object from the dog's possession etc. Some people may find the word effective, mainly because it has become a predictor of punishment. The dog may stop the unwanted behavior or relinquish the item, but only due to avoidance of said punishment.

Not really a good way to train. Can be very detrimental, to a dog's spirit at least, especially if one takes into account how often "no" is being used.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,925 Posts
In teaching, "no" typically gets paired with some kind of aversive or negative action, such as a collar pop, a poke, or the removal of an object from the dog's possession etc. Some people may find the word effective, mainly because it has become a predictor of punishment. The dog may stop the unwanted behavior or relinquish the item, but only due to avoidance of said punishment.

Not really a good way to train. Can be very detrimental, to a dog's spirit at least, especially if one takes into account how often "no" is being used.
In fairness while this is sometimes the case I know at least as many cases - maybe more, but I'll grant self-selection of who I know in dogs plays heavily into this - where no actually means 'stop what you're doing and come here'. Which I doubt has any negative effect at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,385 Posts
In fairness while this is sometimes the case I know at least as many cases - maybe more, but I'll grant self-selection of who I know in dogs plays heavily into this - where no actually means 'stop what you're doing and come here'. Which I doubt has any negative effect at all.
Then to me, that would actually be a "leave it". Just with the word no in its place instead.

A crucial factor in differentiating between the two, is whether it has been historically paired with punishment, or reinforcement. R+ is what is usually used when teaching a leave it. And P+ for a no.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,925 Posts
Then to me, that would actually be a "leave it". Just with the word no in its place instead.

A crucial factor in differentiating between the two, is whether it has been historically paired with punishment, or reinforcement. R+ is what is usually used when teaching a leave it. And P+ for a no.
Yeah, but the discussion so far here is just about the word. The word itself can be 'bacon' and if it's paired with punishment it's bad. So basically, I think conditioned punishers are probably unnecessary and unfair. The the word no and using it to get a dog to stop doing something is, until further information is given, basically neutral.

I mean I do agree with you, I just think it's a little theory heavy and also part of the reason some R+ people will kind of freak out about the word no and, honestly, make themselves look a little silly. The WORD is not punishing. the word is whatever you've made it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
358 Posts
It easy to yell out " no" for something the dog is doing that you don't want done. I agree the dog initially doesn't know what you mean and in some cases simply doesn't think you are a talking to him...or what ever the dog thinks.

But if you are training and the dog makes a mistake on an exercise that he knows, then the " no" becomes an attention getter similar to a collar correction. Yeah, it's can be considered some kind of adversive thing but if you start the exercise over and go through your beginning of it step by step and offer reward for correctness, the dog will recognize it for what it is.

My dog knows that " no" means stop what he is doing and I will follow with redirection. It's not a harsh comman. For example, we do a multi step recall in classes. We go to a start position and auto sit, no command, I leave the dog, no stay command, then from a distance I use a hand down signal. Then I use a hand sit command. Then the recall is either voice, hand, whistle or flashlight to a front position. Then either left or right finish. If the dog breaks any part of it I use " no,no, no," then " go back". She will return the start position and we do it over. We don't do this exercise every day and often only at home in the living room so it's not always perfect and I expect errors. But it's also rewarded with an extreme value reward for a correct exercise so she does pretty well with it.

I also do " no, leave it" out side and with reward for promptly leaving the forbidden thing and returning to me. It works pretty well and is not really adversive but a reminder. Sometimes I think she purposely makes mistakes just to be sure she gets rewards on the redo.

I like to,think as if I was the dog and some alien being was training me, how would I respond to a language I could not speak, only learn inflections and specific sounds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,925 Posts
If I start the exercise over and offer reward for correctness, why in the world would I need to use a 'no' as a correction - or any kind of correction at all beyond the very literal making the dog correct?

Like... it accomplishes nothing.

Just fix the dog and reward it. Boom, done. One step removed, same end result.

I mean I DO sometimes still do it (because I'm home and 'nope!' comes out of my mouth easily) - and to the dog it pretty much means 'you're not getting a reward now' - but I also recognize it doesn't give the dog any actionable information or in any way actually work to get to the correct behavior. I achieve the same result without making the dog sad just by resetting and breaking it down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,886 Posts
Yeah, "no" has really never gotten me anywhere in actual training, and I've never trained for it to have a meaning because it does pop out of my mouth in...exciting...situations. I don't want to poison it, I would rather it just be an interrupter and not really have a meaning.

Anyways, using "No" as "thats not what I wanted" in training would frustrate my dog and he would probably melt or be afraid to do anything with me again. No reward works well enough. Depends a good deal on your own individual dog, too, whether or not you should use a negative marker, but I've never found that I actually needed it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,227 Posts
Max didn't know what NO was. He did understand EH which served as a rarely needed strong interrupter. I prefer to call my dog to me for a cookie when they are doing not allowed stuff. Any Eh or No causes slinking and flattened ears with the current little guys. I really hate to see that. When training I wait for what I want then reward and praise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,096 Posts
What do you want "no" to mean? Stop counter surfing? Don't eat that thing I just dropped on the floor? Stop jumping? Stop running through the house? Get off the couch?

It can be a lot easier to tech them what you want them to do than just keep "no no-ing" them. "Leave it", "Sit" or "Go lie down", and "Off" are more informative, IMO. As in, "do this instead of what you were going to do" , as opposed to "don't do that, figure something else out on your own".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
471 Posts
I have started to tentatively use the word "no" as a distractor when Cali starts yapping for invalid reasons... because I'm at school and have roommates who do not appreciate the barking. I use +R methods where I can, but I've started using it in conjunction with a reward (giving her bits of the breakfast for short intervals of quiet; a bark gets a "no" then one bit of breakfast if she is quiet for the remainder of breakfast prep) during the brief period of time where I'm prepping her breakfast because that's early in the morning (aka my roommates are sleeping) and I absolutely cannot have her barking.

I, like others, don't use it in training sessions. If she isn't getting what I'm asking, I'll usually throw a reset cookie and we will try again. It also serves no other reason than to just quiet her when she is being obnoxious in the house at early or late hours. She is a pretty soft dog and all I need is a firm "no"... not even with a raised voice. I feel a bit guilty about it since obviously it is aversive, but I just can't have her waking up my roommates if they're gracious enough to let me have a dog here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,401 Posts
I don't like No! b/c of the emotion that can come with it, and the lack of re-direction. The Rescue that I adopted Mikee from used "No!" and a swat to train and control Mikee. It took me nearly a year to turn the isolated swat into a game and a good thing (He's a 75 lb Lab mix). I try to save "No!" as an emergency Stop! when he's off-leash in the back field going chasing something in the wetland. If I want him to stop a behavior [that I believe he was allowed to do], such as humping or jumping up, then I try to anticipate with with a 'neutral' Sit, instead of a harsh No! Ditto with Leave it or Drop it, if he goes after something or has something inappropriate. And, I'm trying to teach him Quiet! to stop barking ... rather than simply "no!".
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top