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Making Sure Your Dog Understands “No”

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Ever been on a walk with your dog and he starts barking at a jogger on the other side of the street? You say “no” in a voice that’s loud enough to be heard over other noise, but he continue barking. Your first thought may be to question why your dog isn’t listening to you, but he may be confused by your ‘no’ because it isn’t specific enough.

As an article in the March 2013 issue of Dog Fancy points out, just saying no isn’t giving your dog enough information to understand what you’re asking of him.  Dogs feel more secure when given a specific command that they associate with a trained behavior.

Teach your dog the “sit-stay” command at home first when there aren’t distractions.  As he becomes more comfortable with the command, gradually introduce distractions.  After he performs the desired action with distractions, use his training to put his focus on the stay command rather than the distraction.  Be sure to give the “sit-stay” command in a firm, gentle voice loud enough that he hears it, and praise him when he performs the task well.

We all perform better with specific instructions, our dogs are no exception!

 

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