You cannot get anywhere with your dog unless it understands what NO means. No is your single-most important word in teaching your dog anything. Many people have implemented a different word than NO and frankly this is both good and bad. Why? Well lets' think of it this way:
Most people have dogs as their pets. Your pet should be well behaved when anyone comes near it, to your house, in your yard, sitting on a chair - ANYPLACE people and your dog are, your dog should be well mannered. There are times when your dog cannot control his or her emotions and using a universal command word for all your training needs will be beneficial to all. Say your guest is in a chair and your dog keeps bringing his toy to play. Your guest does not want to play. Your guest should be able to say NO and get a response from Rex.
Non-universal words are used for speciality training. They are not wrong per se but they will not be very helpful in a normal day to day pet / people relationship. How inconvenient will it be for anyone and everyone if only your special word will get your dog to stop pestering your guests?
So we will save the special command words for guard and Schutzhund training.
As you already have read in the article on housebreaking, NO is used to get your point across. It is effective and it catches the dog’s attention immediately. Well, not always immediately and if that is the case, I guarantee it is you and your delivery of the command NO. NO should always be said in a way as if you MEAN it. Not a holler, not mean and not long and drawn out with a soft tone of voice, but with a firm NO!
You can probably relate this to how a pack leader of a large dog pack would enforce his wishes on the others. A short sharp bark with sometimes a snapping motion toward the offending member is all it takes to get his point across.
This is their version of our NO!
So now let’s take our NO to some practice. Next time you see your dog doing something you want it to stop doing, practice NO!
If Rex is chewing something that does not belong to him, go to him, take the item away and firmly and with a clear audible voice say, "Rex, NO!"
Take the item away and replace it with something that is his.
How about if Rex is annoying someone? Say, "Rex, NO!" and then give Rex a command like sit, down, or on your bed (providing he is trained for such stuff already). If Rex won't listen, repeat "Rex, NO!" and the command and then give the physical prodding (this will be covered in our Sit lesson), or take Rex by the collar and put him in his own bed to stay.
You now have the basics of NO! You will need to be very consistent in your command. You cannot say nooooooooo and you cannot say "I told you NO" or ANY other variation of NO.
Dogs need to learn by repetition and you need to teach by repetition and patience. After a few tries on NO you will start to see results and as time goes on and Rex's attention span increases, you will see your hard work and patience pay off.
Also, as Rex gets the hint of your demand, using his name before the command NO will be needed less and less and a simple NO! will suffice.
This will work for ANY reason you need to tell your dog NO for. If they are begging at the table or simply whining for no apparent reason, NO is your magic word.
By: Joan A. Walker; courtesy wandaspetshop.com
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