Just say NO!
Having a dog is a joy, they bring love and excitement and peace and calm to our homes...until they don't! When the savage and predatory nature of our puppers becomes apparent...it is often in way which we do not like. For such occasions we have NO. No is a very powerful concept, simply stated: Don't do that again! If we don't want our dogs doing something in advance...well, then we must manage their lives closely enough to ensure that intolerable behaviours do not occur in the first instance! Lets be honest, we do this! Puppy proofing a house, dog proofing a backyard, making sure the back gate is not just closed but latched etc. But, No allows us to capitalise on the intolerable event and ensure that it is not repeated. As sucky as it may appear, using the intolerable act as a teachable moment allows you to keep your pupper forever. The biggest killer of dogs in our society is intolerable behaviour. Those puppers with bad manners end up in shelters and in some cases bypass the pound/rescue system and land themselves straight to the vets for a heavily sedated heart attack. Bad manners is no joke! Recently I introduced you to the Teaching Phase which complements No. No is not a lifestyle, it is a emergency stop button. If your lifestyle is smothered in emergency stop situations, stop reading now and call me! I grabbed my application of No from Gary Wilkes. Educated, intellectual, wise and accomplished, this mans shoulders are what many professional trainers stand on. He had a situation with a client many years ago, where the two dogs started fighting each other. He said No and grabbed the nearest thing available...a comfy cushion and threw it at them. It immediately broke the fight up and displays that pain is not the required answer. Gary had noted that the startle response changed the mood of each combatant instantly. They ceased their savage fight and escaped the situation, lest another cushion be hurled at them. A cushion... Ever had a pillow fight? Now do it with the cushions on the lounge! He then came up with the idea of the towel. Which I introduce to all my clients in the Grey Program. The towel size is less relevant, but we do match the size to your dog. Ultimately, the towel can be applied by hand or thrown from a distance. It can even be used to make something else occur, such as a screen door going bang, or a crate rattling. No pain, no fear, no intimidation, no coercion. A tangible consequence, nasty in nature to ensure that the behaviour is not repeated. The towel allows your dog to change moods from frustration to defensive. "Why did the towel happen? No is why...what made the No happen? My actions...Don't do that action again." I have stopped pitties fighting, taught a dog to stop biting the baby, taught reactive dogs to stop jumping, dogs with Separation Anxiety to stop touching glass (stops them from breaking through a window...again) and much more. No is a great way to prevent your dog from being medicated. No is a great way to balance your pups life and learn what to avoid doing. No is not a standalone and should never make up the bulk of your interaction. Yet it is critical to the thriving of your pup.