I was recently quite dismayed to read an article in which a dog trainer stated something along the lines of: “I taught my children “no” so I teach my dogs “no” as well. The idea of not being able to say “no” to a dog is something we need to get over”. The author went on to say that the word “no” was a cue to her dogs – when I commented on the article and asked what she thought her dogs understood this cue to mean, I didn’t get an answer.
One of the first things we teach dog owners in our classes, is to avoid using the word “NO” with their dogs. I even know of a trainer who has a “swear jar” for clients who say “NO” to their dogs in class. So, I thought I would take some time to explain why myself and other force free trainers avoid this word like the plague: