The Problem with “NO”

Tuesday’s Training Tip: The Problem with “NO”

There is nothing inherently wrong with telling an animal “no,” except that it doesn’t give them enough information. Instead of saying “no!”, show them what you want them to do instead. Animals don’t generalize; their behaviors are very specific, so we should be specific. For example, when the cat jumps on the counter, the dog jumps on a person, or the bird chews on something inappropriate, rather than saying “NO!” to the unwanted behavior, ask for another behavior such as “off”, “sit”, or “give”.

“No” is not a behavior. We should be asking for another behavior instead of the one that we don’t want to see.

Be clear in what you want them to do, rather than what you *don’t* want them to do. You will see faster results and everyone will be less frustrated!

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