How to Change Your Dog’s Correction Word

To consistently keep my dog aware of his negative behaviors even during his obedience training, I always say, “NO!” without attaching his name to it, and then give him a quick pop (prong collar) to reinforce my morivational correction — all in a timely manner. And it works perfectly all right. He’s now in fact a very obedient dog that any owner can be proud of.

The only thing I’d like to alter is my constanct use of “NO!” I just don’t want to use it anymore as it’s already common in our place. Almost all trainers in our community use the same negative expression on their dogs walking around my dog while in a down position. (I just feel that every time my dog hears the word “NO!”, even if it’s not meant for him and his behavior, he gets confused). Who knows but perhaps my dog in a quandary is beginning to ask himself: “Oh gosh, what have I done wrong this time??” Is it still possible to introduce a new word that I can substitute for “NO!” exclusively to my dog.

I want the word “NO!” to be totally taken out of my dog’s vocabulary. Please advise, sir! How am I to do it properly and slowly? Thanks, Alberto Dear Alberto: Yes, it is posible. But it can take awhile. What you’ll need to do is to re-associate something positive with the word, NO. Start by just whispering the word, NO! and then feeding your dog a piece of hot dog. Gradually, over a period of days, start saying the word louder and more forcefully, and then give the dog a piece of hot dog. Pretty soon, he’ll be happily wagging his tail when he hears the word, NO! Just be sure that YOU keep it consistent and don’t accidentally use the word NO! when you go to correct him.