Teaching the Difference Between Yes and No

It's essential


One of the most essential commands to any dog is simply the difference between yes and no. By doing this, your dog will then begin to associate these terms with their behaviour and eventually work out that “Yes” is positive and rewarded, and “No” is wrong and ignored.

For example:
Teaching Yes. You can do this whilst you’re out walking on a lead, just sitting at home or in any new locations. In the middle of doing something, randomly say “Yes” and give your dog a treat. Then try it again once they are more focused. Practice this 6-10 times in a row over the day to allow the association between yes and getting a treat is built. The next stage of teaching yes it to repeat the first stage, but don’t say “Yes” and give the treat until they hold eye contact with you for more than two seconds. This will then teach them that to make you say yes, she must first do something. Dogs pick this step up relatively quickly as they will be motivated by receiving the treat.

Teaching No. Place a treat in the palm of your hand and when your dog attempts to take the treat, say “No” in a sharp firm manner (without shouting). At this moment you should immediately clench your hand shut so they cannot get the treat. Naturally dogs will try persistently to get the treat so when your dog eventually takes a step back from your hand, say “Yes” and give the treat! This way they will learn to associate “No” with withdrawal of the treat.
The next stage is to use this when you’re out and about. When your dog is on the lead, throw a treat on the floor without announcing it. When they attempt to take the treat, enforce “No” and check the lead slightly if necessary. Repeat this until your dog makes no attempt to get the treat until you say “Yes” and allow it. You can also do this at home with toys to help her understand quicker. The goal is to get them to understand that “No” is unrewarding and the behaviour must be changed for a “Yes” command, followed by a treat.