How Many Times A Day Do You Say “NO” To Your Dog?
Have you ever stopped and thought about how many times a day you may say the word “NO” to your dog in any given day?
No! Get down!
No! Stop Barking!
No! Don’t Eat that!
No! Don’t jump up!
No! Come Here!
No! Stop That!
No! Don’t Chase That
No! Give That Back To Me!
No! Don’t Wee There!
No! Go To Your Bed!
No! You Bad Boy/Girl
No! No! No! No!
Every command starts with the word NO!
The word “NO” is a negative word.
There is, in fact, NOTHING positive about this little two letter word.
Since the day we have learned to listen and speak the human language our brains have learnt that “NO” means something negative and we want it to STOP or we don’t LIKE it.
The human mind has conditioned the word “NO” to elicit feelings of uncertainty, fear, frustration and annoyance.
When we say “NO” psychical sensations can be felt in the body such as, a tightening of the solar plexus region and chest, shortening of our breath, eyes widen, and muscles tense up.
Try it.. Shout the word “NO” out loudly.. notice how you feel.
Not very good right?
Just so you can feel the difference now shout “YES!” loudly…
Ok, now think back to a time where you have witnessed your dog behaving in an undesirable way and remember how you felt.
You perhaps felt annoyed, scared or angry and may have shouted at it or even lashed out and smacked it or punished it by sending it to its bed or yanking it hard on the lead.
You were probably left feeling frustrated by thinking:
“My dog just does not listen to me or respect me!” or “It has selective hearing and will only do things on its own terms!” or “He/she is so disobedient!”
We have all been there right?
Well what is happening in these moments is that the dog has behaved in a negative way and the human has responded in a negative way also, by trying to change the unwanted behaviour with punishment.
This means the circle of negative behaviour and negative response continues and the human just reinforces the dog’s negative behaviour by teaching it that it’s OK to become unbalanced in someway to get what you want or to make someone else change their behaviour.
If the dog does stop the unwanted behaviour temporarily because it has been punished in some way, then it is only responding through fear and not through respect and again that is a negative.
This lack of trust and respect in the relationship between human and dog will continue to manifest itself in other ways.
As the fear, anxiety and frustration continues to escalate, the human is more likely to continue to punish the dog and is more likely to smack it and the dog is more likely to learn aggression and attack back or attack other dogs whilst out on the walk.
In order to change the dog’s behaviour we must first break the cycle of negativity by responding to the dog in a calm, controlled and balanced manner.
This will have a far more positive outcome and teach the dog that in order to communicate and change things, it must learn to behave in a calm and controlled manner itself.
If our dog is showing undesirable behaviour and are unbalanced in some way, then we do need to teach the dog that there are consequences to its undesired behaviour and just ignoring it won’t be very effective either.
In psychology, ignoring the unwanted behaviour is called Extinction and it is a much harder method to get someone to change their behaviour.
Instead we need to use Oparent Conditioning and show the dog that there are consequences to the undesired behaviour, but we do this in a positive manner without punishing the dog.
We can look at ways of correcting or changing behaviour in a positive way so that the trust and respect in the relationship between human and dog remains intact.
If we can take the word “NO” out of our vocabulary when correcting a dog’s behaviour, then we are more likely to refrain from entering a negative state of mind ourselves.
Instead we can correct the dog by making a more positive sound that it can associate with correction such as a click of the fingers or a “Shush” noise!
If we repeat these responses every time the dog performs unwanted behaviour then the dog will soon learn that it is only going to receive the correction and nothing else.
Again this is really important when a dog is showing fear based energy or anxiety. Most humans will try and comfort the and reassure the dog with praise and affection at times like this and again that is only going to reinforce that unbalanced state of mind in the dog and the anxiety or fear will continue to escalate.
Praise and affection are to only be given when the dog is in a calm, balanced and relaxed state of mind.
If we use positive energy ourselves when correcting the dog, then it will be much more effective in changing the undesirable behaviour for good as we also teach the dog that positivity is how we want our pack to run.
Learning Interspecies Communication means using much less of the human language when communicating with our dogs and learning how to use the silent but powerful language our canines use with each other.
Try just for one day to STOP using the word “NO” or any other human language with your dog.
Instead replace it with a noise such as “Oi” or “Sssshush.” when correcting any unwanted behaviour and most important NEVER give your dog eye to eye contact when giving a correction, you must look at another part of its body.
Try to become aware and just notice your own feelings and what kind of energy you are projecting towards your dog..
Are you calm, centred and balanced, feeling confident and certain, or do you feel fearful, worried, agitated or frustrated?
Notice the difference of how your dog responds to you when you are centred and balanced and showing confidence to when you are feeling agitated in some way.
Remember what we give out is what we get back and in order to change another’s behaviour, we must first change our own and respond to them in a calm and balanced way.
Our dogs are mirrors and reflect back at us what’s going on inside of us at a deeper level and as you learn to calm your behaviour down, so too will your dog.
If you would like more lessons on interspecies communication, human or dog psychology, please remember I have my next 3 day training course in October, where I will be going into much more depth about these subjects.
Click Here For More Details:
Or you can book me for 1-2-1 Mentoring in your own home.
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Before I sign off, I have a quick announcement to make, I am speaking at a FREE Seminar up in the North UK in Cleveland on the 22nd of October 2015, 7.30-9.30 pm and will be holding health and behaviour clinics where you can bring your pets to me on the 23rd & 24th.
Normanby, 514 Normany Road, Cleveland, TS6 9BS
Please make it along if you can. Pop the date in your diary and I will provide more details about this in my next blog..
Until next time
Much Love & Light