How to teach a puppy “no” – a complete guide

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Every dog owners must know how to teach a puppy no, because this command is very useful:

  • It will help stop your puppy from doing dangerous things, like running into the road or trying to eat something nasty off the floor or potty.
  • You can also use this command to stop your puppy from biting, chewing, jumping and other unwanted behavior.

You will need lots of treats and time to train your dog. Because every command needs to be reinforced many times.

teach the dog no outside

Step 1 – Teaching basic commands at home

Start training when your puppy is hungry. It won’t work if it is full.

  1. Take the treat and show it to the dog. When it runs up to grab the treat, clench it in your fist and say the command “No”.
  2. Move away from the puppy for a short distance and repeat the first step several times. Your goal is for your dog to leave your hand alone when you say “No” and not try to reach for the treat, but wait for further commands.
  3. Teach your puppy that it can eat treats when you say “Okey”. When the pup stops trying to reach for the treat that is forbidden to take, praise it. Give the treat, but from the other hand, and say the command “okay”.
teaching dog with treats

Repeat the exercise regularly several times a day. Your pet needs to understand that when you say No, it needs to stop doing what it is doing and that it would be praised for good behavior.

Dogs understand body language, so your facial expression and posture are important during training. Voice intonation also plays a role. If you speak in your normal voice, the dog will not understand whether it is being scolded or praised.

Step 2 – Teach your pup to focus on you

Over time, try to make the task more difficult. Don’t give the dog a treat as soon as it performs the required action. Be quiet for a while and watch the dog. If it starts making eye contact with you as well, then give it the treat.

This way your puppy will know that at the command “No” it must not only stop doing something, but also focus attention on you. If you want your dog to be able to show even more composure, then teach it to wait longer for a treat.

teach a dog no comand

When you have established eye contact with your dog, take your time giving the treat. Let the dog wait while looking at you.

Step 3 – Teach the dog follows the command, when the treat is easier to get

When the treat is clenched in your fist, it’s clear that the puppy can’t get it. But it needs to learn to obey when the treat is lying open on the floor.

The treat you use to encourage your dog should be more palatable than the one on the floor. You need to know your furry baby’s preferences well.

treats for dog on the floor

Step 4 – Use the command outdoors

Try repeating the same command when you are walking outside:

  • You can put treats in the road beforehand, then take the puppy out.
  • When it smells the treat and wants to grab it, stop it, say No. Stop until the dog stops pulling the leash or keep walking forward. 

If the pup listens to your command and looks at you, then praise it and give it a treat from your pocket.

Step 5 – Reduce the number of treats

Gradually decrease the amount of treats you give for completing the command. You won’t be able to bring treats with you all the time, so your dog should be able to obey without them. At first, give treats every once in a while, just praise your pup, and that’s all. Then do it even less often.

Another method 

This method is almost the same as the previous one, only here we use an additional negative action reinforcement. Such reinforcement will be a rattle, which makes a loud and unpleasant sound. It can be made from a tin filled with pebbles. Again, your pup must be hungry enough.

Prepare a rattle, lots of your dog’s favorite treats, and get started:

  1. Put the treat in the center of the large room.
  2. When the puppy tries to come up to the treat and eat it, suddenly start rattling your rattle and say “No.”
  3. Move the puppy away, and repeat your steps again. The frightening noise of the rattle and your stern command will let it know it must stop.

Once your puppy understands what you want it to do, try training it without the rattle, with just the “No” command.

 Important things

To make it easier for your puppy to do the No command, keep these three things in mind:

  1. Your puppy should have toys. If you consistently tell it not to chew  things or anything else and don’t give it anything in return, the results will be short-lived. Puppies need something to play with and chew on. You can switch your dog’s attention to its toy and when it tries to do something forbidden.
  2. You can also try not only to forbid the dog to do something, but to teach it what it MAY do. For example, if you don’t want your dog to jump on you, teach it the “sit” command. And if you don’t want your dog to pull your pants, for example, give him a toy instead.
  3. You must exercise and walk your dog sufficiently. Your puppy needs somewhere to put its energy. Otherwise it will be too active at home and not obedient.
  4. Put away all the things you don’t want your dog to touch. While your puppy is small, it needs to get to know the world and everything around it. So if there are a lot of items within reach, it will want to explore them. As long as it doesn’t know the command No, you shouldn’t leave much provocation. 

I hope these tips will help you! Write in the comments about your observations of what helps to teach your dog the command No.

FAQ

How long does it take a puppy to learn no?

Most dogs begin to understand the command after 5-10 lessons, but undoubtedly it will take more time to consolidate this command.

When can Puppies understand no?

Training can begin at 8 weeks of age. Then puppies can already focus their attention on something.

Is it OK to tell a puppy no?

This is a normal and even necessary command. It helps to keep your pet safe from all kinds of trouble.

This video can tell you more:

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