Oh Behave Dog Training

Book Dawn @


It’s OK for Your Dog to Say “No”

Scared dog

Your dog should have autonomy and choices.  But what if you need your dog to do something he doesn’t want to do? That’s where dog trainers can help.  Credentialed and qualified dog trainers can convince your dog that saying “yes” can be the best thing ever.

Understanding why your dog is saying “no” is very helpful for a dog trainer to create a plan for their client’s success in getting “yes” from a dog.  There are many reasons why a dog would say no.  Here are some reasons why a dog may not want to do something or allow something to be done to him and what it looks like to get a dog to say “yes” without force, fear, or pain.

It’s scary or It’s uncomfortable
Obviously, dog owners should not be doing anything with their dog that is dangerous or painful.  However, some dogs are fearful of situations that are not dangerous, but they perceive it as scary.  Working with a dog trainer to change your dog’s perception of those situations can help tremendously. A dog trainer will likely use desensitization and counterconditioning.  However, if your dog is so fearful of the situation, that it cannot be presented at a low enough intensity for the dog to be comfortable, a Veterinary Behaviorist may be effective.

Something else is more valuable
“Get off the couch” is a common theme for owners to start using force with their dogs.   I usually get the call when things escalate to growling or snapping.  A dog trainer can help dog owners convince a dog that a dog bed or the floor is way more valuable.

The dog doesn’t understand what you want
Dogs don’t speak English. A good dog trainer understands principles of operant conditioning and classical conditioning. What does that mean to the dog owner? It means the dog trainer can demonstrate very precise skills and training techniques for your dog to understand the behavior that is the goal.

It’s way above the dog’s pay grade
It takes time and lots of practice for a dog to learn advanced behaviors.  Imagine teaching a child advanced geometry, if they are just learning their multiplication tables.

There are too many distractions
For learning to take place, it can be difficult to compete with environmental distractions.  A knowledgeable dog trainer can help you teach a skill in a low distraction environment. Once proficiency in the behavior is achieved, distraction can be added slowly to the behavior is generalized to many environments.

The dog doesn’t feel well
A dog’s physical limitations, discomfort, and pain can impact his willingness to say yes.  Sometimes it’s because the dog is expected to do something that may cause pain and discomfort. Other times it’s because the dog deals with discomfort and pain chronically.  “Itchy dogs” tend to be “grumbly” because they deal with discomfort and sometimes just want to be left alone.

Please honor your dog’s needs and give them the time, space, patience, veterinary care, proper training, nutrition, and grooming. You may just get an enthusiastic “heck yeah” out of your dog rather than having to fight a never-ending or escalating battle.

Looking for a top notch dog trainer/behavior expert in Greater Fort Lauderdale? Please call Oh Behave Dog Training at 954-587-2711 now for a free phone consultation.


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This