Teach the Concept of NO

To encourage chewing on appropriate things, start playing with her toys throughout the day. Steal a toy, shake it in front of her face, and run away and hide.

Set up the following situation to teach your dog to avoid her unsuitable favorites (your things).

1 Place an object, such as a paper towel or a shoe, in the middle of the floor.

2 Walk your dog into the room on a leash.

3 The moment she shows interest in the object, pull back on the leash and say NO.

4 Shout at the object. That's right—at the object, not at your dog. Don't even look at your dog—you are communicating that the object is bad and that your dog should avoid it.

5 Walk your dog by the object until she avoids even looking at it.

6 Redirect your dog to her BONE or TOY. Good job!

You can apply the same techniques to other household objects, such as wastepaper baskets and dishwashers. The same rule applies: set up the situation and correct the thought process. Once your dog is in the midst of misbehaving, you're too late to make an impression—if that's the case, calmly separate her and let it go.

Once your dog begins to understand that NO means to curb her impulse, you can use it in other situations, such as keeping her from chasing a cat or a child: no correcting the object required!

If your dog is a cat-chasing addict, take the two animals into a small bathroom with your dog on a leash and training collar. The moment she looks to your cat, pull back on the leash and say NO and give another direction, like SIT or DOWN. Continue this process until the two of them can sit comfortably together in a small room. Gradually enlarge the space until your dog is able to contain her impulses indoors and out.

Set up other situations in a similar way. If she can't keep her tongue off the plates in the dishwasher, bring her into the kitchen on her leash and training collar. Open the dishwasher, and the moment she's temped to check it out, pull back and say NO. Without further hesitation, correct the dishes. Bang a wooden spoon to a pot: BAD DISH. Ignore your dog as you do this and redirect him to a bone and bed when your point has been made.

If you catch your dog about to have an accident, interfere with a NO and hurry her to her potty area.

Point

Training

Point training is a valuable lesson in communicating with your dog. I introduced a playful point in chapter 5, but if you're starting with an older dog, you can teach this skill at any time. It will train your dog to look to you and follow the point of your finger for all directions, from SIT to greeting company civilly to performing tricks.

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