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  • Writer's pictureThe SCDT Team

Transforming Dog Training: The Power of "Yes"

In the world of dog training, the word "no" often takes centre stage. It's the go-to command when our dogs misbehave, whether they're jumping up, stealing things, or chewing on items they shouldn't be. But what if there was a different approach, one that focuses on positive reinforcement?

Have you found yourself faced with a familiar challenge: my dog just doesn't respond to the word "no." Frustrated and unsure of what to do next? Lets introduce: teaching with the word "yes."

The premise is simple, instead of constantly correcting unwanted behaviours with "no," we shift our focus to reinforcing desired actions with "yes." It's a subtle change in language that can be very impactful.

Using "yes" as a marker for desired behaviours is the same as a clicker in training. Every time we say "yes," we're signalling to our dogs that they've done something right, and a reward is on its way. It creates clarity and consistency, making it easier for our dogs to understand what we want from them.

So, an example of using "yes" would be... Whenever your dog gives you a positive action – sitting, lying down, or even just staying calm – you would enthusiastically say "yes" and promptly reward them.

Repeating this process should mean your dog will become more attentive and eager to please, and your bond will grow stronger as well. By focusing on the affirmative, you will be able to communicate effectively with them and reinforce the behaviours you want to see more of.

The power of "yes" extends beyond basic obedience commands. It can be applied to virtually any aspect of training, from lead manners to grooming routines. By consistently pairing the word "yes" with desired behaviours, you can create a positive association that motivates your dogs to repeat those actions willingly.

Of course, teaching with "yes" requires patience and dedication. It's not a quick fix or a one-size-fits-all solution. But for those willing to put in the time and effort, the rewards are immeasurable.

So the next time you find yourself at odds with your dog, consider embracing the power of "yes." Focus on what you want your dog to do, rather than what you want them to stop doing, and watch as your training sessions become more productive and enjoyable for both of you. After all, a little positivity can go a long way in building a strong and lasting relationship with your dog.

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