No And Eh-eh

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by Ina, Mar 15, 2011.


Do you use No or EH EH with your dog?

Yes 7 vote(s) 100.0%
No 0 vote(s) 0.0%
  1. Ina Well-Known Member

    Hi everyone.

    I am a big fan of Kikopup - by now I watched all of Emily's videos and I love her style. However, one thing I don't understand is that she insists on using ONLY positive reinforcement. Don't say "NO"or "Eh-Eh" .

    Quite often I find myself saying "Eh-Eh" - it's one of those habits I can't get rid of. But this is what made me think:
    In a dog family the leader will growl at puppies if he doesn't like something. So why should a dog handler not use any negative verbal reinforcement?

    Your thoughts on this please ....
    shaktishiloh likes this.

  2. rouen Experienced Member

    No Reward Markers do have the possibility to limit what a dog offers. For example, if you're shaping your dog to back up, and she's doing well until the 5th trial and she turns her head and you give her a NRM, she will be less likely to offer a head turn later on because in her mind it's not a behavior worth trying again.
    When I work with Dasy I dont use a NRM. Dingo on the other hand seems to get stuck periodically, he wont get frustrated just stuck. So a NRM helps him, but it has brought on some limitations and may infact be the reason he gets stuck to begin with.
    I would rather work with both of them without a NRM though.
  3. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    I do love the idea of teaching your dog with 100% positive methods--even no verbal "No"s or "Eh-eh"s. But, I do use these periodically as I am still trying to learn myself the most effective way to not use these. But really, I rarely ever use them anyway. I don't use NO as a scold. I use NO in training, not in a harsh voice. If I'm trying to shape something for instance, or if Mud goes in a different direction and isn't understanding exactly what I want, I'll say, "Noooo, try again!" to let her know she needs to try something completely different. But "NO" is not scolding or even firm, it's just no. Hard to explain I guess, but basically I use NO just to establish that they aren't doing exactly what I want--not in trouble, just need to try something different. I use "Eh-eh" if they are doing something they shouldn't, and the volume is no higher than a normal speaking volume. The tone is just slightly more firm than normal. I also use "HEY!" This is my THAT'S REALLY BAD! word. I very rarely ever use this. I have used this with Mud if she's a little too snappy with pups(she is not tolerant of puppies at all, very snappy), and that's pretty much it. I never ever use this with Zekers. He would completely shut down if I used this with him; he's just too timid. With him the biggest sign that I'm disapproving of something is to remove myself from him, or remove his beloved tennis ball. That's HUUUUGE for him, I rarely even do this. Most of the time just a look will give him the hint that he needs to get back on track. If I'm training him, I just use a NRM and/or the "Nooo, try again." This is a very passive way to let him know he needs to do something different.

    With many dogs, I don't think "Eh-ehs" will cause issues so long as they aren't overused. But, like I said, I do like the idea of not having to use them at all and still getting the same results with purely positive methods. For me, I believe that it is completely possible to have a well-behaved dog training/raising the way Emily does, I'm just still trying to figure out the proper way to go about it.
  4. Ina Well-Known Member

    Hi again.

    I must say that I haven't used any negative words during our training session. Only when the dog is highly concentrated (and very hungry) will I introduce a new command. Also, the more Smokey learns the easier it is to distract unwanted behavior. For example, now that he learnt "Leave it" I can use this command instead of the typical Ëh-Eh"

    Right now we are sorting out the pack order. Probably because the kids play alot on the floor with him, not quite understanding the rules of the pack, he thinks they are ranking lower than he is. So if I am away, he won't listen to any command the kids give to him (the door bell rings, kid tells the dog to sit so that they can open the door - he just goes back to his original behavior, to try and get through the open door first to see who is there). One after the other the kids are now allowed to feed the dog, give him treats when they give commands and are told to stop playing wrestling on the floor with the dog. That should hopefully get the message across quickly.
  5. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    With the tone of voice I use, and the meaning that I've given the word, NO is not negative. It's just a sign that they are offering a different behavior than I want. Not that it's bad, just that they need to try something else. I think it's a common misconception that all dogs think the word NO is amazingly bad. COOKIES! could be bad if you gave it a bad meaning with a bad tone and the right conditioning. No could mean anything at all that you conditioned it to mean.
  6. rouen Experienced Member

    Sounds to me like he hasn't generalized the behavior. Of course I dont buy into all the dominance theory garb either. O_o
  7. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Rouen, I'm right there with you - I agree that it sounds like he hasn't generalized the behavior. Ina, I don't think "pack order" has anything to do with Smokey not "listening to" or obeying the kids. Have the kids do short training sessions with him (behaviors he knows) - ask for behaviors, reward appropriately - all under your supervision. Not sure how many kids you have (maybe I missed it), but keep sessions very simple, one child at a time, so not too many distractions for him. He'll come to understand that no matter who asks him or who's involved, these are the rules, and this is what's expected. He's not trying to dominate anyone - dogs do what works for them. He's learned that he can bend the rules with the kids, and most likely, it's worked - for him and the kids. With short training sessions, he'll come to understand that the same rules apply to the kids.

    Dogs have to learn to "generalize" - they have to learn to "sit" when you ask, maybe in the kitchen. Ever notice that maybe they don't do so well in the living room (when first learning)? It's because they haven't "generalized" the behavior yet. Ok, so now they can "sit" in the kitchen and living room - then they have to "learn" to do it outside. And then - they need to understand that other people can ask them to sit, also (just using "sit" as an example here). Same thing now with behaviors and your kids. Smokey needs to learn to listen to your kids - he has to generalize, to realize that it's all the same, inside/outside, you/kids, same rules everywhere, no matter who asks him. He'll get it - give him time.
  8. Ina Well-Known Member

    Hi again.

    Thanks for all the advice.
    I have 3 boys - the eldest is 11, next is 7 and the little one is 5 years old (as he calls it Ï'm now a handful"). Especially the youngest has issues and I have started with him doing the training. The dog got a bit confused at first ... "Hey, why had this little friend the treats in his hand and asks me to sit?" I told my son to turn away if the dog doesn't listen on the second try. That sorted the behavior out very quickly (we had mince meat as a treat <evil grin>. He is just a bit slow on the clicking, but the dog didn't seem to mind and all :)
  9. mewzard Experienced Member

    I have 2 kids one is nearly 7 and the other is just 4 - amusingly Oka listens to the youngest more. With my 2 i would stand with them and help them with the hand signs and luring then as Oka started to listen to them, i moved away slowly so she realise the kids were treating her not me. She will /sit/ and /down/ for my youngest but so far only /sit/ for the eldest.

    I do use 'ah-ah' when she is making a wrong choice in general everydayness, not in training. However i have started to think the way of Kikopup and am working more with her on the things that i use it for...basically i need a stronger /leave it/ command! I don't use it often probably not even once in a day but i'd like to get away from it.

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