Dogs Unknown

Is it Okay to say 'No' to Your Dog? (Summer Mini-Episode)

August 21, 2023 Brian Burton and Sarah Fraser Season 3 Episode 16
Dogs Unknown
Is it Okay to say 'No' to Your Dog? (Summer Mini-Episode)
Show Notes

Today we are going to delve into the question of whether telling your dog 'no' can have a place within a positive training approach. We think it's a pretty fair question and it's one we actually get asked a lot by new clients who come to see us.

It's understandable because there's a lot of emphasis in positive training (as there should be) on trying to set your dog up to succeed, trying to help them make desirable choices, training in a way that they generally enjoy or want to listen to cues, and allowing a lot of choice and control so that they have the option to opt-in or opt-out.

But what about those times when you need your dog to stop doing something or maybe start doing something else in the now, and they're not opting in or following cues (or maybe they don't have those skills under their belt yet)? How do we handle those situations in a way that protects our dog's behavioral health and also protects the relationship that we have with them that supports a healthy relationship dynamic?

This is what we are tackling today.

Hosts Brian Burton (he/him/his) and Sarah Fraser (she/her/hers) are Co-Founders and Co-CEOs of INSTINCT Dog Behavior & Training. Both are Certified Dog Behavior Consultants and have Master's degrees in Animal Behavior from Hunter College/CUNY.

INSTINCT has 11 locations across the US and services the global community via virtual consults. Over 20,000 students have also taken courses at INSTINCT's online school (with many free courses available): Learn more at

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Youtube Version of the Episode (video):