Why this signal?
In some situations, a stop signal is important to stop the dog’s behavior. Examples of this are picking up food on the roadside or barking at the garden fence. So there are situations in which you as a dog owner should be able to stop a problematic or even dangerous behavior for your dog. Basically, there are different ways to stop an unwanted behavior of the dog. Let’s take a closer look.
Cancelation signal in different variants
If your german shepherd gums shows unwanted behavior, the most elegant and very understandable way for the dog is to end it. You just tell him directly what to do instead. For example. B your dog just wants to jump into a muddy puddle. You could ask him to come to you. Your callback signal or abort signal thus cancels the jumping into the puddle. If he just wants to jump on your visit, you could ask him to sit down, etc. In this way, you remain very positive in dealing with your dog and he will ideally even get a reward for the alternative behavior.
Another variant is to meet your dog on the relationship level and make him understand that he will get “trouble” with you if he continues to show the behavior. Very often, the strictly spoken “no” or a harder “ey” is used as a signal.
Attention! In terms of learning theory, we are in the punitive area here because we are working with a social threat that is unpleasant for our dog. For this to be fair at all, it is imperative that your dog knows what he can do to resolve this conflict. So he also needs at this point from you the hint, what he should do instead. Therefore, a signal for an alternative behavior should also follow here! So you could also start directly with the variant one.
A third option is to give your dog a signal to understand that the behavior shown is not right and that it is not worth it to him to continue with it. If he shows a different, better behavior, he can also work out a reward again. Here he is neither threatened with trouble nor given an alternative. It is supposed to correct itself, which is why this signal is often called a “correction signal”.
What does the training of the correction signal look like?
The training is built up positively and without pressure. In order for you to have the right mental setting for the correction signal, you should choose a word that fits the meaning. Remember: this is not an inhibition, but the motivation for a change in behavior. As a signal word are e.B” “Better”, “Different” or “Nönö”. Pronounce the signal softly and friendly and also make sure not to bring in any body language pressure.
Sit down with your dog on the floor, prepare some treats and start this exercise: you take a treat in your hand, hold it to your dog and say “Take”. He is allowed to take it without anything else being demanded. You repeat this three to four times.
Now you take the treat, hold it up to your dog, say nothing and wait. If your dog wants to take it, you first say your corrective word (e.B. “Nönö”) and then close the hand before your dog can take it. But your hand remains at the same height. Now you wait until your dog shows any behavior other than trying to get the food in your hand. It could be that he turns away, looks at you, takes a step back, sniffs the ground, sits down, etc. No matter what other behavior your dog shows, this will be immediately rewarded by you by giving your dog a piece of food from your other hand! In this way, your dog learns the “Nönö” in a playful way. It is embedded in many positive repetitions and is not at all negatively linked to your dog.
In order to make the training as positive as possible, it is advisable to include the “Nönös” between the exercises. It’s best to start with at least two repetitions, where you release the treat directly, so hold it up and say “Take”. Then comes the sequence where you say “Nönö”. If your dog shows a different behavior, the reward follows again from the other hand. Then you finish the training with the simple “take” exercise. So your four-legged friend will also find great fun at the “Nönö” and this signal will not trigger fear in him – on the contrary, it only serves as a means of communication. He will be motivated to show a different, better behavior in order to get a reward again.
With the “Nönö” exercise, you should only wait a short time at the beginning until you dissolve your dog and he receives the reward so that his frustration does not become too great – he should also keep having fun with it. So watch out for the smallest behavioral changes that you can reward. If you practice regularly and your dog is not new to the signal, you can wait longer.
In everyday life
In everyday situations, healthcare german shepherd can use the abort signal “Nönö” as soon as your dog has understood the principle. Make sure that you integrate the normal training in between so that the signal does not lose its importance.
In order for the abort signal to remain positive in the long run, you should praise your dog exuberantly as soon as he has stopped the unwanted behavior and shown a different behavior. In this way, he internalizes that the termination or the change in behavior is definitely worthwhile for him.