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Teaching Kali ‘No’

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By Sue Williams Bsc, GODT(MT), MCFBA, Chairwoman Guild of Dog Trainers 3 September 2014

It feels like Kali has been here forever, she has fitted in so well and is adorable.

I have been building on her socialisation and it’s really hard to believe she is so young. She is gaining confidence all the time.

Kali is now conditioned really well to the ‘Good’. I have started to consolidate this further by teaching her to make direct eye contact with me. This is going to help her develop her focus on me as I want her to look to me for guidance. She is picking this up really well and will even turn away from one of Natural Instinct chicken hearts ( her favourite treat)!!!!

I have now introduced the ‘No’. ‘No’ is one of the most misunderstood and misused words used by people with their dogs. The vast majority of people don’t think to teach their pup what ‘No’ means, they assume they understand, but when you think about it why would it be any different to expect a pup to understand the word ‘sit’ without teaching it? Its exactly the same for ‘No’ and yet the word is used so often by people to their pets Im sure lots of pups think they are actually called No!!

The film we took shows my first session with Kali. Points to notice are:

  •     How quickly she starts to understand.
  •     How I say’ No’ , never raise your voice or be harsh its unnecessary.
  •     Watch how Kali’s tail is wagging.
  •     Once she has done what I want she immediately gets a ‘good’ followed by a reward.


I love teaching using these type of techniques, I can actually see Kali thinking and her brain tick as she works out what to do. It’s truly amazing to think puppies this young can learn through making a choice and they seek to do what is rewarding!

This week Kali made her debut with The Cheshire Dog Display Team. We travelled on Friday all the way to Cumnock in Scotland to perform at the Cumnock Tattoo and Highland Games. The first display was to take place on Saturday evening at the Tattoo, which meant I had Saturday day time to acclimatise Kali. She had a great time exploring and playing. She loved being on the stage, (is this a sign for the future!) which was being set up for the bands and made the workmen giggle when she found a tape measure which she picked up and ran off with!

As the time for the performance drew closer the excitement was building and once the Tattoo started the atmosphere was electric! The team was set to perform once it was dark, after the interval at 9pm which meant we were under floodlights. Kali was to appear about half way through our display, I didn’t have time to get nervous as I was busy taking part with Maddie, Kali’s great aunt.

Derek had organised the run through so I had time to ensure Kali was happy before entering the arena. I collected Kali from her crate and stood in the wings waiting to enter. We walked on to a cheer and gasps of ‘ahhhs’ Kali grew in stature, she loved it, talk about a show off! It was as though I could hear her thoughts ‘game on, wow, im the centre of attention’ I think its safe to say a ‘star has been born’    Kali has the X factor!!

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