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Correct It, Redirect It


Dog owners often use words like off, stop, or no when they want the dog to stop behavior such as jumping, barking, or playing on furniture. This approach does not work long-term because it never teaches the dog what you want it to do.

In many other articles and podcast episodes, I have talked about the importance of always focusing on directing the dog to what you want and not focusing on what you don’t want the dog to do.

How to Correct it

I suggest using sounds instead of words. The sound you will use for the correction is “UH UH,” in a tone that sounds like a correction, low and intense.  If you prefer to use a word for the correction, I suggest “leave it,” “stop,” or “wait." I don’t suggest using “no.” Read this article on why No Is Not a Cue.

You must use the correction as the dog starts the unwanted behavior, not after they have done it and are overstimulated or excited. For example, if you want to correct join, use the correction the second that the dog's front paws come off the ground to interrupt the thought process of completing the rest of the unwanted behavior.  This is what we do in our Puppy Training Program.

I caution against using a lot of corrections with young puppies ages 8-16 weeks old until they have learned basic obedience first. This will only frustrate the puppy because they don’t know anything yet, and all they get is corrected, and they can sense your frustration. This is not an excellent way to start a relationship with your new puppy.

How to Redirect It

The moment after you give the correction, give the command that you want the dog to do, such as sit, down, or stay. This command should be the goal and focus, not the correction. People often focus only on the correction and never give a redirection. This is a huge mistake because it confuses the dog, and they don’t learn what you want them to do.

Oftentimes, just by practicing the redirection on its own, the dog will not need the correction. For example, if you were working on your dog not jumping, I suggest practicing recall, the “come” command, and as the dog approaches you, give the sit command BEFORE they think about jumping. This will work well if practiced regularly with constancy. Watch a video of this process with a 14-week-old Golden Retriever puppy. 


Try to stay focused on your goal, not the problem. This means working on the outcome that you want from your dog, such as sitting, lying down, or staying. If you focus on the problem, you will get more of the problem. 

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