No doesn't mean No?
My wife and i got our first puppy about a month ago. "Kona" is an absolute mess of genetic material; the breeds we know he represents are German Shepherd, Lab, and Pit. But he looks like a Rottweiler.
Kona was only about six weeks old when he came to us, but he's coming along remarkably well. He's almost house trained, and for the most part he's a good dog, and smart enough to make us optimistic he'll turn out OK.
The problem is he's stubborn as get-out. I have experience with this, sorta... my last dog was a Pit who i got when she was nine months old. She was mean along with her stubborn, so it was an adventure training her without getting eaten. But aside from that, she didn't really do anything i had to say "no" to.
We have a manual... er... "Good Dog, Bad Dog" i think. It came highly recommended. It's got a lot of good advice, but the one bit of advice that isn't working is the bit about saying "no." The book says to say it once, and only once, and if it doesn't work then you're saying it wrong.
I'm completely out of different ways of saying "no." I've tried every pitch, volume, and inflection my vocal chords are capable of. He hears it sometimes, for some things, but if he's doing something really interesting then he doesn't hear it at all.
I'm told never to whack my dog, but dangit sometimes it's the only thing that gets his attention. Like any puppy, he's very oral, but his nipping and biting were starting to hurt and i started whacking him, gently, on the snout to make him associate "no" with something he should pay attention to. It worked, sorta, for me, but not for my wife. I mean he doesn't bite me anymore. But he still don't hear "no" if it's not what he wants to hear.
Need some new advice, please. I don't want to whack my dog. It seems futile, in that it takes ever more forceful whacks to get his attention. Also it's useless when he's not near me, i have to go over to him to say "no" and whack him if necessary, and he's figured that out and he runs away, laughing.
The tension level is rising in our home. Kona will not stop biting my wife, on the hands, feet, and even face, and i'm afraid she's gonna get mad and whack him good. But besides that, i'd like "no" to mean "no," no questions asked.
Er. Not to say it's all stressed out and angry and violent here. Heh. We really feel blessed, Kona is a good dog and we're totally in love with him. It's just difficult when he gets all puppified and runs from one "no" to another, laughing at us and our pathetic attempts to tell him "no."