I Yelled ‘NO’! I Admit it!

Little Pickle is my Working Cocker Spaniel.pickle2

Oh – yes?

No surprise then.

I feed my dogs out on covered decking then come in and leave them to it. The greediest dog, my Labrador Zara (again no surprise there) is fed in a crate to keep her out of trouble.

The water bucket is out there on the decking with them.

When the dogs come back from the field, Pickle’s way of drinking water is to put his front feet in the water bucket as he drinks, and then to dig furiously in the water, getting it filthy and half-emptying the bucket (see the wet feet?).

That’s fine. It’s just Pickle. I change the water.

Over a period of weeks I have been noticing small wet patches on the decking, in the morning, when it’s not been raining. There is wet on the side of the water bucket when nobody has been drinking. There may be a puddle beside Zara’s crate or by my boots on against the chair.

A while ago I put my foot into my boot – ugh!!! I didn’t know who the culprit was though suspected – and I do know now.

pickleYesterday I watched through the glass door as Pickle finished his meal. He went to sniff to see if Milly had left anything and then went to lift his leg on the water bucket.

I threw open the door and yelled ‘NO!’. He stopped. He looked surprised and then pottered off into the garden.

This morning I watched through the glass door as he finished his meal. He went to sniff to see if Milly had left anything and then went to lift his leg on Zara’s crate.

I threw open the door and yelled ‘NO!’. He stopped. Again, he looked surprised and then pottered off into the garden.

Looking back, I realise that this has gone on for a long time and so it will now be a habit.

Clever people will now say I should teach him an MEB – Mutually Incompatible Behaviour, also called DRI – Differential Rate of Incompatible Behaviour.

What? I could probably think up something. As soon as he’s finished teach him to come indoors? But I don’t want him indoors at this time, I have jobs to do and he can be a pain.


It’s a lot easier to catch him in the act and yell ‘NO!’

Breaking all the rules and I would never do it if he was in any way a fearful dog.  Not what I would advise my clients to do, that’s for sure.

Will it work long-term? Only time will tell!

PS. Pickle IS castrated.


About Theo Stewart

I am a dog Behaviourist C.C.B (Certified Canine Behaviourist) INTODogs). I have helped over 3000 dog owners over eighteen years. In addition to online consultations all over the world, I cover Beds, Herts, Cambs and Bucks for home visits. A 'Victoria Stilwell' Positively Dog Trainer (VSPDT) and a full member of the IMDT. Graduate ISCP, International School for Canine Practitioners. My main site: www.dogidog.co.uk
This entry was posted in behaviour and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to I Yelled ‘NO’! I Admit it!

  1. Pingback: I Yelled ‘NO’! I Admit it! | Paws for Thought

  2. woofers53 says:

    I have got a “no” too. I use it for when the dogs are doing something I really don’t want them to do and when they are doing it fairly calmly like digging up and trashing my expensive auto watering soaker hose. The word could be anything really, its a “stop what you are doing and pay attention to me now” signal. But…….well its only an interruptor…….I know that you know that to stop the behaviour, you need to do three things. The first is to rule out a physical cause, the second is to remove the stimulus and the third, yes the third is to teach/put in place the MIB. I think if you teach him to come indoors, you risk him starting to pee indoors and nobody wants that! Instead could you teach him to go and pee somewhere else immediately after eating? If it was me, I’d get a new waterbucket and put the old one where you want him to pee. Give the decking, crate and anything else he has “claimed” a good clean with a scent remover and remove temporarily anything that can be removed, then work on a new habit….that is after breakfast is pee at the bucket/pee station time. To start with he might need to be leashed and you’ll have to put in the supervision and training of course but I think its a definite possibility…..I’d love to know if it works….


  3. inga van der heiden says:

    and did it work?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s