Help Understanding 'NILF'

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Help Understanding 'NILF'

This is a discussion on Help Understanding 'NILF' within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; I'm in a very difficult situation, you can browse this forum for the basic idea: So Frustrated... | Avian Avenue Parrot Forum . All of ...

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Old 08-20-2014, 07:58 PM
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Help Understanding 'NILF'

I'm in a very difficult situation, you can browse this forum for the basic idea: So Frustrated... | Avian Avenue Parrot Forum . All of the negative things aside, I am going to try to make my parents use the NILF method.
But I need help, I read articles on the NILF method, and they give one or two examples, but I need more than that so I can apply it to my dog. I need as many examples as possible.

My dog is a pup, a Pitbull named Spector. We adopted him from the Wildlife/Animal Rescue, but were told he was a healthy 3 year old. He turned out to be a pup with pneumonia, and after he was cured we were left with a pup who is very high energy, something we didn't want but are trying as best we can to deal with it. The forum posts I make (Klomonx on there as well) give some more information.
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Old 08-20-2014, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Klomonx View Post
I'm in a very difficult situation, you can browse this forum for the basic idea: So Frustrated... | Avian Avenue Parrot Forum . All of the negative things aside, I am going to try to make my parents use the NILF method.
But I need help, I read articles on the NILF method, and they give one or two examples, but I need more than that so I can apply it to my dog. I need as many examples as possible.

My dog is a pup, a Pitbull named Spector. We adopted him from the Wildlife/Animal Rescue, but were told he was a healthy 3 year old. He turned out to be a pup with pneumonia, and after he was cured we were left with a pup who is very high energy, something we didn't want but are trying as best we can to deal with it. The forum posts I make (Klomonx on there as well) give some more information.
Honestly, I don't think NILIF is really going to help. It's sort of an outdated concept. You might benefit more from this book and the concepts that it promotes:
Plenty in Life Is Free: Reflections on Dogs, Training and Finding Grace: Kathy Sdao: 9781617810640: Amazon.com: Books Plenty in Life Is Free: Reflections on Dogs, Training and Finding Grace: Kathy Sdao: 9781617810640: Amazon.com: Books

Yes. Plenty in life is free. It's similar in a way. But the biggest difference is that it doesn't promote treating your dog like it's in bootcamp and barking commands at it before you let it have anything nice or pleasant. Dogs are emotional creatures, we have to be careful not to neglect their emotional needs. People have seen backlash when they start implementing a NILIF policy with their dog because the dog gets frustrated.

Maybe look into something SMARTx50. That's See Mark And Reward Training. Basically, you count out 50 pieces of kibble or 50 treats, and you use them like "caught being goods" from elementary school. You don't always have to command your dog to have something to reinforce. Look for behavior you like throughout the day. Is he choosing to be calm and sleep on his bed? That's a good behavior! Mark and toss him a treat, and give him some gentle, massaging pets. Did he choose not to chase the cat when it walked by? Mark and reward! If he's greets you gently and appropriately, mark and reward that too! It gets you in the habit of seeing your dogs good behaviors and reinforcing them, rather than just seeing the bad and getting frustrated.

NILIF also will not solve your dogs endless energy. You need to be doing a mix of physical exercise, as well as mental exercise. Look into clicker training and try some brain activities. Teach him object ID. Teach him rear end awareness. Body targetting. Teach a retreive. Teach nosework and scent discrimination.

Finally, food can affect energy level as well. What are you currently feeding him? A food that is super high in carbs can lead to excess energy because a dog's body will convert the carbs into sugar.
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Old 08-20-2014, 08:31 PM
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Most of us on DF don't advocate or recommend the more hard core version of NILF.

The hard core version is where a dog has to do some command for every little thing it may want, up to and including going out to potty, being played with, and being pet. It'd sort of be like you having to wash the dishes to use the bathroom, sweep the floor to get on the computer, and do the dishes for a hug.
It's no fun for me to have my dog like that and it's bound to be frustrating for him.

What we do advocate here is setting boundaries, using the dog's daily ration of kibble for training throughout the day, and most of all having fun with the dog. For instance with my dog I take the time to go on walks, and play with him to drain his energy, that way I don't have a hyper dog on my hands, and it's fun for both of us. The walks have lots of opportunity to train him, like sitting at the corners, loose leash walking, and impulse control. My having him sit at corners could be considered NILF since if he wants to continue walking he must sit.

I also have him do a command, usually sit, if I decide to feed him from his bowl, or before I put down his food puzzle toys, that's also sometimes considered NILF but I consider it a training opportunity and good dog manners. Also it's a safety concerns since he can knock the bowl out of my hands and send if flying if he jumps into it

I don't let him door dash, or gate dash, if he wants to go out the gate he has to wait for me to give him the O.K. and if he's really excited I'll make him sit as an extra precaution. Again that can be considered NILF but that's not the reason I do it. I do it as a training opportunity, for safety, and for some impulse control since he will not get to go out unless he sits and or waits.


If you are looking for a way to make him more settled try impulse control exercises. Reward him every time you see him just laying around chilling out. Make sure to provide enough exercise, both mental and physical. For mental try training, feed him out of food puzzles, and nose work. For physical, take him on walks, get him a long 30 to 50 ft training lead and let him run around in a field, play with him, and play with him with a flirt pole.
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Old 08-20-2014, 08:46 PM
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@TiggerBounce He gets fed Purina Puppy Chow. I have little to no control over what my parents buy for him.
I'll work on trying to inform parents on what we should be doing, but I'm afraid I can't get both my parents on board with it.
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Old 08-20-2014, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Klomonx View Post
@TiggerBounce He gets fed Purina Puppy Chow. I have little to no control over what my parents buy for him.
I'll work on trying to inform parents on what we should be doing, but I'm afraid I can't get both my parents on board with it.
If it's any help, you can show them this: Purina Puppy Chow | Review and Rating

Purina isn't a great food and that could be affecting his behavior. If they're looking for something affordable, look into Costco's brand name dog food (kirkland signature), Taste of the Wild, or 4Health (Tractor Supply's brand).

Yes, it is a little more expensive. But, these foods do not contain filler ingredients. Purina has lots of corn, which the dog gets nothing but energy from. It literally goes right through him. He has to eat more of that food to get nutrition. One any of the three foods I mentioned, they don't contain fillers like that. He won't eat as much. This means that even though it seems more expensive per bag, it'll end up costing about the same because you won't have to buy as much of it.

Also, I highly recommend you browse through Kikopup's videos and through our stickies for training help:

Training and Behavior Stickies

https://www.youtube.com/user/kikopup
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Old 08-21-2014, 06:26 AM
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I can't really add much to the advice TiggerBounce and Rain gave. I will suggest you take a look at this article: Should You Always Eat Before Your Dog? A key point in the article is,
Quote:
Everyone’s rules will be different, based on their lifestyle and needs. It doesn’t matter what your house rules are, so long as you have them.
Perhaps you and your parents could talk about what you expect from your dog - for his safety and your sanity, why it's important to be consistent, and how you will go about teaching him manners you desire.

There are several good resources for training. In addition to the ones TiggerBounce mentioned, Ian Dunbar's Dog Star Daily, Karen Pryor's Clicker Training site, and Sophia Yin's site are excellent resources. Plus, they have great books with more detailed information.

If it's possible, I'd look into taking an in-person class. There's a thread in the training and behavior stickies about finding a good trainer - and a good trainer is worth every penny.

Good luck and please keep us updated!
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Old 08-21-2014, 12:23 PM
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@TiggerBounce
I don't have any control over the food... it isn't price, it's convenience. My parents are very 'time is money', and there's no costco's near us. Any food we switch to has to be at our local stores. I don't drive or I'd offer to just go get the food myself. @cookieface
Due to my parent's work schedules, it's impossible for us to get a dog trainer. They are not off at the same times, usually, and the only one who drives is my dad, who works night turn and is only off on Fridays and Saturdays.
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Old 08-21-2014, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Klomonx View Post
@TiggerBounce
I don't have any control over the food... it isn't price, it's convenience. My parents are very 'time is money', and there's no costco's near us. Any food we switch to has to be at our local stores. I don't drive or I'd offer to just go get the food myself. @cookieface
Due to my parent's work schedules, it's impossible for us to get a dog trainer. They are not off at the same times, usually, and the only one who drives is my dad, who works night turn and is only off on Fridays and Saturdays.
What are your local stores? What do they sell there? A 3 year old dog should, at the very least, not be eating puppy food.

Also, some trainers will come to you--though probably for a higher price. You just have to call around and see if anybody offers it.
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Old 08-21-2014, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Klomonx View Post
@TiggerBounce
I don't have any control over the food... it isn't price, it's convenience. My parents are very 'time is money', and there's no costco's near us. Any food we switch to has to be at our local stores. I don't drive or I'd offer to just go get the food myself. @cookieface
Due to my parent's work schedules, it's impossible for us to get a dog trainer. They are not off at the same times, usually, and the only one who drives is my dad, who works night turn and is only off on Fridays and Saturdays.

If you are in the U.S. then you can order dog food from here Dog and Cat Food, Treats, and Supplies | Free Shipping at Chewy.com and have it delivered to your house. They have most of the brands that are available and the prices are usually more reasonable then what you would find at a pet store. It's where I get a lot of my dog gear from, including food, since the local pet store's prices are very high and I don't drive so I can't get to the next town.
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Old 08-21-2014, 02:01 PM
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What are your local stores? What do they sell there? A 3 year old dog should, at the very least, not be eating puppy food.

Also, some trainers will come to you--though probably for a higher price. You just have to call around and see if anybody offers it.
He's a puppy, not a 3 year old dog. He has teeth coming in and acts like a pup, the vet confirmed it. The shelter lied.
My local store is Shop n Save, on the weekend we go to Target sometimes.
I have no control over this... parents don't think a trainer is needed or will work with our lifestyle. I've brought it up to them. (I'm 19 by the way).
@Rain (and any others)
If I were to order from that site, what food would you recommend and why?

Last edited by Klomonx; 08-21-2014 at 02:07 PM.
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