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Dog Obedience Training with Markers

Marker training is a simple, clear, and hands off way of dog training. You can use a clicker or a specific word. I use the word yes. It is simple because when the dog offers the desired behavior, you say "yes" (or click) and then reward the dog. It is clear because the dog quickly learns that yes (or the click) means a reward is coming, and he will begin offering whatever behavior you are saying yes for. It's hands off because you do not have to wrestle with your dog. Also when you are working the dog, he does not have to be right next to you. You can mark a behavior from really far away as long as the dog can hear the yes or the click. It gives you the capability to train at a distance rather than having the dog on a leash right in front of you.

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The marker (yes or click) must come while the dog is doing the correct behavior. The reward can come after. The marker releases the dog from the behavior. For example if you say sit and your dog sits, when you say "yes" your dog can get up. Marker training helps separate the initial getting a behavior from the holding/maintaining the behavior, which helps your dog learn faster. When you want the dog to start holding the behavior, you simply delay the yes. For example if you say sit and the dog sits, then say "good, good sit" while the dog holds the position. Then say "yes" to release and reward the dog.

Marker training makes it very clear to the dog what he is being rewarded for. And because it's a very hands off training method and the dog is being rewarded each time, it's very fun! I believe very strongly in marker training for the highest level competition dogs and for resolving problems in the house. It promotes thinking, effort, and enthusiasm from the dogs. They also learn very quickly.

Marking the dog during obedience training - 27KB