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Using multiple marker words

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

Using multiple marker words is a great way to keep your dog focused and to add more value to your rewards when training your dog.


As you can tell in the video, being a dog trainer on the outskirts of Halifax is windy and cold! And, I always run the risk of slipping in cow poo, luckily that didn't happen in this video (sorry, maybe next time)!


Transcript:


Well, I'm not quite sure why I decided to do a video in this wind because you probably can't hear what I'm saying, but I'll give it a go.


Anyway, so I recently did a post on using markers in dog training and how important they are, however, if you get stuck using one more marker, it can actually be quite boring.

So, I actually use, what we call multiple markers.


I have a few different marker words that I, say to Astrid when she's got something right.


My main ones are “yes”, “scatter”, “me” and “chase”, all those things mean she's got a behaviour, right however, the reward is going to come from somewhere different each time.


Now if I want Astrid to stay in the same position, when I'm marking her, I'll use yes. So, my “yes” means I'm going to return to her and give her the treat.


The other words that I use mean that she can break out of that behaviour, and she will get the treat from somewhere else.


So, “scatter” means I'm going to throw the food on the floor, so there'll be multiple pieces of food which she can snuffle out and find, which is great for sniffing in calming behaviour.


My “chase” is when I throw the treat and she can chase after it, great for dogs that like chasing.


Finally, me “me” means that she needs to come over to me to get the reward.


You can see me demonstrating these in the video.


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