An essential part of owning a dog is teaching obedience and good behavior. Beyond keeping your home in order and having a dog that is well behaved, there is a safety aspect to having a dog that’s been taught good behavior. At Russell’s K9 Academy, we provide dog training in Florida that’s based on verbal markers and is designed to teach your dog how to respond to commands. If you’re not familiar with marker training, read this brief guide to learn more and find out how it can help your dog.
What are verbal markers?
Verbal markers are vocal cues used to reinforce behavior in dogs. For instance, a trainer will tell a dog to sit, then say ‘good’ once it sits. This lets the dog know that the action fits the command. Furthermore, the dog will hold the sit until it’s been given another marker. This can be any of several cues like saying ‘OK’. Then the dog will know that it’s OK to get up from the sit.
Are verbal markers effective in training?
Compared to other methods, marker training is a more advanced and effective method of training dogs. This is because it allows dogs to learn different commands based on their verbal cues.
For example, another method used to train dogs is using the clicker method. This teaches dogs to respond specifically to clicks. Verbal markers can teach your dog how to perform specific commands based on what they hear. As previously stated, this can be words like good, OK, nice, or anything else. In fact, police dogs are trained to respond to commands in other languages so they can’t be confused by those who don’t know them.
Does marker training work beyond obedience?
Using verbal markers to train dogs can go far beyond simply teaching obedience. We can effectively train your dog to respect perimeters and boundaries as well as perform exercises that include swimming, fetching, and retrieving. This means that your dog will be taught to do much more than simply chase a ball, but to bring it back and patiently wait for you to throw it once again.
Are there different kinds of verbal markers?
Dog training by employing verbal markers typically comes with three types of markers. These include the single-word marker, general praise or phrase, and a signal to keep going. Using each marker will garner a different response from your dog for each.
Single-word markers are meant to give your dog feedback on the action that they’re performing. This can be a great way to let your dog know that they’re doing what you want. However, your tone is important because they might be confused if you use a stern tone when providing positive reinforcement.
A phrase that’s used for general praise is very similar to a single-word marker but it employs more than one word. This can be something as simple as, “That’s a good boy.” or, “Such a good dog.” These phrases are a great way to reinforce good behavior but should only be used in this way because they can promote poor behavior should they be used at the wrong time.
Signals to keep going are commands that let your dog know that it's doing the right thing and to continue doing what it’s doing. This can be used when teaching your dog to fetch or run a course. These are often simple and repeatable sounds like, “Go go go.”
Get in touch to learn more
If you’d like to learn more about how we use verbal markers in our dog training in Florida, reach out to our team at Russel’s K9 Academy. We’ll provide you with more information about how we can train your dog and teach good behavior. Contact us by giving our staff a call at 386-265-3501 or send a message using our contact form. We look forward to hearing from you and working with your dog.