14 – Different Kinds of Reward Markers

I want my dogs to know a few different reward markers that I can use in different situations. A click or a verbal “yes” means that a reward is coming from me. The click can end the behavior even if it’s a controlled behavior like a sit stay or a nose touch contact, while just praise doesn’t.

One of the most important reward markers is a word that means that the dog can get an external reward. This word should not be the same as praise, or as a word that means that a reward is coming from you. I would suggest that the word means “get what you want the most”. It can be used to let the dog sniff the ground, chase a leaf, take a swim, get the treats on the floor etc.

For obedience, I want a word that means “turn around as fast as you can and run back to an external reward (even if you don’t know it’s there). So far, I’ve used the same word (“varsågod”) for this as I have for the “get what you want the most”. It has worked well, but I don’t think it is perfect. I would prefer two different words.

You can also teach the dog more specific release words, like “go pee”, “take a swim”, “go for a run”, “see the person” etc. I think it’s very practical and also good stimulus control training in everyday life.

What kind of reward markers do you use?

  • reply Nicole ,

    “What kind of reward markers do you use? ”

    I’ve got similar reward markers as you do. One to allow my dog to do, what ever he wants to do. One word that works like the clicker and says my dog that the reward is coming from me and one to let my dog know “Run to your external reward”. Oh actually I’ve two different ones – one for “go and get your tuggle” and one for “go and eat the food”

    And then I’ve a reward marker that tells my dog “very good, you’ll get your reward later” That’s the one I use in competition and competition training as verbal praise between the exercises.

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