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The Power of Training Dogs with Markers
The Power of Training Dogs with Markers

The Power of Training Dogs with Markers

Cập nhật cuối lúc 08:22 ngày 05/05/2015, Đã xem 1 918 lần
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40, Đường Số 6, P.Bình Chiểu, Thủ Đức, Hồ Chí Minh
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The two most important things a new dog trainer can learn how to accomplish with their dogs are:

01 - They need to learn how to get and maintain "ENGAGEMENT"

02 - They need to teach "GENERALIZATION" as it relates to commands.

Engagement simply means your dog wants to be with you and he wants what you have (I. E a toy; a piece of food; or handler praise).

If dog trainers don't have engagement how are they suppose to get a dog to pay attention; how can they train their dog to do anything if the dog doesn't want to be with them. If a dog doesn't want what the trainer has how is he supose to motivate a dog to perform a behavior (follow a command)?

Without engagement the only way anyone can get a dog to do something is to FORCE that dog to do what you want it to do. That's exactly what dog trainers like myself did 20, 30 or 40 years ago. I started training dogs in the late 1950's. It wasn't pretty but we didn't know any better.

This article and the DVD's I have produced are going to teach you how to get a dog engaged with you.

Generalization simple means once a dog has learned the meaning of a command he will perform that command in any location and under distraction.

An example of a dog that has not yet generalized a command is often seen when a dog owner learns that they can teach their dog a behavior in their kitchen but the minute their dog is taken out of the kitchen it seems to forget everything its learned. That's because the dog has not generalized the command.

A dog has not generalized a SIT command when it will SIT in the kitchen or SIT in the garage but will not SIT when friends come over. A dog has not generalized the DOWN command when it will down on its rug in your living room but will not down in your yard when a neighbor is walking his dog past your house.

I have been training dogs since the 1950's. It's taken a long time and learning many failed training methods to settle into a system of dog training that consistently produces dogs that are engaged with me and dogs that generalize the work I am trying to teach them. The DVDs that Leerburg produces support this system of training dogs.

We call this system Marker Training. It has evolved into main stream dog training here in America since the early 1990's. Like many trainers I was slow to embrace the concepts of marker training. I had been training dogs for 30 years when marker training first started. I spent the 1990's telling people it was stupid. Well the only stupid one was myself because I never took the time to really study the training system and learned how to apply it to the areas of dog training I had an interest in.

Today I tell people that marker training is the most effective training system I have seen in my 50 plus years of training dogs. It's a black and white method of communication that is based on positive reinforcement.

Marker training provides a dog trainer a language that allows him to communicate with his dog "the instant" his dog does something he likes. It provides a non-punishment method of telling a dog "the instant" the dog does something you don't like and it provides a motivational method of telling a dog that you like what he is currently doing and you want him to continue to do exactly what he is doing at this moment in time.

If you stop and think about it, when you can do these three things and do them in a fashion that keeps your dog motivated and engaged with his handler then you can teach that dog to do almost anything.

Marker training (which is sometimes called "Clicker Training" can start with 8 week old puppies or 8 year old dominant aggressive dogs. The beauty of the system is that it's non confrontational, which is why it works so well with dominant aggressive animals or animals with absolutely no training, or animals that need to be retrained. Here at Leerburg we have trained our horses and our parrot with markers. The fact is marker training works on most types of animals and birds.

Marker training is the same thing as clicker training. The only difference is that with markers we use a verbal markers and with clicker training a small mechanical clicker is used to communicate with the dog.

It's embarrassing to say this but back in the late 1990's I was one of a group of people who trash talked clicker training. This was based on my being too closed minded on the subject and a lack of understanding about the principles of the marker system. That wasn't the first time I stuck my foot in my mouth and it will most certainly not be the last.

The problem I had with clicker training back then was that clicker purists don't believe in correcting a dog. In fact they don't think corrections have a place in dog training. I totally disagree with this line of thinking and because of that I refused to look into what the marker system was really all about. I knew from experience that there are times when a pack leader has to correct his dog. I also knew (because of the kind of dogs that I trained - high drive tough dogs that were trained to do handler protection work) that there are also precise places and times in a training program where a dog has to experience a correction for disobedience (we will discuss this in detail later in this article).

With this said many of the people who brought clicker training to the world of dog training came from training sea mammals and birds. You can't correct a killer whale or a parrot when they disobey. It just doesn't work. These people thought they could apply the same exact training principles to dogs and they convinced a lot of new dog trainers that they were right. Well in my opinion they were wrong.

When I began to see marker trained dogs that were energetic well trained animals who loved working with their handlers I started to explore exactly what marker training was all about. That's when I realized how foolish I had been to poo poo the such a great training system.

Michael Ellis was the person who opened my eyes to the fact that markers and corrections can coexist together as part of a training program. The fact since the late 1990's Michael travels around the country giving 40 to 45 weekend seminars a year on his system of using markers in training. He recently opened a school in San Francisco CA for dog trainers.

What I learned is the power of this system lies in understanding the details of the program. Dog handlers who master the system become the most successful dog trainers. The truth in this statement can be seen in videos of old dog competitions from back in the 1980' and 1990's. Handlers who won competitions back in then would not stand a chance of winning today. The reason for this is that today's top competitors train with markers.

The the last two years I have produced two DVDs based on marker training, there are a number of others that will follow:

1 - In October 2008, I produced a 3 1/2 hour DVD production of the same name as this article.

2 - In July of 2009, I finished a DVD titled THE POWER OF TRAINING DOGS WITH FOOD - with Michael Ellis.

The first DVD goes into a great deal of detail on exactly what marker training is. It explains why it works and why trainers must become masters of the system to get the most out of marker training. In this DVD you will come to learn that the power of markers comes from correct timing in applying it's concepts. You will also learn when trainers make mistakes in timing then end up confusing their dogs.

The second DVD, that I did with Michael Ellis, is about how to organize a training program around marker training. Trainers can understand the system of marker training but if they don't know how to apply it and set up a structured training program based on markers they will not get the most out of the system. Michael is an expert at teaching people how to do exactly this. He coaches top competitors in the sport of Schutzhund, Mondio Ring and French Ring. In 2009, Michael and two people from his club won the Mondio Ring One, Mondio Ring 2 and Mondio Ring 3 American Championships (in my opinion Mondio Ring is the most difficult dog sport there is).

I have been producing dog training videos since 1982. These two DVDs are the best dog training DVD I have done.

If you have trained dogs for years and think you're pretty good at it but you don't work with the marker system, I suggest you take a few days and study this article and these two DVDs You will find a whole new world of K9 communication. If you are passionate about dog training (like I am) you will re-ignite a fire in your belly.

On the other hand if you do what I first did, which was tell everyone how stupid you think it is then 10 years from now you will probably wake up one morning and admit that you missed the boat.

So What Exactly Is Marker Training?
In technical terms marker training is operant conditioning. Operant conditioning has been around for years. It is how Dolphins are trained at sea world.

Operant conditioning forms an association between a behavior and a consequence.

I can see new dog trainers reading this and shaking their heads thinking "Dahhhh isn't that pretty obvious and what all dog training is about?"

My answer to that is "YES" but let's go into a little more detail.

When a dog exhibits a behavior we like the consequence is a high value reward. In marker training that reward is either a high value food treat or a high value toy that the dog really loves. If a dog does not perform a behavior the consequence is "No Reward." This is called a negative reinforcer. When a dog gets a negative reinforcer it must then repeat the exercises if it wants to get the high value reward.

In old school dog training the consequence of a negative behavior was a correction.

No matter what anyone ever tells you dogs do things for themselves. Dogs don't do things to make you feel good. They do things to make themselves feel good. They do things because they are motivated towards feeling comfortable in addition to doing things that eliminate feeling discomfort. This is a pretty profound concept and one that pet owners often miss. Pet owners or new dog trainers are often lead to believe that dogs will eventually do things to make their owner feel good. The reality is that this is seldom if ever the case.

So the key to operant conditioning is to teach a dog that when he performs a behavior that we like he gets a reward that makes him feel good - the reward gives him a level of comfort. This reward can either be in the form of a food or it can be a toy he likes to play with or playing a game with the handler that he gets enjoyment out of or he gets praise from his handler(which he likes). In all my years of dog training I have only known one dog that would work strictly for handler praise.

In the marker training system there are only two consequences to a behavior that we are trying to train. They are a reward or no-reward. Which consequence happens depends on the behavior the dog exhibits to a stimulus. A stimulus can be a command or a cue (or lure) from the handler.

For dogs to associate a behavior with a reward or with punishment the reward or punishment must come immediately after the behavior. We tell people the consequence should come within a 1/2 second of the behavior. If a reward comes 5 seconds after a behavior the dog has no idea why he is getting a reward. If a new dog owner comes home and finds a pile of dog poop in his kitchen and he proceeds to rub the dogs nose in it, that dog doesn't have a clue why he is getting punished.

Now if the same dog has been on leash in the kitchen and peed on the floor and the handler had scolded him the instant he saw the dog pee - the dog would associate the scolding with peeing - because it came within 1/2 second d of the behavior.

In training it is not always possible to reward within a 1/2 second. In fact no matter how hard you try you cannot consistently reward a dog within 1/2 second. The get around this we bridge (or connect) the time frame between the behavior and the consequence that follows. This bridge allows us to extend the 1/2 second rule of consequences. That bridge is a word - we will call it a Marker (I like to use the word YES, other people use other words). Many people use the sound from a clicker. The fact is you can use any word or sound you are comfortable with as long as you are consistent.

A simple way to look at the mark as a bridge is that it is like telling your dog "Hold on a second - I like what you just did and I am going to get to you and give you a high value reward."

There are positive and negative markers. The word for a negative Marker is "NO" or "NOPE." It is important to mention that a negative marker is not a correction. It is simply a way of communicating to the animal that he just made a mistake and if he expects to get that high value reward he needs to redo the behavior correctly.

Through repetition the dog learns that every time he hears the positive Marker he gets a reward. Every time he hears the negative Marker he does not get a reward and he has to repeat the behavior or exercise.

Dogs that are trained with markers become problem solvers. They have learned (through the concept of negative reinforcement) that when one behavior doesn't work they need to try something else and if that doesn't work they just keep trying because if they try long enough they have a good chance of figuring out what you want and getting a high value reward.

The system allows trainers to reinforce correct behavior with "pin point accuracy" from a distance. It also allows dogs to make mistakes and then learn from their mistakes. The beauty of the system is that it also allows us to pin point the exact moment a dog makes a mistake, without correcting the dog in the process.

This is radically different from old school dog training where dogs are corrected for doing something wrong. I remember the day when we would take an untrained dog and march down the street with the dog on a leash. We would do a quick left turn, right turn or about turn as we said "HEEL" and give the dog a correction for not staying by our side. When I stop and think about it - how unjust was this to my dogs. It was a terrible way to train. It created dogs that were afraid to try and think on their feet because if they made a mistake they would get a correction.

Training with Markers is a simple concept to understand. It only takes a few minutes to explain why it works but it can take years to master. The journey is exciting and well worth the trip. Along the way you will find that your dogs are a lot smarter than you once thought.

Those days are long gone with marker trainers.

Nhà sản xuất:Leerburg
Đạo diễn: Đang cập nhật

Huấn luyện viên: Ed Frawley
Thể loại: Phương pháp huấn luyện chó căn bản
Định dạng: Original DVD VIDEO, DVD-5, PAL, 192 Kbps
Loại tập tin: VOB, INFO,...
Tỷ lệ: 4:3
Ngôn ngữ: Tiếng Anh
Phụ đề: Không
Loại phụ đề: No
Số lượng series: 1
Số tập trong series: 1
Số lượng đĩa: 1
Năm sản xuất: Đang cập nhật
Thời lượng: Khoảng 210 phút

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