Purpose: In Part 2 of this exercise, we begin to “proof” the dog’s understanding of the Marker Word by asking them to move away from the reward to make the Marker Word happen, and earn their reward. Teaching our pups this concept is how we transition away from luring, and use rewarding instead. Then I also walk you through how to decrease Rate of Reinforcement (RoR), by asking for 2 and then 3 Nose to Hand Targets before delivering a reward. This teaches persistence, and introduces the idea that the dog may need to execute multiple repetitions before the reward is delivered.
Equipment: High value reward. I’m using tripe in a large syringe tube.
NOTE: These Pre Foundation exercises are really training skills all future exercises are built upon. If your pup is struggling with arousal levels increasing / decreasing, frustration, giving up, or a general lack of understanding, incorporating these Pre Foundation skills is sure to help!!
Targets: Tests the dog’s understanding of operant learning (they make the Marker Word happen), transitions the dog / handler team from luring to rewarding, and introduces the idea that multiple repetitions or behaviors may be required to earn the reward.
1. It’s important the dog is executing with 85-100% accuracy in the Teaching a Marker Word (Part 1) version of this exercise before moving on to this proofing phase. This is a very important skill. If we ask for too much too soon, it’s likely we will build frustration, cause demotivation, and bring stress into the learning process… Which is something we really want to avoid.
2. I do show the beginning of mental fatigue toward the end of the video starting at 3:14. If your dog starts to “miss” the Nose to Hand Target, begins offering other behaviors, starts pawing at the hand, laying down, or giving up, this should be seen as mental fatigue NOT disobedience.
3. It’s a TRAP to push for 1 more good rep. When in doubt, quit while you’re ahead, OR if you’ve gone too far, offer a cookie scatter, or toy play so your pup has a good end to their training session… regardless of their actual success in the exercise.