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Discussion Starter #1
So this is kind of a continuation of a post in the first dog portion of the forums, it's getting pretty wordy (im sure this will be too sorry it's my nature). I was looking more focused answers anyway, so here goes: my girl is a 4.5mo old apbt/boxer mix for context. She loves to be in public so we are working on good behavior in distracting situations. My husband and I are disagreeing about the amount of behavior markers I use (I'm the primary handler in public) I had hoped to discuss this with the trainer but.. read the other post if you like for details.
So the list (not commands only markers) the primary ones everyone uses: yes, (generic feed back used upon completion of low difficulty commands ie. Sit come drop the klenex)
nope (low difficulty correction/ traing resets)
ok (attention on me, wait for commands, usually in conjunction with a sit.)
good ( more difficult/complex command completion feedback it's used a lot in traing after completing command chains)
good girl ( Used after a training session, walk ect as a we re all done here do what you want)
Enough (self explanitory)
Now the extra ones i use. Thank you (high value completion marker often accompanied by touch example: dropping the dead bird she found in the bushes immediately results in that and a tummy rub)
light sound aversion (if nope is ignored or the situation is more dangerous) used before a physical redirects
tongue click (refocus, think about your behavior- I'm using this more on walks on familure walks. She knows to leave poop and ignore barky dogs but sometimes needs a light reminder that shes supposed to)
Not our yard (behavior that is acceptable in our space but not someone else's like sniffing to far into the yard, laying down/rolling in the grass, please come back toward the sidewalk) used if my click is ignored. This one might be considered a command
My hubby thinks it's too much and I'm unnecessary complicating things. This has been known to happen, hence the post lol. She respondes appropriately though and seems to approve (at least to me) of the more nuanced feedback looking at me if it's not given.
Example: pepper "I'm going to sniff this Bush, it smells funny mom" sniff sniff looks at Bush farther in yard then looks at me"hey there's another one over here can I sniff that one too?" Me" Not our yard pepps" she goes back to sniffing Bush #1
Thoughts welcome.
 

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Well, I'm a lot older than 4.5 months, but if you dumped all that on me, I'd get confused enough to quit on you. Just reading it had me skimming. So I guess I'm with your husband.
 

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Well.... I sort of get where you're coming from. I tend to 'talk' to my dogs in complete sentences and, quite frankly, the vast majority of the time they seem to understand what I'm saying & go along with what I've "suggested".

However!! The things I say to them are not 'markers', which hold a formal place in training, whether they be reward markers (an actual 'click' of a clicker or my spoken "yes") which mean reinforcement is imminent, or no-reward makers ("oops" or "nope") which mean no reinforcement is coming now (these are very infrequently used & pretty much never in a 'formal' training session. More often seen popping up occasionally in real life) Nor are they actual "commands" (or formal "cues") which I have intended for the dog to follow.

For example - recall. I have several informal cues that tell my dogs to pay attention & follow along with me. "C'mere", "C'mon" "We're going up to the house" "Yo! I'm talkin' to you!" "Gityerfuzzybuttbackhere!" etc..... The dogs generally respond to such statements by showing up when requested, but if they don't, I can pull out my "formal" recall cue which is "Dog Name, Come". To this, they all instantly respond & come hustling to me (because I've trained it ad nauseam) and they are ALWAYS rewarded/reinforced for doing so.

So I guess what I'm saying is, pick some short & simple verbal cues, teach them to your puppy & reinforce the heck out of them (but seriously, cut her some slack, she's only a baby at this point) and don't expect her to understand your every whim instantly. Don't be surprised if she matures to understand what you want in some seemingly intuitive way - dogs read body language much more fluently than they understand spoken language, so they often seem to know what we want them to do before we've even gotten the words out (just based on our other body language and environmental cues) But don't "expect" it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
So looking at it its alot. Your right. All but the click are things i used conversationally so much in the last 2 months she latched onto and now responds in a slightly different way to. I didn't accually set out to teach them, merely codified them... if that makes sense.The thank you is a great example, I used it a lot in relief (thank you for not eating that chocolate chip cookie the kids dropped or running out into the street who's the best girl that deserves all the love!! ). she quickly realized that when I told her thank you (as opposed to just a yes) she got uber love. Now if I say thank you to her she comes running and presents whatever place needs a good rub. She is a baby (a clever baby though) but she seems to pick up repeated phrases anticipate things based on that. She often seems irritated when I dont follow through. In turn have been reinforcing those tendencies. I guess i should stop. The biggest issue is people around here are anti-pit so if she wants to be out and about she has to mind me and behave. Neighbors give us dirty looks if she goes more then 1/2 her lead into the yard (other smaller dogs are acceptable going thier whole lead in. One even said she shouldn't be let out without a e-collar. Since he had an unfenced/une-collared mastiff I found that extra rude. She has other outlets, so she doesn't NEED to walk around the neighborhood we are happy to puppy play in less hostile territory, but she wants to be out so I have to make her use good manners. I wish it were different, but that's the reality. I've been encouraging the softer feedbacks/redirects (not our yard) so that I dont have to use the firmer commands as much. I've noticed it seems to re assure the neighbors that she'd not going to suddenly go on a rampage out of no where.
 

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I definitely give my dogs pretty constant feedback when we're out, but I don't formalize it and generally let my tone/intensity do the job (unless I'm asking for a specific behavior). My major concern is that the system might be setting you up for failure - although I might be biased as someone who can't even get my dogs' names straight half the time haha.

For me, being present with my dogs on walks and during training is super important. I would struggle with a system like this, "Oh, shoot, I should've marked that!" "Dang, wrong marker" "Argh, I was so fixated on missing that last marker that I missed the next one!" etc. Now, this is just my own perspective, and you may find the system super helpful and easy for you! If it's working and Pepper doesn't seem confused/overwhelmed, I don't necessarily have anything wrong with it? But I do, personally, find it more natural to not worry about my specific words and work mainly through tone, body language, and a few specific behavior cues where necessary.
 

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I try to keep my verbal chatter to an absolute minimum while engaged in any type of training situation.

I use the word "good" as a marker for correct responses. Occasionally, I will use "attaboy / attagirl" as a cue that indicates to the dog 'you're on the right track -- keep going, -- or try again'. I do not use verbal corrections of any kind, and use non-reward markers VERY rarely.

I feel that my words should have a tremendous amount of impact while training or molding behaviour. If I were to be a chatterbox, and clutter up the airwaves, the words would lose their impact and eventually become nothing more than white noise to my dogs.

Non-verbal communication is utilized frequently. Ie: body language, eye contact, facial expression, ignoring, etc


Outside of training situations, where 'learning' is not a factor, I will regularly talk to my dogs. Of course
 

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One of my training centers has a cartoon on the wall. It shows a dog looking up at its person (collar on dog shows his name is Rover), and what's coming out of the person's mouth is "Blah, blah, blah, blah, Rover, blah blah blah, blah, Rover, blah blah blah, blah, Rover, blah blah blah, blah, Rover.
 

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A marker is feedback on a behavior. I know that some people use very few markers, while other people use a wide variety of markers. The ones who use a variety of markers typically have very specific ones that mean things like "come get food from my hand", "get the food from the bowl behind you", "I will bring you food", "I'm going to throw your toy", "come play tug", etc. Each marker lets the dog know what reward they are getting, and where it will be coming from, and can be used to control arousal.

Some of what you are calling markers are things that I would call cues, like the "not our yard" is a cue that "no, you can't do that here", or the tongue click to not do something.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thanks. Thank you is a behavior marker then as it always gets her a reward when she comes to me, but the rest probably are cues, the "reward" simply continuation of the desired behavior, that was my confusion. Sorry, word choice is an issue with self learning. I think that's accually my hubby's issue too. He thinks more of commands and tricks. These are not those things. He thinks they are unnessicarily complicated, when to me they're natural. I do drop my pitch when I use them, like a bold word in print. I almost always give her this type of feedback before the dreaded nope, which is almost always followed by a lets go (on public outings) . I tend to repeat phrases anyway (I didnt realize how many there were though ) and she is a clever girl. The argument came about at our pet store. Pepps was nosing into the bird area from the fish area and I gave her a "not our yard", odd contex so he picked up on it, rather then use an accual command. she trotted back to the fish sat and looked back at me. I gave her a yes and we got to watch them for awhile.
My position was that if she ll go for it why should I need a to use an accual command (I can always give the command later), his was its inconsistent and confusing for anyone but me to use them. Especially in an expanded context like that.
 

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I mean, I wouldn't expect anyone else to use the entire system, honestly. Maybe a couple things that work as actual cues, like the 'not our yard' one, but otherwise I'd just try to let him figure out how to communicate with her in his own way. Especially with (relatively) casual outings/walks, rather than formal training sessions. Dogs absolutely figure out how different people in the household 'talk' to them, and it's more important that your husband has a good relationship with her and a system/method of managing her that works for him than everyone being 100% consistent between people.

Easier said then done, I know. I have to remind myself to pick my battles when my wife's walking the puppy (well, 13-month-old) who's still in loose-leash training, because she's generally more lenient than I am. But I also don't want her to feel like she can't handle or have a relationship with the dog, and it's healthier for me to practice letting go of some of that control (I'm the anxious type, if you couldn't tell, haha)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I doubt anyone else could lol. That's fine, it was never ment as something for anyone else. Just for me fumbling my way through less hands on feedback, trying to help show the neighbors pepps is under control (no, really i dont need you to tell me about shock collars and please stop shocking your dog for failing to give you kisses on command- real interaction bwt) I thought I was prepared for it, but apparently I underestimated how offended I would be on her behalf. She is so sweet, and minds so well. There are so many big (even bully breed) dogs here. What do you say to those (well meaning but ignorant) busybodies?
 

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Sorry, but I agree with your husband.

Use the KISS principle. Keep It Super Simple. Dogs have cognitive ability of a 3-5 yo child. Although, some breeds tend to be sharper than others.

I use few commands with my mini-schnauzer. Come, Sit, Outside, Drop, No, Hold, Pass, Down, Off, Bed, Quiet, Switch, Stay, Close

All commands are proceeded by the dog's name. The name is the "cue" for the dog's attention on me. The use of the name separates the commands from conversation.

Reward cues include the dog's name + Good + command. Rewards are varied in nature. Treats, pets, play, continue activity.......

There are several non-verbal commands we use. Off-leash whistle call back. Specific hand signals for Sit, Stay and Close

These commands and cues are able to handle nearly every situation we encounter.

Example:
"Hold" is used anytime I need the dog to wait. Like at an intersection crosswalk for traffic to pass.
"Pass" is used when I need to dog to ignore an object. Like a person, another dog, a sidewalk snack.....

I am sure there are folks who will disagree with me, but this is what works well for my dog.

The only thing I'd suggest for a Pit mix owner is to socialize the pup to people, animals and situations. Otherwise, ignore the breed phobic suggestions.
 
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