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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm just curious--I see a lot of people marking a dog's behaviour with something like, "Good sit," "Good platz", etc. I'm wondering what the advantage of this is, versus what I do, which is simply say "Good dog", and why this is done. I always figured it's bad training to 'repeat' a command--I like to have my dogs obey the command the first time I say it (for example, if I said "Good sit" instead of "Good dog", the dog would get up at the 'good' part and then sit again). I hope I managed to explain myself.
 

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Lyn Chen said:
I'm just curious--I see a lot of people marking a dog's behaviour with something like, "Good sit," "Good platz", etc. I'm wondering what the advantage of this is, versus what I do, which is simply say "Good dog", and why this is done. I always figured it's bad training to 'repeat' a command--I like to have my dogs obey the command the first time I say it (for example, if I said "Good sit" instead of "Good dog", the dog would get up at the 'good' part and then sit again). I hope I managed to explain myself.
I don't repeat it either. I praise the way you do.
 

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I repeat good all the time in learning phase but not as a marker, but a keep going signal (KGS). I use "yes" as a release cue (RC) that is the marker if you want to call it that. It is is a signal to the dog for correct behavior that you are finished (Done) and reward is forthcoming and unconditional. Example new dog learning to heel after couple of steps I see he is correct spot & focused I might say gooood, good fuss and keeping going with him after about 15 steps he looks away and I might give a no reward marker (NRM) such as "uh-uh" or give light pop with lead when he back in focus gooood and then in few more steps "Yes" and reward with play. This is just a method of communicating with the dog that the behavior is correct and will lead to the "yes" which equals reward. As stated used during learning so it to is help and needs to be faded from regular use on the given exercise at some point. And of course you would need to condition dog to "good" being used in this way and above all be consistent. The only other thing I have not mentioned in the form of communicating with the dog is a conditioned punisher (CP)which in my case is "No" this I avoid repeating.

Dan Reiter
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hahah, I see how some people may use it then, although I still don't like the idea of repeating the command while the dog is already doing it. I do use 'good' or 'yes' or 'that's right' as a reinforcer, and 'good dog' or 'okay' as how you use 'yes' (in which case the exercise is over and the dog did well). 'That'll do' I use to end a session. It's amazing how making sure the dog understands these words become vital in the learning process, especially with complicated exercises.
 

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I always tell the dog "good (insert command here)" in the early stages of obedience. Now, this of course depends on the dog. If I had a rabid kitten like Lyka, then no, I wouldn't repeat the command. But with Carbon, being a pretty calm dog with obedience, I do repeat the command, but only on stays. That reinforces what he should KEEP doing. If you only say "good", some smart dogs will think "ok, my job's over. Later". I wean off of this, same as treats, to the point where I don't verbally praise every single time the dog does a correct behavior. For example: When most people run an agility course with a speedy dog, you can barely get one command out before it's time for another. Dropping "good" in after every "jump" "go on jump" "left tire" "right walk it" would be impossible without causing the dog to spin or go off course, causing a fault and most likely losing the competition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This, of course, will depend on how you teach 'good' and your voice. ;) When I use that to reinforce, it's always low and encouraging, while 'good dog' is done in an upbeat tone. I do the opposite you do actually; I don't use reinforcers during the learning phase. I want it as simple as possible, so it only goes, command, wait, marker. Afterwards I teach that a marker doesn't exactly mean 'end behaviour' by asking the dog to continue after I say 'good' or 'yes'.

I think I might have been shaped in the way I teach dogs because early on most of my dogs have been the biddable, active, soft type. With a few adjustments, I can still use the same method with my current dogs. I find it actually helps my slower, lumbering shepherd to be more 'active' in listening to my commands.

I agree that it isn't necessary to reinforce or mark every time a dog does something correct once he knows the exercises. I do, however, smile. ;) For my purposes, it works.
 
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