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Old 12-07-2013, 12:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Start with "charging the mark."

That is what I *didn't* do

I believe I have it right now:

1) Charge the Mark (which builds engagement)
2) After the Mark is charged, then make it a mini-event (mark, lure pup into following treat and give treat)...which also builds engagement
3) THEN you can do more engagement games...
4) Now that the puppy knows the mark = good, other training should be more effective (not jumping on the ex-pen, not jumping on me, rewarding attention/eye contact with me, coming back to me while on a long lead/walk, etc.)

Look about right? Anything else I'm missing?
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Old 12-07-2013, 01:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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To be honest, I don't bother to charge my marker anymore. That's how I learned, but with really smart dogs I don't know that it's necessary, especially if you do a lot of "capturing" behaviors, which I like to do with a new puppy. I mark and reward any time they do something I like and want to encourage more of. Focus is perfect for this. If I hang out with my puppy and click/treat (or mark verbally) each time she looks at me, she figures out that looking at me is good and earns a reward, and she's also making the association with the marker because it precedes the treat.

But if you're new to marker training there's certainly nothing wrong with spending some time charging your marker before putting it to use, and that is traditionally how it's supposed to be done. You can do engagement games at any time, such as playing tug, which does not necessarily require your marker or a food reward.
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Old 12-07-2013, 01:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaKinVA View Post
4) Now that the puppy knows the mark = good, other training should be more effective (not jumping on the ex-pen, not jumping on me, rewarding attention/eye contact with me, coming back to me while on a long lead/walk, etc.)
These are the kinds of things I would generally capture by marking and rewarding when puppy does them, which will increase those behaviors. At that point I can put them on cue by naming them.
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Old 12-07-2013, 01:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If the dog is hungry you can charge the mark while luring just be sure to mark before you allow the dog to actually take that food. You will also want to do a few sessions of mark then move to produce the food, but other than that you can lure and charge the mark at the same time just keep your thumb over the food in your palm and only move the thumb to let him access it after you mark. If the puppy is following you with food technically he is engaged and if you are making it fun you are pretty much playing an engagement game already.
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Old 12-07-2013, 01:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You have to generalize the mark as you would a command too. So you have to teach the puppy the mark means good things not just with you bent over and him chasing you or in just in the living room or just in the kitchen.
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Old 12-08-2013, 04:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks!

She's much more responsive to the new treats we're using, and we were able to do more chase the treat/engagement things yesterday than ever before. I did charge the mark, but I don't think I need to do it all the time.

She's finishing up teething right now...so aren't doing much tug. She does like to carry sticks, doesn't give a flip about balls (yet), so far her favorite toy is actually a plastic bottle or a medium kong ball with kibble (but don't think I can do that all the time, either).

I think we're heading in the right direction...just wish we could get over the stairs! She's HEAVY (up is no problem, just this one 1/2 flight that freaks her out...and picking her up when she's freaked usually leads to a pee-puddle...so most often we just carry her down (we're in temporary quarters right now, so I really don't want her peeing!)

Lisa
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