For me, "random" never really means "random," it means the best out of a progressively higher number of performances. In the learning/shaping phase, every "more correct than the last" response might get rewarded. In the polishing phase, it's best out of 3, or best out of 5, or best version of whatever specific issue I'm trying to perfect.
For example, right now I'm working on tightening Pongu's Fronts during formal retrieves, so today's criteria is that every Front within 4 inches of my toes gets rewarded, and every Front that's farther away gets a little bit of praise and then we reset the exercise to do it better next time.
I do not click (or mark) performances that aren't going to be rewarded. The ones that are good, but not good enough, get a little bit of praise and then we go back and do it again.
But hypothetically, say that Pongu's Fronts were perfect, how would your random reward scheme look? You mentioned you're praising, so that's kind of like using your "duration/good" mark as a kind of reward or are you just giving general praise, does praise become a reward? but just an informal one?
In terms of exercises with very clearly defined beginnings and ends, such as sits and downs, how does your random scheme play out? If you have/had one. Is it the same as in retrieve? Does your praise come to signal the end of the action, in the eyes of your dog? Because then I won't use my duration mark as a praise, because that'll counter-condition my mark.
Furthermore, what happens BEYOND the random scheme, waaaaayyyy down the road. Once you guys have your commands down (and I'm talking about your bread and butter ones that your dog has mastered), how do you keep the dog motivated and avoid extinguishing the behaviour? Is it just about rewarding randomly? How does this play out in everyday life? Say you're down at the park and your dogs prong falls off or something and you put him/her in a down, or something happens and you have to use a command - how often are you rewarding that behaviour? how often do you do sessions for that behaviour? is it a matter of routinely having sessions for upkeep of a certain command or is that not necessary as long as the dog is keeping up quality behaviour?
Even the best training resources seem to really neglect the tail end of marker training - you don't need to answer all the questions, because I just read back and realised how many there are haha
just if you or anyone has the time I could really use some help.