Duration marker conflicting with Praise? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-20-2017, 11:55 PM Thread Starter
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Duration marker conflicting with Praise?

I use GOOD as my duration marker to mean your correct keep doing what you are doing without releasing my dog for rewarding in place. But I also use GOOD BOY for praise when I either don't want to reward or don't have rewards on me.

I'm wondering if these can be basically interchangeable or whether they will conflict or confuse the dog. During the learning stage of an exercise I use food rewards, but fade them out later. So in a sense the GOOD morphs into a GOOD BOY, but I also use GOOD BOY sometimes in the learning stage, when I don't have treats.

It is my understanding that verbal praise should be implemented differently from markers whether YES or GOOD.

Thoughts would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-21-2017, 12:21 AM
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Many people use Good as duration encouragement and then Yes! or Ok! as a clear signal that the exercise is finished and completed correctly.But IMO it's the tone of voice that's important,not the word.A pleasant good,good(duration) is totally different than GOOD BOY!!!(finished)
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-21-2017, 01:48 AM
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It's definitely the tone. My duration "Good" is very much like how ME does it in his videos - it's low, calm, and directed. When I say "Good girl!" it's generally higher in pitch and accompanied with some physical pats, too. She reacts very differently based on the tone.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-22-2017, 05:12 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input! I think I need my tone for praise to be more upbeat and less marker like. I think the GOOD in my GOOD BOY sometimes sounds too similar to my GOOD duration marker.

But another thought I had. If you are super excited and peppy, couldn't that possibly cause the dog to accidentally release due to the excitement for praising in this manner for certain exercises? It is my understanding that you don't want to use praise to signal a release as it is used to take the place of rewards for longer duration exercises or during trial. Or is this just one interpretation of what praise is used for?
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-22-2017, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Wolfhund View Post
Thanks for the input! I think I need my tone for praise to be more upbeat and less marker like. I think the GOOD in my GOOD BOY sometimes sounds too similar to my GOOD duration marker.

But another thought I had. If you are super excited and peppy, couldn't that possibly cause the dog to accidentally release due to the excitement for praising in this manner for certain exercises? It is my understanding that you don't want to use praise to signal a release as it is used to take the place of rewards for longer duration exercises or during trial. Or is this just one interpretation of what praise is used for?
I'm not quite sure if I understand. I always use the praise as a release and a duration marker to encourage. If the dog is doing a face to face behavior I'm sure your dog is reading your facial expressions. If you dog is at your side, I'm sure he is following all kinds of physical movements (unless he's lost focus). If you are having issues it might be timing or body language. I know I have been getting sloppy mixing up my Yes and Good and now my dogs are more focused on the reward in my hand than the words I say. I am going back to square one and "charging the marker" so they aren't so focused on the reward treat or toy to tell them if they are doing correctly.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-22-2017, 12:08 PM
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If I'm understanding correctly,the goal is to build an entire routine for a trial scenario?Begin to string together the exercises quickly before the release praise.Two sections,three,and so on.As car2ner mentioned,watch your body language.If you tend to drop your shoulders,lean to one side and relax,etc.when the exercise is over,your dog will take that cue and consider the routine finished.Establishing a physical and mental routine for yourself is important.If you don't need the exercises performed in a particular order just mix them up however you like.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-22-2017, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not quite sure if I understand. I always use the praise as a release and a duration marker to encourage. If the dog is doing a face to face behavior I'm sure your dog is reading your facial expressions. If you dog is at your side, I'm sure he is following all kinds of physical movements (unless he's lost focus). If you are having issues it might be timing or body language. I know I have been getting sloppy mixing up my Yes and Good and now my dogs are more focused on the reward in my hand than the words I say. I am going back to square one and "charging the marker" so they aren't so focused on the reward treat or toy to tell them if they are doing correctly.
So you don't use the YES marker as a release? For me, I use YES like a clicker to surgically mark the appropriate behavior as well as release my dog to the reward to maintain the drive and motivation. I don't use praise after the YES, but I do dynamically reward with treats or play with a tug. I use GOOD for duration behaviors like a stay or if my dog is heeling and I don't want to release and have to reset the behavior. I will use food rewards to deliver the reward to the dog in place during the learning phase of the behavior. Later I will use GOOD to just let my dog know he correct and to keep doing what he is doing whether I have rewards on me or not.

With regards to praise, it is my understanding this is the only reward you are allowed to use in a trial in many dog sports, but the reward cannot be overenthusiastic or you could be docked points. And by praise, I mean saying GOOD BOY as well as petting your dog. But I think there is a secondary reason for not getting too excited during praise as this could distract your dog during trial as well as training and cause him to lose focus.

I am reading a Schutzhund book that states you should never use praise as a release for the aforementioned reasons.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-23-2017, 01:00 AM
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I use "Yes" as a positiver marker. Yes, is not praise and definitely not a release. Yes, is simply a marker for correct behavior. Praise is an enthusiastic, "Good Boy, super, brave, etc. Praise is part of the reward, but praise is also not a release. My release word is "OK." Praise and petting may come before I release or after. But the dog never breaks on praise alone. It can be subtle, but a very important concept to understand in training. I can tell my dog to do something, mark it with a "yes" and even praise him up with out him deviating from what he was doing. It can be guarding after a bite and an out, where I praise but do not release him to re bite. It could be doing a send out and downing him half way and praising from 50 yards, but not allowing him to break his down stay.

For me, a positive marker just calmly marks a correct behavior. Praise is one component of the reward structure and tells the dog he did a really good job. It is not an opportunity or an excuse for the dog to break or release. After I release the dog I may praise and reward even more energetically. The dog only gets released when I give the command for him to release. Teaching a dog that praise is a release or even pairing it with a release causes problems and issues down the road. They are 3 distinctly different things.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-23-2017, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Wolfhund View Post

I am reading a Schutzhund book that states you should never use praise as a release for the aforementioned reasons.
I think it is a matter of scale. A little pat on the shoulder and a quiet atta boy is allowed between sets during a trial. The big party comes after leaving the field. While we were teaching the dogs we used the praise as a release since we were focusing on small parts of the routine. As the behaviors are back chained, how ever you chose to signal to your dog know to let them know that the work is finished, after that throw the party. What I often see is that after a successful completion of set or skill the dog may get a small treat or a little play time. After the entire work out is done, then a nice fast game of tug or ball is the reward.

Do what works for you and your dog. Doing trick training with my ridgie mix, I could tell her Good Girl after a behavior and she knew to keep doing it. Sit- Good Girl -she kept sitting. My little whippet /beagle mix was another story. Sit - Good Girl - Jumping up and down in excitement. So for her there was NO praise until our entire exercise was done.Different dogs, different techniques
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