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With my previous GSD's, I worked with a trainer who stressed praising the command/action, i.e. Good SIT, Good STAY. Good SIT/STAY! Always worked well.

I have a new GSD pup (7 months now) and have just started working with a different trainer. This trainer disagrees with the other trainers' approach in praising the command/action. Instead, this trainer stressed using just a general praise, "Good dog!" or "Good boy!"

I'm struggling with the difference... my boy seems to respond better to "Good Sit!" but I'm being constantly corrected by the current trainer.

Just curious to the opinions on both of these approaches.

Thanks!
 

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Just my opinion, but I think "good sit" is sort of a nag, saying the command twice. On the other hand, if it works very well with your dog, you may want to consider sticking with what works unless you are working through issues, then it's time to be open minded and try other things.
 

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I think whatever works for you should be the way to go.

When I give the command,,an example here,,I will say "sit",,when I release them from it,,I do praise,,by saying "good sit",,,or "good girl"...doesn't seem to confuse them,,nor I feel does it nag them,,however it's whatever works for your pooch :))
diane
 

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I don't really use either. If I say something after the command it is a mark "yes" which has been "charged" so the dog understands it as affirmative. I may also then release the dog for some other game or reward. I don't start using a command until the dog can already offer the behavior, either on his own or by me luring, then one the dog will do it I say it, dog does it, I mark with "yes" and then reward with whatever I'm using to reward.

I've heard of people saying the command word again but I don't see the point. I don't think using the command again counts for either a mark OR a reward.
 

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I say 'good sit' or 'good down' ........... but this is for all the initial training. I'm trying to really get my dog to learn a new language (people language and it's in English for me). I think repetition couldn't hurt.

It's not nagging when it's a happy praiseful voice. So I can't see it hurting the training at all. And if there is a chance it may help...then why not?
 

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I've used both ways - including the command word in the praise and praising without the command word. I don't find that it confuses the dog in any way to include the command with your praise and I think that for some dogs it clarifies what you're praising for ("good sit" confirms that the sit is what you're encouraging). As someone who trains other people, I don't worry which type of praise they use as long as they're PRAISING. So many people have a tough time praising their dogs.

Praise is really valuable to help stretch out a behavior, and it's more in the tone of voice than the actual words. If you could get your instructor to understand that and to quit nagging you about your choice of praise, then you could get on with training! It just seems like such a minor thing for the instructor to be focusing on.

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
 

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With puppies or dogs I'm training a new command, I always say "good sit." With my trained dogs, I usually use just "good, (Although, I'm tend to use "yea!" or even "woo-hooo!" a lot too!
)

"Good" is something that I actually give meaning to, "loading" it like a clicker. At the beginning, I like to keep the words I toss at my dog minimal, so she's not trying to figure out "is this a command or not?" It's more likely that a dog will listen to you when she understands much of what you're saying. "Meri. Good sit!" My pup knows all those words. They have meaning.

Camper is an adult and I tell him he's a Good Guy all the time. But I know he doesn't know what Guy means. He really just knows what Good is, and that Good Guy is praise. It's nice. He likes praise. He's trained, so it doesn't confuse him. But with a dog that's in training, I prefer to be more explicit.

But as Melanie says, as long as you're throwing a party whenever your dog does something right, that's the main thing. And I do believe we should be throwing parties. Not just tossing out the word "good," but whooping it up. A huge party. Every time!
 

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I use "Good Sit" or "Good Down" when my dogs are doing as I asked. Not only am I praising them for the proper behavior, but I am reminding them (reinforcing) what I want them to do.
 

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I think it depends on the dog. My recent rescue, described as aggressive and mean, worked with a trainer I respect. His theory was three commands with Zoie, positive or negative, and if negative then a sharp correction. In this case it has worked wonders.

However, different strokes for different dogs. If you did this to the shy, non-aggressive dogs, the dogs will just aspent more time avoiding the owner and in my case hiding under the bed.
 

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I like to use many different words. For example, "Excellent!" might be a really fast drop on recall, or "Yes!" might be a good finish.

My voice inflection tells Zack that I'm pleased. The differing words help spice up the training. "Good boy" loses its punch after awhile. I do use "good sit" etc., when I'm initially teaching a command.
 

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We take our dogs to training, and we use e collars.
On distance control,we do praise them, Good Sit, or gooood down.
Although we don't teach the stay command, whatever we tell them to do last they are taught to keep doing that until the next command comes, so every command is virtually a "stay"

But even in our classes there are variations.
Like when we put the dogs on their boards, we use Place, as the trainer taught us, but others use "table" etc.

Some train their dogs the european heel, some the american heel.
Some even train their dogs to the right.

You're paying the trainer, if you have your reasons, to use Good sit, and the dog is doing well under it. Then he should allow you to.

Remember there is no "magic" language you are teaching the dog your laungage, if he knows good sit means he's sitting, check and that's a good thing, then who's to say differently.

We also use Goodboy, or good gurl in general praise, like after they do agility etc.
 

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I think it was more the tone that my trainer uses, especially on difficult things like the long down. "Good down" in a soothing voice always made Lucy relax and stay. I think for her it has been very helpful.
 

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Re: Differences with trainers - quick opinion ques

I think your trainer is splitting hairs. Like others have said, I have trained both ways, with repeating the command or just using the praise marker and have not noticed any difference in the way the dog acts or that one is more effective than the other.

I also only use the praise marker when I'm initially training a behavior (like the clicker). Since my dogs are on modified NILIF the reward is whatever they want in the first place (to go for a walk, eat, go outside, etc.).
 

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Re: Differences with trainers - quick opinion ques

I like using good sit, or good down, instead of good boy or girl, when I am introducing a command or beginning training. It wouldn't be nagging because I wouldn't give a verbal command to start with, either the dog would be offering the behavior looking for a click, or responding to a hand signal.
Once the dog responds reliably to the hand signal, I would start giving the verbal command in conjunction and I usually with respond with "gooood" just because it keeps from getting the dog too ramped up if I am working with an excitable dog.
Like others say it depends on the dog, and your preference really.
 
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