Most people know that you need to let your furry friend know when they have done something wrong. Most also never have a problem knowing when to correct them, but did you know that it is just as important if not more so to let your dogs know when they are doing something right? Marking a dogs correct behaviors not only helps them know exactly what you want from them but will also help to encourage them to continue doing the right things. Think of this type of training as you would for yourself. You would not want to continue working for someone if all they ever did was tell you what you are doing wrong and neither will your dog.
Some of the easiest and most efficient ways to do this is either with a command or even with a clicker, which some may know as clicker training. No matter which way you choose you must remember to always be consistent with your training and keep in mind the #1 rule of dogs “If they let me do it once it must be okay!”.
The How To
The best command most commonly used to mark good behaviors is “Yes!”. It is short and simple, and if given in the right tone will be very encouraging to your dog. The same can also be done with a clicker.
Example: You are teaching your dog to sit. As soon as his/her bottom hits the floor let them know that is what you wanted by saying “Yes!” Then you can praise them with some love or a “good girl/boy”.
This can be added in with absolutely anything and everything that you are trying to train your dog to do: sit, stay, down, kiss, heel etcetera the list goes on. Just remember timing and consistency is your key to success. So as soon as they are doing what is asked of them mark it with a “Yes!” and your dog will be playing dead and rolling over in no time!
By adding this to your training your dog will learn exactly what you want from them and in a much shorter time frame than if you did not mark the right behavior.
Quick tip: If you are training your dog something more advanced remember to let them know when they are on the right path. This can be done with a “That’s it!”.