Using calm markers to teach precision in heelwork – professional dog training

I will soon be releasing an article about the use of multiple markers in training, based on my presentation for the Art and Science of Animal Training Conference last year. This is one of my videos that I showed at the conference as one of the examples of the benefits of creating markers that have different meanings to the animal. Here you can see, I am using errorless learning to proof ONLY the head position of Wish for heelwork (I have her target her feet two platforms so that I can get her back feet in perfect position. I go over this in my Weekly Puppy Insights. The reason she is on two platforms is to get her to line up her back feet perfectly so I can focus on her head position and not inadvertently reinforce her back foot movement) In the video you can see that I use the calm marker “good…” to mean stay in the position the reinforcement will come, and it predicts a calm reinforcement delivery. Then to end the behavior I use the marker “get it” meaning, stop doing the behavior and collect the reinforcement yourself.

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