Marker cues – revisited

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Marker: A marker is a stimulus which has become a secondary reinforcer by the process of both classical and operant conditioning.

What is the function of MARKERS?

First of all, their function is communication with the dog. If used correctly, they constitute a clear way of conveying information to our pet.

  1. They reassure the learner that what they are doing is right. In other words, they take the randomness and ambiguity out of the task the animal performs, thereby reinforcing the target behavior.
  2. They separate the behavior from the reinforcer.

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Antecedent Arrangements part 2

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This is the second part of this article. Okay so we already know antecedent arrangement is something to look into when we talk about problem behaviors. But does it relate to sports training? Or any dog training at all?
To sum it up, I would say your success depends on how you setup the training session. And this means a lot of antecedent arrangement. I will cite some paragraphs from my article about shaping cues, but it will be best if you also read it as an addition to this article.

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Time-out from…!

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When I have done a poll on my Facebook fan-page I received 79 responses. 30 people said they use time-out the rest said no. It was 38% yes, to 62% no. But the thing is, when those who said yes in the pool explained in the comments what they actually meant, it turned out to be a sports time-out.  A break,  a time off from training, a play, tossed treats. Which actually makes me really happy. But also is a great example that we often argue about two different things. One person says she uses time-out and the other says no, and they start an argument, but the problem is they have different definition of the procedure that they are taking about. That’s why I believe we should either relay on scientific meaning of a certain term. Or if not, we need to always explain what we mean when we say “time-out” or any other procedure.

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Hasło na kształtowanie

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Kształtowanie to w możliwie największym skrócie, zróżnicowane wzmacnianie, kolejnych udanych przybliżeń do docelowego zachowania. Czym kształtowanie nie jest to przewodnik bez planu, czekający aż pies czy inne zwierzę oferuje różne zachowania, z których można wybierać te „właściwe”. Kształtowanie to bardzo szeroka tematyka, dlatego bardziej zainteresowanych zapraszam na kurs online, a tymczasem do meritum. Czy do kształtowania przyda nam się hasło?
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Cue for shaping? Do we need it?

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In the shortest possible way shaping is a process of reinforcing successive approximations of a targeted behavior. What shaping is not is waiting for the dog to come up with a plan and “offer behaviors” among which trainer will choose the relevant ones. That’s just poor training and not shaping. But to the point. Do we need to have a cue for shaping? If yes why?

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Nosework – overhandling!

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One of the very common tendencies that can be noticed in nosework trials in Poland, is the excessive interference of the handler in the work of the dog – overhandling.

What does overhandling mean, why do handlers fall into this trap? First of all, in nosework dog should work independently, handler has to perform the role of a strategist, making decisions only in situations where the dog does not have enough information to solve the puzzle, without human interference. This canine nose is an expert in the scent sport, and he is the one solving the puzzle.

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