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February 4, 2013
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Michael Ellis discusses the importance of establishing a relationship with your dog before training. In this short video he discusses the impact a pre-established relationship can have on police dogs prior to training.

February 4, 2013   |   1 Minute, 54 Seconds

Leerburg Q&A
Ask your training question here

Question: Can I give my puppy (who is learning marker training) a treat at an odd time without saying "YES"? In other words, Does she have to hear the word "YES" come out of my mouth before she receives a treat?

Hi Cindy

I’m training my 12 week old F Malinois using marker training and it’s working great. I’ve purchased the bate bag from you that I have clipped on at all times. I’m doing a tone of engagement with her (eye contact), and she’s focusing on me for up to 5 seconds before I say "YES," pause, and reward her with food (hotdogs) or a toy reward. I haven’t began incorporating any commands, but that’s just around the corner.

My question is ... Can I give my puppy (who is learning marker training) a treat the odd time without saying "YES"? In other words, Does she have to hear the word "YES" come out of my mouth before she receives a treat?

I’ll give you an example:
When she’s comfortably relaxing in front of the fireplace, and I don’t want her to move, I want to praise her state of mind in that moment she’s relaxed, so can I approach her and say ‘good relax’ and give her a treat. Or just give it to her without saying anything?

Please advise.


Cindy's Response:

Sure, you can give her a treat without saying yes.  I would say GOOD, in that situation.  This way you are reinforcing the value of the word GOOD.

Good simply means: I like what you are doing, keep doing it. When I say Yes, I want my dog to break out of position with energy to  access the reward. 

I believe the food video covers this ~ The Power of Training with Food.

Cindy Rhodes

For more questions on this topic, see our Q&A on Marker Training and our Q&A on Training with Food.

We get a number of Q&As every week, if you would like to read this week's Q&As, click here and check out the 'Recent Questions' section!

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