Dog training is an ongoing process that involves using a series of commands, instructions, and rewards to help your dog learn desired behaviors. In order for the process to be effective, the trainer must properly use two important tools: terminal markers and continuation markers.
A terminal marker is used in dog training to indicate the end of a behavior. This could mean an audible ‘click’ or ‘Yes!’ at the moment the dog performs the desired behavior correctly. These verbal cues let your dog know that he has performed correctly and he will receive a reward for it. It can also be paired with physical cues like hand gestures or pointing at the item being trained with.
In contrast, a continuation marker keeps the reward coming as long as your dog remains performing consistently. The most common form of this type of marker is a verbal repetition such as you saying “Good” while you give treats intermittently throughout the duration of their performance. This type of marker helps to keep your dog focused on continuing their behavior until they have achieved success in whatever it is they are trying to do.
Using both types of markers helps optimize the dog training process by making it easier for your dog to understand what is expected of them, faster response times when they perform correctly, and better understanding on how long their performance needs to last before getting rewarded. Plus, using both markers gives you more control over reinforcing behaviors so you can make sure you are always rewarding good behavior rather than bad or distracting ones.
Terminal and continuation markers are excellent tools for reinforcing positive behaviors in your canine companion during training sessions!