Make Your Dog Want to Perform | Step 2: When to Use Your Reward Marker

reward markers Jan 10, 2022

What Exercise Do You Need Your Dog to Love to Perform? 

I remember being really discouraged with my inability to teach my dogs to perform in the absence of food or toys. Like most obedience enthusiasts, I was an expert at luring with treats, but I did not have the skills to teach my dogs to move away from reward to earn reward. 

Skeptically, I began to use a verbal Reward Marker to teach my dogs to run across the room to their beds. My success was startling, but noticeably, not only were they going to their beds, they did so with speed and excitement. 

Now, I was frustrated!  There is no “30-point run to your bed exercise,” but there were many exercises in obedience that I needed my dogs to perform with that level of energy and enthusiasm. 

How do you make a dog want to perform? 

In Part I of this series, I discussed the importance of teaching your dog that he controls when reward happens. 

In Part II, I show you how the Reward Marker connects reward with whatever the dog is doing when he hears the Reward Marker. Most importantly, connected this way long enough, any behavior becomes rewarding. 

What behaviors do you need to become rewarding? Let me ask you that differently. What obedience exercises do you need your dog to love to perform? Heeling? Fronts? Finishes? Signals? 

In today’s video, I share pieces of several Obedience Road videos to demonstrate exactly how this can work for you. Using your Reward Marker, you can make your dog want to perform!

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