What does it mean when someone says “marker” or “reward”?
Markers are things that make your life easier. They are things like food, toys, treats, water bottles etc. These items will always have value and they can never lose their value. You can use them to teach your dog new behaviors or reinforce old ones. For example, if you want your dog to sit, then you give him a treat every time he sits. If you want your dog to stay away from other dogs, then you give him a toy every time he stays away from other dogs.
If your goal is to train your dog not to bark at strangers, then what do you need markers for?
The answer is simple! You need something that makes your life easier. That’s why you should use food, toys, treats, water bottles etc. to train your dog.
What does it mean when someone says “reward”?
In dog training, a reward is anything that the dog considers positive. It can be food, a game, petting or any other activities which the dog loves to do and will work for. The purpose of using rewards is to give something positive every time the dog does something right. For example, if you want to teach your dog how to sit, then every time he sits you will give him a treat. If the dog likes the treat, then he will soon learn that whenever you ask him to sit, he gets a treat. Now whenever you say “sit” he will sit automatically to get the treat.
What does it mean when someone says “reinforcement”?
This is something that is essential and vital to learning. The purpose of reinforcement is to strengthen behavior.
The big question here is how do you reinforce good behavior?
The answer again is simple. A reinforcer can be anything that the learner wishes to obtain. This can be a piece of food, a game or even petting. Different animals have different preferences so you need to know what your learner wants.
Sources & references used in this article:
Functional MRI in awake unrestrained dogs by GS Berns, AM Brooks, M Spivak – PloS one, 2012 – journals.plos.org
Scent of the familiar: An fMRI study of canine brain responses to familiar and unfamiliar human and dog odors by GS Berns, AM Brooks, M Spivak – Behavioural processes, 2015 – Elsevier
Awake canine fMRI predicts dogs’ preference for praise vs food by PF Cook, A Prichard, M Spivak… – Social cognitive and …, 2016 – academic.oup.com
Teaching with rewards and punishments: Reinforcement or communication? by MK Ho, ML Littman, F Cushman… – CogSci, 2015 – cushmanlab.fas.harvard.edu