Unit Two – Marker Training

Introduction to Marker Training


About Marker Training

Using a verbal marker is exactly the same as clicker training, you are just using a different type of marker. The science and research tells us that a clicker is more effective than a verbal marker. However sometimes it’s easier to use one. Especially in gundog training when you may have your hands full or need both hands in training.

Common used verbal markers are ‘Good’ ‘Yes’ ‘Win’ . It needs to be a short one syllable word, that you can specifically pinpoint a behaviour with, like the clicker does.



Imagine that you are taking a snapshot or photograph of what you want the dog to understand is being rewarded.


When I can clicker train with a clicker I always use food as a reward. When I am using my marker ‘good’ I use different rewards, play, food, toys, and life rewards such as described in premack.

I personally think the verbal marker is not as effective because when you pick up a clicker you usually pick up some high value reward too like food, so the clicker is constantly paired with a primary reinforcer. Because we are creatures of habit, once you start saying ‘good’ to mark good behaviour you will become conditioned to do this and start saying it every time you see something you like, but not always follow it through with a high value reward. The positive here is that you are giving lots of feedback to the dog with is a very good thing.

I use a verbal marker alot in gundog training , and my clicker when teaching detailed behaviours or something where the dog is close to me.


Watch the Video Tutorial

Copyright © 2019 Jane Ardern BSc (Hons)

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