• Daria Rylkova

    July 7, 2019 at 11:25 pm

    Something that confuses me is that I’ve heard several clicker trainers say that a marker word or click has to be followed by a primary reinforcer 100% of the time or it loses its strength as a secondary reinforcer. As far as I understand, accordingly, praise and marker words would be separate and a marker word would not be followed by praise alone, unless praise is a primary reinforcer for that dog.

    So you could have separate sessions where you pair physical/verbal praise with food or during early training of a behavior you would have:
    cue-> behavior -> marker -> food
    cue-> behavior -> marker -> praise ->food

    once the behavior is learned, the cue itself should be a conditioned reinforcer.

    During later training/practice you would vary the reward schedule by
    cue-> behavior -> praise
    cue-> behavior -> marker -> food
    cue-> behavior -> cue ->behavior ->marker ->food

    I’ve heard this from people who use a click as a release and from someone who uses a click as a duration marker and verbal release. If you interchangeably use a verbal duration marker as praise (eg “good”), does the duration marker lose some of its ability to shape a new behavior? Does it make a difference in the real world? Seems like many variations work 🙂