There are 3 markers that are necessary to train dogs. These markers are terminal, intermediate, and correction. We learn these markers in operant conditioning. Within operant conditioning, you need the positive, neutral, and negative to create a system. This method was discovered by Dr. Skinner at Harvard University in the 1950s. 

Marker training typically takes a human 3 years to learn. In the first year of life, parents teach their kids the positive marker. This is typically their first name. The first year of their life they are typically spoken to with very high energy. This creates a positive experience for the child.  The second year of life is typically considered an “intermediate” year. This year is a year of encouragement. There is a heavy focus on using statements “good job” “you can do it” to encourage an action or behavior. Lastly, the third year of life, within something commonly considered the “terrible twos”, the negative marker is introduced. Parents usually use the middle name in this circumstance. 

With dog training, it is important to focus on the positive marker. For the first 30 days of training your dog, it is important to focus on giving your dog high energy and positive reinforcement. An example of this is calling their name and dropping a treat. The overall goal is to not be a “food source” but to teach your dog that every time they come to you, they will be rewarded. Your dog will study you and want to ensure that you give them treats with no connection. Your dog assumes when they hear the treat bag make noise that they will get a treat. They should be receiving pets and a treat when they come to their owner. Once your dog is responding well to you within your home, it is important to do the same thing outside where there are several distractions. A great place to do this is within your front yard. This is because there are lots of sirens, people, and noises. If you are giving your dog negative attention toward an action, they are still receiving attention. Therefore, the best reinforcement you can give your dog is to ignore them with bad behavior and reward the behavior you want.