An event marker that identifies the desired response and “bridges” the time between the response and the delivery of the primary reinforcer. A secondary reinforcer that can be delivered with extremely precise contiguity. The clicker is a bridging stimulus which also includes stimuli such as whistles, clickers and praise words.
Ok now that we have the technical stuff out of the way we will explain in very simple terms. Ever hear a trainer say keep it simple for the dogs so they can learn and get access to reinforcers such as food? Well this is very true and one of the reasons why we use an event marker to keep it simple. Think of it as taking a picture of the behavior you wanted and letting the dog know what they just did was what earned the reinforcer. Which is why we also always hear timing is very important in dog training. An event marker takes out all the confusion when we are teaching, especially new behaviors. Therefore making it simple to understand what behavior they did lead to a reinforcer.
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A good rule of thumb is to make sure our dogs went potty before we crate them or doing any crate training. We also make sure we did some mental and physical stimulation before crating our dogs therefore we can rule they have to potty or they have lots of energy. Your dog may be getting bored also so we can add some safe toys, Kong or treat puzzles like a ball. Another good rule is we try to never give attention when they are whining so we don't reinforce the whine unknowingly. Remember in order for your dog to tie a consequence with a behvaior it has to be within a second. Therefore always wait a few seconds to break the chain. So if your dog is whining wait a few seconds for quiet to let them out.
Always remember go slow and steady with all training and set them up for success. Take a step backwards if your going to fast for your dog.
What Size? Large enough to turn around, small enough that they cannot be thrown around while traveling or pee on one side and sleep on the other. When your dog sits his head should not touch the top of the crate. Your dog should also be able to lie down and stretch without hitting the sides of the crate.
Please note puppies grow fast and you can get a larger crate that has a movable divider inside.
Firstly don't panic! It's normal in any type of learning to have some regression. Very important to not punish your dog in any way especially if you didn't catch them in the act. Any type of punish can teach them bad things happen in their crate and have a huge set back in any crate training in the future. If you ever catch your dog in the act you can interrupt and gently take them outside to finish eliminating. Remember to always praise and reward when going potty outside. Please always remember to clean any accidents with the proper cleaners and disinfectants. (no household protects other than white vinegar).
If your dog is having many accidents we must take a step back and reevaluate our training program. First we must rule out any medical causes eg. urinary track infection UTI. Second make sure their crate is the right size for your dog. If their crate has to much room your dog may take advantage of the extra space by eliminating in that space. After we ruled out any medical issues or in proper crate size we can try feeding them inside the crate more. Dogs do not like to potty where they eat. You can also give more treats , bones or stuffed KONGS inside the crate.
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