Multiple Markers Game
When I ask my clients what they most want to achieve from training, almost all of them say they want their dog to listen to them and pay attention to them.
I love the Multiple Markers Game because it teaches our dogs to do this in such a fun way. Look at the attention Johnny is giving me and at the impulse control – Johnny absolutely knows that there is food in those bowls that he ignores and runs past! Once this game has a solid foundation, you can start upping the ante to achieve this under more and more distraction.
As a bonus, Johnny loves this game so much that I can use it to turn off his alert barking (guarding is in his breed’s genetic job description and he takes his job seriously!). I’m happy for him to alert, but I want to be able to turn it off. When he barks, I tell him, “On your bed”; he stops barking, runs to his bed, spins around and looks at me expectantly to say, “Let’s play!” You’ll find your own applications for this game, too.