basic dog training

Dog Training Basics

The Four Tiers of Dog Training

Before you can begin training your dog, you will need to understand dog training basics. These four essential tiers are: markers, timing, consistency, and motivation. A "marker" tells your dog when he does something good or bad. Along with proper timing, consistency, and motivation, they are the critical factors to being successful. Without one of these, your training will not be effective.


Markers are words or noises that we use to communicate with our dogs when they do something good or bad. The 'markers' are both positive and negative.

Most people use the word "good" for the positive marker and "no" for the negative marker.

One other marker that we can use is "Free." We use this command to tell our dogs they can leave whatever position they are in.

For example: If I have my dog in a sit and I tell him "free," he can now run around and do what he pleases.


Timing refers to when we reward or give a correction.

It has been scientifically proven that you have 1.3 seconds to reward or correct a dog for them to associate what they did with the reward or correction.

Markers help to extend that time. If our timing is off, we can be rewarding or correcting the wrong behavior.


Consistency is clear communication from you to your dog. It means reacting in the same way for every major act of your dog's behavior.

Again, you have 1.3 seconds to reward or correct your dog's behavior.

Missing an opportunity to do either will teach your dog that you cannot influence his decision making.


Motivation is what you do to influence your dog and his decisions.

Dogs are motivated mainly by food.

Simply talking to your dog is not enough. Motivation requires the owner to act as soon as possible to reward the correct behavior.

Rewards for your dog must be physical, either food or pets. If your dog acts negatively, you must act negatively and quickly as well. Verbal scolding is not sufficient.


These four tiers of training enable us to train our dogs. Leaving one of these techniques out of our training sessions leaves us inconsistent and frustrated at the lack of progress. These methods will help you to become a good trainer and to have fun with your dog.

Thanks for reading my post! I'd love to hear from you if you have any comments or questions. You can comment below, or visit my Goldy Paws Facebook Page. You can ask questions, and I'd appreciate your likes and follows too!

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