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  • Liz MacHaffie

Using "Yes!" for Great Training

Updated: May 7


We use the word "yes" (or a "click" from a clicker) to mark the exact moment our dog gets something right!


It's like hearing "Ding ding ding!" on a game show. The dog knows the answer he just gave was correct, and his prize is coming!


How to Use "Yes":

  • Say "Yes" within 1 second of your dog getting something right.

  • Speak first, then treat. After you say yes, reach for your treats and give him one! Or, move your hand that already has food in it to deliver his treat. (If you are saying "yes" at the same time that you're reaching for food, you can distract and confuse him.)

  • One "yes" = at least one reward. A "yes" is a promise of a reward and your dog will be expecting one. Don't use "yes" if you aren't going to reward your dog :) Instead, use other verbal praise!


Eye contact happens so quickly and our dogs can look away almost immediately, so it's a great example of when we need to mark the very moment our dog gets it right. Check out this video of using "yes" for eye contact. Notice how I say "yes" and THEN deliver the treat, they don't happen at the same time.


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