I really agree with you – markers (used as such) are NOT a part of my training plan. Admittedly, they sneak in at times ?.
If it helps to explain; rather than tape my mouth shut ? (which might be a good idea at times ?),I DO try to hold my “yes!” or “Good boy!” until after Baxter clearly has the hide and has turned to let me know, hopefully intending it more as a confirmation than to mark a behavior.
I realize it’s a fine line and I probably cross to the dark side occasionally. ? But, Baxter can be impulsive, and impatient … if he thinks I haven’t gotten the message, he may start digging/pawing, and letting him know I’m on my way with his reward slows his jets. I do NOT mean it as a marker – just as part of our communication process.
Sometimes, I will run searches totally mute, just so Abby & Baxter aren’t thrown off by my silence. ? I think it helps me remember to shut the heck up. ?