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7 Terms Every Pup Parent Should Know | Pupford

October 24th, 2023

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As a new (or not so new) pup parent, there can be a lot of terms, words, and phrases that seem foreign and confusing!

In this episode, I break down 7 terms that will help you feel more confident as you converse with dog trainers and other pup parents.


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Recall is interchangeable with 'come when called'. So basically, recall refers to your dog's ability to come back to you when you call him/her.

Recall is one of the most important behaviors you can teach your dog!

Related Reading: Commonly Confused Dog Training Terms


dog training using a clicker | Pupford

If you hear the term 'mark the behavior' that simply means to give your dog a distinct indicator of exactly when the correct behavior occurred.

So for example, if you are teaching your dog to sit you would 'mark' that behavior the instant your dog's butt hits the ground.

Marking can be done by using a 'marker word' like "yes" or "good" or by using a training clicker. A clicker is a simple tool that gives a distinct "click" noise when pressed.

By using a marker word or clicker while training, you can more clearly help your dog identify the exact moment they did a behavior correctly. And when they understand the timing of when they did something right, the more likely they'll be to do it again in the future!


While this isn't a "technical" term, it's one you will hear quite often.

The zoomies are essentially when your pup gets a burst of energy and runs wildly around. It can involve running back and forth, spinning in circles, overall just acting a little wild.

It often happens right before your dog is getting ready for bed, when you come home, and/or after a bath.

The only cure for the zoomies is letting your dog zoom around 😅


bite inhibition with puppy biting | Pupford

Bite inhibition is your dog's ability to control the force of their mouth/bite. This is sometimes referred to as "soft mouth", while those terms are slightly different generally.

Bite inhibition is best learned by doing proper training when your pup bites.

But the most effective way to teach bite inhibition is by having your puppy play with other dogs. Dogs have a natural way of letting other dogs know when bites are too hard and painful.

Don't skip out on
puppy play dates!


Capturing is a dog training technique of 'marking' (see above) a behavior your dog naturally does.

For example, if you're trying to teach your dog to lie down you might wait for them to lie down on their own and then 'mark' and reward that behavior. After doing that a few times, you can add a cue word (lie down) so your dog pairs the behavior with a term.

Capturing is a very effective way to turn natural behaviors into behaviors you can ask for on cue!


dog getting jackpot treats | Pupford

A big part of dog training is keeping your dog guessing and WANTING to listen to you. And jackpotting makes that happen!

Jackpotting is simply giving your dog a better reward (think real steak vs normal treats) or giving your dog more of their normal reward.

For example, instead of just giving one or two treats like you normally would you could give 4-5 treats when your dog does something you really want from them.

Jackpotting is a great way to more strongly reinforce behaviors!


Similar to the above, keeping your dog guessing can be a very valuable tool when training!

Intermittent reinforcement is simply giving your dog rewards at a random interval.

So, instead of giving a treat every time your dog does a trick, you only give a reward/treat every 2 or 3 times. Of course, at the beginning of teaching a new behavior, you'll want to reward each time.

But as your dog progresses with that behavior, you can start to randomize the reward interval to help keep your pup guessing and wanting to listen!

Hopefully you learn something new in this episode and feel more confident as a pup parent!

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Hello pup parents, and welcome to today's episode of the Perfect Pup Podcast. My name is Devin. In this episode, I'm going to give you seven dog terms that every pup parent should know. They're going to be mostly focused on training and some terms that you maybe have heard but don't know exactly what it means, but there'll be a couple others that aren't training specific. Let's get right into it.

Anytime that you kind of step into a new culture or into a new part of your life, there's a whole lingo and words and dialogue that goes along with it that sometimes you'll hear it and you think, okay, I maybe know what that means, but I'm not exactly sure. I found seven words that I think are commonly confused or kind of misunderstood or... Especially new pup parents maybe don't know what they mean and I'm going to cover them. Let's do it.

The first one is recall. The first time I heard this, I had no idea what it meant. I just thought... I literally had no idea. I did not know. If you hear the word recall and you don't know what it means, it's interchangeable with come when called, basically how good your dog is at coming back to you when you ask them to come back to you.

The second word, marking and clicker. I'll kind of do these two words together. In dog training philosophy or techniques you'll hear the word marking. Essentially what marking is you are putting kind of a timestamp on when the correct behavior was done. If you use the example of sit, if you ask your dog to sit, the second their butt hits the ground, you mark, and then you can reward. The reason I kind of use the words marking and clicking together is they kind of can be interchangeable in a sense that many people use a clicker to mark behaviors.

The little clicker, it's like teardrop shaped, you click it and it makes just a distinct noise. It's signaling to your dog that's the instant that what you did was correct. It helps our dogs better make sense of what we're wanting them to do and what they're actually being rewarded for. That is marking, when someone says, "Mark the behavior or mark it when they do it correctly," that's what they mean.

The third word, zoomies. You've probably seen this maybe on Instagram or you've heard someone say it. Basically zoomies, it often happens to puppies sometimes in the evening when they're getting tired, it can be right after a bath, it can be at random times. Honestly, it can feel that way. Basically zoomies are when your dog is just super hyped up. A lot of times, they'll be kind of running around the house or running back and forth, maybe barking a lot. It's kind of they're just extra amped up and hyper. Truthfully, it does often proceed or can be a sign that your dog is overly tired. Just like with a toddler, a human toddler, right? Sometimes they start behaving more crazy right when they're getting tired or right before they know they're going to go to bed or something like that.

The fourth word that every pup parent should know is bite inhibition. This is like a really kind of... A term you'll hear a lot as a new pup parent, because one thing that you will struggle with or have to deal with is puppy biting. What bite inhibition is, is essentially it's teaching your dog to use their mouth in the correct way and not in an overly aggressive or painful or powerful way. This does also tie into what you'll hear as what's called soft mouth. Again, kind of interchangeable. Soft mouth specifically refers often to dogs that are like hunting dogs or bird dogs. It's the ability for them to put a bird in their mouth, for example, and not be biting down on it and chomping on it, but just having a soft mouth and bringing the said animal back to you.

Bite inhibition is most frequently... Well, there are multiple ways to go about getting bite inhibition for your puppy. One of the most important ways is puppy play dates and your puppy or dog playing with other dogs and learning. There's a lot of self-regulation that happens within dog to dog interactions where they will basically let the other dog know that bite was too hard, et cetera.

Fifth term, capturing. When you hear capturing, basically what that means is you find your dog doing a desirable behavior and you mark and reward that behavior as it happens naturally. You're capturing the behavior in its natural way of happening. For example, if you're struggling to teach your dog to lie down, which some dogs it is a struggle for them, you can, for example, wait, even if you're just sitting around your home, you can wait until your dog is just lying down, mark, reward. Then, with enough repetition, you can start adding a word in like down or lie down or whatever you're going to use. You're essentially, again, capturing the behavior as it happens and turning it into a behavior that you can ask for on cue.

Sixth term, jackpotting. These last two, there's some connection here. Jackpotting is a technique that you can use when you're training your dog when you really want to let them know, "Hey, what just happened was a great, great decision or a great choice," or especially if you're struggling to, for example, teach a certain trick or teach recall like we covered before. Maybe you just get over a really difficult task or your dog's been struggling, struggling, struggling, and then they finally get it. You can jackpot.

What jackpotting is, it's just giving them many more treats or play or reward than you typically would. If you typically give a treat, it's giving them, maybe it's like four or five, six treats so they really understand like, "Wow, this was really, really good." It can also be giving a different type of treat and giving more of it. That is in a general sense what the term jackpotting means if you hear it.

The seventh final term I'm going to cover is intermittent reinforcement. Again, this is something that you will hear pretty frequently. It's a powerful way to more strongly reinforce and teach behaviors to your dog. Basically continuous reinforcement would be every time you ask your dog to sit, you give them a treat, or every time they do a shake, you give them a treat. Every time they come back to you, you give them a treat. Intermittent reinforcement is going to be like... It kind of sounds like you're going to be staggering or randomizing when those reinforcers happen.

It might be, okay, once your dog's got sit down pretty well, you might ask for a sit and not give a treat one time. Then the next time you ask for it, you do give a treat. What it does for the dog's brain is it creates this level of anticipation and a stronger desire to want to do said behavior because they don't know for sure if they're going to get a reward or not. Again, just to be clear, intermittent reinforcement does not mean that you maybe give your dog one treat for every 30 cues that they do, but rather it's a strategic way of going about giving your dog reinforcers that is going to, in theory, up the likelihood that your dog is going to accomplish said behaviors that you're asking for.

Again, it's just not giving a treat necessarily every single time, but maybe every other time or every third time. It keeps your dog anticipating and wanting to listen and behave even more so, because they don't know for sure when they're going to get a treat. It's just another technique in the dog training world that can help you improve behavior.

Hopefully you learned something in this episode. Hopefully there is a little more information that you can use as you're working on training your dog to be better behaved, because that's what we're all striving for here, especially on the Perfect Pup Podcast. I hope you enjoyed this episode. If you know somebody getting a new puppy or a new dog for the holidays or as a gift or whatever it is, please be sure to share this with them. If you have not already, please leave a review on Apple Podcasts. I read every single one of them. Other than that, we will catch you on the next episode.


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