Alot of them :nicejob:Makes me wonder how many other talented animals I have seen were trained using a clicker.
Marking behaviors is an excellent way to teach dogs, as it's simple, easy for them to understand, and quickly relays the info in a way your dog understands. I tend to be very chatty with my dog, when we're playing, out and about, I just talkk to her alot. When we're training, my vocabulary gets VERY SMALL. Yes, no, good, that's about it. It's really all that's needed once your dog understands, and you start working as a team.
Good example, last night we're at a friends house, and Dakota goes towards the shed. My friend says that's where his compost pile is, maybe it's not a good idea to let your dog go back there. No problem, she approaches, I tell her "No, backup." She turns, and as she gets to a certain point, I tell her "good". That's it. When you practice, and are consistent, that's all it takes. Those 3 words told her:
1) I don't want you going over there
2) Where I said good, that is the boundary you shouldn't cross
3) If I don't tell you "no" as you enter a new area, you can assume that you are allowed to be there. If you're not sure, look to me for advice/guidance.
I use alot of non-verbal cues as well, as dogs pick these up better. Maybe the way I'm standing, the way I hold my head, the look I have on my face, etc. They pick this stuff up much more than words. Many times, if Dakota isn't sure if she should be doing something or not, she will look to me, and wait for the thumbs up or thumbs down, or a verbal cue. "go ahead" or "no". That's it. These body cues are much easier for dogs to undersand, and many people don't realize how powerful they are. I often hear/see people say something like "we walked past this shady dude, and my dog totally picked up on something". Maybe your dog did actually pick up on something, but the majority of the time, the dog probably picked up on the fact that you are responding negativley to someone approaching, which in turn tells your dog "This is the way to react" and will often follow. They can tell your nervous, they can see your body language shift, even if you don't realize you're doing it. Much in the same way your dog will pick up and react to these cues, you can then pick up on your dog's cues and react accordingly. A good thing to keep in the back of your head, is that most times, a dog doesn't just "do something". They give clues as to what they are about to do, and how well you can learn to pick up on and respond to those cues will make a big difference.