@donc said in Logan & Monkey Training Journey:
Marker words will work The reason I'm not a fan is that we tend to chatter at our dogs a lot, and the marker word can get lost in the chatter. The clicker is more distinctive and less subject to noise.
FYI what you are trying to do with your dog is called "shaping". Basically you reinforce a behavior. So the dog gets to decide to "do or not do" and you get to "reward or not reward". Shaping works with humans, it's just not called that. A famous example is where the audience was told to smile at the presenter when he approached one edge of the stage. You can imagine what happened!
More accurately, "shaping" is the reinforcement of successive approximation until you arrive at the behaviour you are aiming for. e.g. if you want the dog to pick up an object, you would start by rewarding approaching the object, then sniffing the object, touching it, mouthing it, opening mouth close to it, taking hold of it, and finally picking it up. You break the steps down as small as you need them to be, and go back a step if you are encountering confusion. In the case of teaching a dog to lie down, you would reward any step in that direction, like stretching or sitting, but gradually withholding until he gives you more. Alternatively you could just wait for him to lie down and reward that! Usually you don't start with your goal behaviour but in this case it is likely to be offered so you might just want to wait and "capture" it.
I find clicker training to be most useful in teaching behaviours that are not easily understood or that are tricky for the animal to understand. I used it to teach my horses to use a new automatic water bowl that operated differently than their previous one......you had to push the lever down instead of sideways as in the previous model, which I expected to be an easy transition, but seemed to puzzle them to the point where they were training me to push it for them! I switched to clicker training and had four horses using it properly in a day and a half of short sessions with each horse.
Marker words need to be said emphatically and in the same tone to be effective. Clickers are easier to be precise with, so IMO a better choice if you have a free hand. But you don't always have a clicker with you and a marker word may be useful at times.