As far as a non "click" good dog, my doxies dont see well enough for a thumbs up, so they get a quick ruffle or a scratch under the chin. My Terrier x, Scout gets a thumbs up as a click though, as she is light obsessed
even more off topic, Sara I have a question for you. what's it like having more than one deaf pup? I might be rescuing another deaf Aussie pretty soon here (we're still going over money and time to see if we can manage it), and my boyfriend is worried it would be really hard. any advice?
I dont find it hard at all, but then mine aren't high energy herding breeds. But many MANY people on our deaf dog yahoo group have 2 or more deafies. (they're addictive) And none of them find it tough. When I had the foster deaf Border collie, he was no different than having a hearing one, I would suppose, except for keeping him on a long line when on walks.
Go for it!!! There aren't enough people that'll adopt deafies, and there's even fewer that'll treat them like normal dogs!
Back to beg- With most of the dog's I teach I've been able to do the multiple treat route to build duration. I have several treats in my hand and try and shove as many in the dog's mouth as possible until the feet hit the floor. Repeat. When the dog is good with constant treats I start delaying the time between each one.
The dogs also need time to develop a stronger core. Lightly supporting the dog by letting them rest on your hand can help, as well as doing general strength work such as On the Ball exercises.