Do I have to use a clicker?
No. I have found the clicker to be very helpful due to the distinct sound and accuracy. There are other types of markers- a verbal “yes” can be used. For sound sensitive and deaf dogs a flashing light can be used.
Do I need to use the clicker every single time I cue my dog to sit?
No. The clicker is used to teach new behaviors. Once a behavior is learned and a cue has been added, the clicker can be faded out.
Will my dog gain too much weight eating so many treats?
Not if you follow some guidelines.
- Use meal times for training. Before a meal take some of the food out and train for a minute. After the short training session give the dog the rest of the meal normally (in their bowl or puzzle toy).
If the dog gets a lot of treats during training sessions, you can subtract that from their next meal.
Training can be mentally and physically demanding and burn calories.
If serious weight concerns arise, please consult your veterinarian.
Can I use the clicker to get my dog’s attention?
The clicker should be used to capture behaviors you like and shape new ones. If the dog is not paying attention, and is focused on something else, clicking to regain their attention can have an adverse effect.
Do I always need to carry treats?
No and yes. Once a behavior is learned, treats can get faded out. You won’t need to treat your dog every time they are cued to sit. However, with positive reinforcement we recognize that dogs are always learning and there are always chances to tell the dog “ I like what you were doing. Thank you. Here is your reward!”.
So to answer the question another way, no you don’t need to always carry treats but if you do, you always have a chance to reward behavior you like and behavior that gets rewarded, gets repeated.
Will my dog get confused with another team using a clicker?
No. In group classes, dogs may hear a click from a different team and take notice but quickly differentiate between a click in the background and the click that gets them a reward.