What if my dog is not food motivated?

All dogs are food motivated! If they weren’t they would have starved to death a long time ago. If you have tried training your dog using food in the past and you have found that they have not been motivated by the food you are using, there is usually a good reason. Let’s explore that together! 

Complete our FREE “​Creating a ​Food-Motivated Dog” course – it’s a quickie and it’s sure to be helpful for you to attain your training goals with your dog. 

Will I have to click and feed forever?

No way, Jose! A clicker is just a tool for training a new behaviour. When your dog has learned the behaviour, you can put the clicker away and simply use praise and the desired reward in its place; “good job, Buddy!!” and then let them go sniff, go say hi, catch the ball, chase the frisbee, eat the treat, etc… 

What if my dog is afraid of the sound of the clicker?

If that’s the case, you can use a button clicker and wrap it in a cloth or towel. Clicking it while wrapped will mute the sound a bit and you can condition it that way, gradually unwrapping it and continuing with the conditioning exercise at a tolerable level until it’s fully unwrapped. If that does not work, your dog may be sensitive to the sound of a click (it’s a relatively common phobia for some dogs) and you may choose a different marker, such as a “yes!” instead. 

What if my dog ignores the clicker?

Whatever you do, don’t click again. Take this as information that the environment might be too distracting or that the food is not of value to them at this moment. There may be a competing reinforcer (people, other dogs, squirrels, smells, etc.) If that’s the case, try again in a less distracting environment. If the food is not of high value, your dog may choose a distraction over whatever it is that you are offering. If that’s the case, increase the value of your food rewards. Need ideas? Check this out: ​https://canineeducationacademy.com/what-type-of-treats-should-i-use-to-train-my-dog/