I really don’t have a problem with the clicker, itself. It has it’s place in more advanced training exercises and for tricks. But not for basic obedience and behavior modification that is the result of a fundamental lack of respect from the dog to the owner.
And not for behaviors that can be fixed immediately with a firm, well timed correction. I’ve never understood why someone would choose to take a whole week to fix a behavior that can instead be fixed in 10 minutes, if you use the right technique.
It’s not like the dog is any more or less happy, one way or the other. The clicker can be used to more accurately mark subtle differences in behavior, as mentioned above, slight differences in positioning, for teaching the competitive heel. Where I take exception is with the “clicker training methodology” which uses pop psychology terms to try to explain away the necessity of correcting your dog for unwanted behavior.
For basic, companion dog obedience, it comes down to this: Why fix it, if it ain’t broke? Especially if the “fix” takes longer and provides no greater benefit to the happiness and well being of the dog? The other issue I have with the “clicker training approach” is that it fails to account for the fact that most owners are smart enough to realize that they can moderate the firmness of their correction, based on the dog’s temperament and the motivation for bad behavior.
The “clicker training approach” adopts the viewpoint that every correction is a level 10 correction, and that every dog owner cannot be trusted to not over-correct his dog. And in my experience& even WITH the pinch collar& 98% of dog owners consistently UNDER-CORRECT the dog, initially.