Casper gets a treat

Some trainers use a clicker as a "mark." Guide Dog Puppy trainers use the word "nice." 

This article talks about when to use treats and when to use the marker, "nice."


These behaviors earn a puppy a food reward, but we do not mark them with the word nice.

  • Calm behavior. The word nice activates puppy brains. When the pup is being calm, we don't want to activate the pup.
  • Food Induced Recall (FIR)
  • Putting on the head collar (Gentle Leader, Halti)
  • Relieving (You may give at first as needed. Give kibble at voiding finish. It's appropriate at any age.)
  • Crate training

These behaviors get a food reward WITH a mark, "nice."

  • "Go to bed" training sessions
  • Loose leash walking
  • Ignoring or resisting the temptation of distractions
  • Ground tether (under four months) and Hand tether (over four months)

We do not mark or deliver food rewards for these behaviors.

  • Foundation exercises such as sit, down, stand, or stay
  • Grooming and handling