we bought a training clicker today to help in teaching wombat to heel (and possibly other things). i started out doing click then reward to teach wombat that the click means treat. she didn't seem to focused and was just trying to grab treats off me. i took her outside and tried again. i clicked and she cowered. we happened to get a clicker that you can adjust the tone/loudness so i put the volume down and tried again. she cowered again (she still took the treat but was on the ground shaking). i put it to the lowest volume (which is still quite loud) and she still cowered. i don't know why she's making the association that something horrible is going to happen to her when it clicks but she is. we gave her a break and tried again later. same thing. i think we've had 3 or 4 sessions (of about a minute or so) where we click it and she looks terrified (but takes the treat). hopefully she'll learn quickly that click means treat and not something horrible. i thought she would pick it up right away because she's very smart when it comes to associations so i'm not sure what's happened in her past that's made her terrified of the clicking sound.
we could probably teach her to heel by using the clicker every time she pulls but i don't want it to be a negative thing so we're gonna keep trying to condition her to click=treat.