First I started with hand targeting - teaching your dog to touch their nose to your hand. We have this behavior pretty well built as I have used in on and off with her for a few years. But if you are new to the idea, here are few things to do to get started:
- Start with your hands behind your back (and your dog standing/sitting in front of you) and present your hand (pick one to start with) about 2 inches in front of their nose
- Usually, your dog will move forward and sniff your hand (especially if your hand has a high reinforcement history!). The instant you feel their nose touch, click (or say yes or whatever you want to use as a mark).
- Then give your dog a treat from the OTHER HAND. :)
- Repeat. When your dog touches your hand 9 out of 10 times in a row (or 100%!), start to present your hand in different places but still relatively close to your dog.
- Once your dog is reliably touching your hand when you hold it out, you can add a cue like touch, target, or whatever you decide :). Remember to say the cue first, then extend your palm toward your dog.
Here is Monday doing some intermediate hand targeting.
Monday is actually a pretty mouthy dog <think land shark lol>, so I wanted to get away from using my hand as a target. The less I have her touching my body with her mouth, the better :). So I moved from having her target my hand to having her targeting a stick.
|Targeting is hard work.|