It's Bernie's mum here taking over the blog for the first time ever!
I wanted to tell you about target training and how the 'touch' command has helped Bernie and myself in learning new tricks and commands!
Bernie has known the 'touch' trick for a few months now. He picked it up ever so quickly. Here's how we did it just in case you'd like to give it a go with your dog. This works particularly well if your dog is food orientated like my Bernie is...
- Have some smelly treats at the ready
- Sit down in front of your dog, place a treat in one hand and make a fist
- Hold your fist out - your dog should instinctively go to that hand
- When his nose touches your fist, open your hand and give them the treat
- Repeat, having a treat in your hand each time
- Mix things up and put a treat in your other hand. Once you're sure they've got this bit, move onto the next step
- Now try placing the flat of your hand out with no treat - They should have learned that a 'touch' results in a treat - Continue to hold your hand there if it takes them a little longer to figure it out
- Always treat after your dog touches nose to hand
- You can use the flat of your hand or use two fingers as a signal like shown in our photo
- Once they've got it you can add the command 'touch' and have a bit of fun with it!
I found this trick to be a great stepping stone to other tricks...
- It's been brilliant to use in recall training - an area that has been a very stubborn one for Bernie
- By placing my hand above his head whilst he is sitting we've taught him to 'sit pretty'
- By moving my hand in a circle around him to make him follow we're also in the process of learning 'spin'
So, those are the basics! From there you can teach your dog to use their nose and even their paws to target your hands, feet, target stick, door... Anything you want to use as a target really!
We’re taking part in the Positive Pet Training blog hop kindly hosted by Cascadian Nomads, Dachshund Nola, and Tenacious Little Terrier! We've absolutely loved being a part of this blog hop today!