For thins month, I'm talking about target training. What's that, you may ask? Well, it's training your dog to target something, be it with their nose or paw. You can teach them to target a certain object such as a target stick, or your hand or even your foot. Whatever floats your boat!
"Touch", as I'll refer to it in the rest of this post, is a very easy and very useful cue to teach. You can use it as a tool to teach other tricks, like heeling with a taller dog, shutting doors, turning on and off lights, ect. It's also helpful in a busy or slightly overwhelming situation, since it's an easy yet engaging cue to preform and that gives your dog confidence.
Here's a video on how to teach it (I can't link it since Blogger is being a pain):
Kikopup Touch Tutorial
Nola knows how to target both my hands (I'm working on teaching her left and right), both my feet and objects I tap with her nose, and will target a yogurt lid with her feet. For nose targeting, I use the cue "touch!". For paw targeting, I use "target". I taught Nola to close doors using her "target" cue, and her "touch" cue was helpful in the beginning stages of teaching her her right and left finishes for Rally. Touch is also fun and useful because you can have the dog touch things in a certain way; you've probably seen a few pictures on here where Nola's "sniffing" flowers. In actuality, she's just targeting them.
|Snapped just seconds before her nose hit the rose after giving the cue.|
I've started teaching Miss Nola how to turn on and off lights. Hopefully she'll have the whole thing down by the end of the month and I can show y'all! Here is a very shaking and very nauseating video (I have a love/hate relationship with the YouTube Capture app) of when I first started teaching Nola this. She now flicks on or off the light about 60-70% of the time.