All of the Pup and Dog problems covered on this website can be solved with some basic training.
Warning: The only time you shouldn’t attempt this trick is when your dog is nervous of you (seek help) or has a tendency to bite or snap at you (seek help).
The basic concept is to “charge” yourself as a source of food.
Note: If you have heard of “Clicker Training”
Then you may of heard of “charging” the clicker.
You have probably already done this, if you have done any treat training.
If not this how I like to teach people.
You want to create a simple command called touch…
When normally teaching this in my classes I use “Touch” or “Target” but as we train for Agility as well “Target” is often used for the A-frame and Dog walk finish position.
To be honest it doesn’t matter what command you use but keep it short for ease.
“Tap”, “hand” and “Spot” are other alternatives.
The reason I teach this command to all my students is because it automatically gets them to do 4 things that I think normal “recall” training misses.
- It is fun for you and for the dog (you can make it into games).
- It makes sure the dog comes right to you.
- It can be practiced easily anywhere on or off lead.
- It’s a very easy command to teach.
Ok lets get on teach your dog this new trick…
What you need.
- Treats (or toy reward)
- Your hand.
You don’t have to use treats for this…
Ball play, Tugging or anything your dog likes doing can be a reward, but make sure they only get the activity after they have successfully carried out the command.
Note: Although you don’t have to use your hand any “Target” will do but the object of this exercise is to get your dog in close and the hand target is the easiest place to start.
Most dogs realise that when you put your hand out there could be a treat which helps when teaching this trick.
Simply put your hand close to your dogs nose and wait for them to touch your hand.
Don’t worry about a command yet.
At this stage it doesn’t matter how close you have to get to your dogs nose…
…Our goal is to get them just to touch your hand with their nose.
(They normally do it naturally because they are inquisitive. But if they shy away from your hand please do not force the “touch”…Just wait until they are comfortable with touching your hand.)
Immediately they do, then reward the action.
We need to so this several times to ensure they understand that it is the action of touching their nose to your hand that is giving them the reward.
Simply move your hand slightly further away.
If they go towards it they understand and we can now start adding the command.
This command is all about getting your dog to move towards your hand.
Some dogs get this quickly and you can get further and further away quite quickly.
Other dogs can take longer but I haven’t come across one dog that doesn’t get this eventually.
Play this game…
Around the house.
Out on walks
In the park
Between 2 or more people.
Now your dog knows that if they come to you…They will be rewarded with fun.