Friday, August 23, 2013

Fit Dog Friday- How To Teach "Touch"

This week was Ike's second Good Manners class. A fit dog has to keep his mind fit too!
In this class, we learned "Touch." Touch is a targeting skill that helps get a dog into position without using any physical contact or force.

At first, Ike didn't quite know what we were asking of him.

Then he got a little more instruction from the teacher.

He's starting to get the hang of it. He even performed an over the shoulder touch, lol.

How To teach "touch"
1. Hold out your hand with an open palm.
2. As soon as your dog accidentally touches your hand with his nose, click
3. Reward with a treat
4. Move your hand around and repeat 1-3.
5. After three successful "touches" add the verbal command, "Touch." and repeat the exercise.
6. Continue to move your hand around to different positions.
If your dog isn't interested in your hand, make it smell like hot dogs or something good!

The dogs seemed to get the hang of this pretty well. Now the key is continued practicing at home. Have you taught your dog "touch"? How did it go? What real world applications have you found for this skill?

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  1. Good job, Ike! You're doing great in your classes!

    I love playing this game! Mom's working on teaching me to target with other parts of my body right now, but so far I can touch with my nose, chin, and my front paws. BOL--you should see Mom's legs after a paw target session!

    I used nose targeting specifically to learn leg weaves, figure-8s, closing doors, bridge, rolling a big ball, and ummm... I'm sure there's more! For more practical uses, Mom can use my nose target to disengage my focus from something else, and to help me move into a new position/out of the way. It is a really useful cue!

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Two French BulldogsAugust 23, 2013 at 12:53 AM

    Mom is now using us as guinea pigs
    Benny & Lily

  3. Great job Ike, you are right that mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise. Your mom is smart!

  4. I use "touch" to teach things like closing doors and figure eights. We don't use bells for house training but "touch" could be used for that.

  5. BRAVO IKE...

  6. We've been doing "touch" with Jeffie for the past six months. Began in an effort to challenge him mentally and reduce anxiety. He caught on very quickly and we've noticed it helps him relax. Those are great videos you posted!

  7. Sounds like great work with Jeffie. Ike is probably smart... but are his mom and dad??

  8. Thanks Frankie and Ernie. Ike would now like to come play with you for a reward.

  9. Those are adorable skills to learn. You've got some smart doggies.

  10. Mental exercise is good....but so far it hasn't helped me lose an ounce! lol

  11. Oh, but I love guinea pigs :)

  12. wow wow wow! That is so cool to use all those parts of your body for touch. And you can use the skill in so many different ways. I'm going to try to teach Kelly as well.

  13. Well, of course they are! :-)

  14. Thanks for these great instructions! We're going to work on this with Scooter our little pomeranian this weekend- he's been loving his clicker training thus far :D

  15. Great post. Keeping our furry friends minds FIT is just as important as exercise!

  16. Great post- very useful instructions! Thanks for sharing. Love #FitDogFridays. Have a great weekend. X Talent hounds

  17. Pamela | Something WaggingAugust 24, 2013 at 7:19 AM

    Love the video! Ike looks like an eager and attentive boy. Once he "gets" this you'll find it hard to make him stop.

    Honey loves "touch." I use it to help her focus on me when something exciting happens. We use it to expose her to scary new things like agility equipment. And now it's the foundation for getting her to shut a cupboard door.

    BTW, I find Honey understands a new cue easier if I break it down into smaller steps. First, I click and treat for or looking at the hand. When she's doing that consistently, I click and treat for moving closer. Eventually she figures out the progression and then I click and treat for the touch.

    Ike might also respond well if you can figure out tiny steps that will get him to what you ultimately want him to learn.

    Good luck in your class!

  18. Cool mental exercise. We tried touch a few times but opted for Hide & Seek & Fetch games...maybe i should give this one a go now that you've broken it down into easy steps.....

  19. Oh yes, Delilah learned this in tricks class. It's such a fun command and you can actually do SO much with it!!


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