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Hello! I've taught my girl how to "target touch" my left and right hand.

When I hold out my hand (palm facing outward, towards her) and say "Touch!" she will bump her nose gently on my palm.

I've heard this is a very strong command that can lead towards many other commands. But, I have no idea what next to teach her after establishing this fundamental trick.

Any suggestions? What have you taught your dog with "target touching"?

Thanks!

Mikhal
 

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Transition to her touching a physical target that's IN your hand - like the lid of a small Tupperware container. Then work toward getting the target out of your hand and onto the floor - while she maintains the solid nose-bump behavior. Move to the floor gradually. If you go from in your hand to the floor, most dogs can't make that leap.

Once you have that behavior firmly established, then you can use the target to send her to different places and it's also a great tool for teaching a solid two on/two off contact behavior in agility.
 

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in puppy agility, the command we were taught was "bump it" and it was used with treats and a clear lid, like what you would see on the top of a Pringles can.

the instructor showed us with her older dog that this would come in handy when we did teeters and jumps--her dog had been trained to have the lid out beyond the jump or contact equipment and given the command "bump it" at just the right moment so it would not jump off right before contact or miss a jump. I hope I've made sense!
 

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Ahha! This can actually be a fun one!

-Teach to turn on and off light switches
-To look is a specific direction for photo shoots
-Jules will touch Jazz when I ask , "who's your girlfriend"
-To bring you objects

During my training with Jules, we taught, "On your mark" similar to target touching.

Put a piece of paper on the floor and say 'On your mark' and they go touch it.

Then graduate to using a box for them to stand on.
 

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Ahha! This can actually be a fun one!

-Teach to turn on and off light switches
-To look is a specific direction for photo shoots
-Jules will touch Jazz when I ask , "who's your girlfriend"
-To bring you objects

During my training with Jules, we taught, "On your mark" similar to target touching.

Put a piece of paper on the floor and say 'On your mark' and they go touch it.

Then graduate to using a box for them to stand on.
Ahhh, great ideas! I think I will start working on #1 with Danny and go from there. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Stephanie & Rappwizard - So the intention is to transition the nose bump onto a lid (like a Pringles can top) so that where ever I place the lid, she will go and nose bump it?
 

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yes, that's correct--Stephanie did a very good job of explaining it when it comes to contacts in agility; if a dog jumps off too soon, that's not good form if you're going to compete; by having the target close to the edge of the end of the contact, it encourages what Stephanie, and my instructor calls "two on/two off" form--where the dog has the two back feet on the contact, and the two front feet on the ground, just beyond the edge, bumping the target.

It also helps sometimes with jumps too--here, my instructor uses a baseball cut in the center, and put on top of a pvc pipe or other stable bar. You teach "bump it" for the baseball and have that out on the opposite side of the jump to encourage your dog to jump over the jump and bump it. Some dogs are jumpers, others aren't and this encourages them to go over the jumps. Hope this helps. I went thru puppy agility classes for the fun, but have taken a break until my golden turns 2, then we'll return as it is lots of fun--bet you would find it fun too!
 

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Stephanie & Rappwizard - So the intention is to transition the nose bump onto a lid (like a Pringles can top) so that where ever I place the lid, she will go and nose bump it?
Yes, and then I like to quickly generalize to touching other objects, too, for fun.
 

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Tracer, Rumor & Cady
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nice if you want to teach a dog to nudge open a door or nudge it closed (as in close the fridge door or cabinet door or nightstand drawer)
 

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Magica Goldens
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Following the hand (moving hand touch) is also the beginnings of left and right finishes. Depending on the dog and the reward history for some dogs a hand-touch (or specifically a series of them -touch, touch, touch) is as reinforcing as a cookie...nice thing to bring into the ring with you for between exercises.

I also know people who use the hand-touch as their emergency recall - such high rate of reinforcement their dogs drop EVERYTHING to come touch....

Erica
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Quick question... right now, Sara associates the word "Touch!" and an open palm to mean "bump my nose here".
When I progress to getting her bump a lid, shall I call it something else instead of "Touch"??
 

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Quick question... right now, Sara associates the word "Touch!" and an open palm to mean "bump my nose here".
When I progress to getting her bump a lid, shall I call it something else instead of "Touch"??
You could, but I didn't. I just started by making the target part of my hand. I palmed the lid and presented my hand in exactly the same way as before the introduction of the lid. I kept the word "touch".
 

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Magica Goldens
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Quick question... right now, Sara associates the word "Touch!" and an open palm to mean "bump my nose here".
When I progress to getting her bump a lid, shall I call it something else instead of "Touch"??
I did - for my guys "touch" is a hand touch, "target" is something on the floor, "away" means run away from me in a straight line until I tell you to stop and "yellow" means put your footies in the A-Frame contact - but all are basic touch something that is presented to you behaviors.
Erica
 

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Like Erica said, a lot of behaviors can still be taught with only the hand. Give command and then move hand the way you want the dog to move.
 

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One of the best things about a strong hand target is a beautiful heel! Play a variation on "Choose To Heel" by asking her to "touch" in heel position and rewarding it. You'll end up with a gorgeous attention heel.
 

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One of the best things about a strong hand target is a beautiful heel! Play a variation on "Choose To Heel" by asking her to "touch" in heel position and rewarding it. You'll end up with a gorgeous attention heel.
Just curious... I've not seen the entire C2H program, but I understand the concept of targeting to help the dog find/maintain heel position. How does the program advise fading the presence of the hand target to maintain the head-up position?
 

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I have the Choose to Heel book at home although I don't use the program. From what I remember true Choose to Heel doesn't use touching the hand target, it uses food from the hand when dog is in correct position. I'm not sure, but I think that to maintain heel, you would eventually just feed randomly. If no one else can answer for sure then I can look it up when I get home tonight. I think a variation of choose to heel using a hand target would be similar in that you would just randomly offer the hand for target while dog is in correct position.
 
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