CHARLOTTE – When training a new cue to a client, I first explain what the cue is and why I’m teaching it. Typically this cue draws strange looks from clients and I can see them wondering why in the world teach this?
My favorite cue for 2020, and every other year, is TOUCH. This amazing cue can be used to call your dog back to you, redirect a nippy puppy, redirect a reactive dog, and in many other ways. I advise that each client find how it’s most useful for them in their everyday life.
- Holding your treat hand behind your back, place your other (empty) hand very close to your dog’s nose, with 2 fingers extended.
- The moment you feel your dog’s nose touch your fingers, say “yes!” and give a small treat.
- Work on increasing the distance so that your dog has to move to your hand. (Be careful not to move to your dog’s nose. Let your dog think and move on their own.)
- If your dog doesn’t respond, put your extended hand behind your back and then represent it slightly closer to your dog, offering another opportunity to be successful.
- Say “touch” just before you present your hand.
- Gradually build distance and change which hand you present, generalizing this behavior into a fun and easy game!
The fun part of this behavior is that it is so easy, setting your dog up for success. You can practice it anytime, anywhere. Have fun with it and celebrate your dog’s success!
A short video to help:
Join us next time for: Using toys during training!