Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Target Training

A fun trick for pups is target training. Familiar with the Easy button trick? That's target training in action. Ever want to teach your dog to go to his bed? Again, target training in action.

What you'll need:

A Tupperware lid or Easy button

Present the lid and click the dog for any interaction. Keep the lid low enough to the ground that you pup can paw at it if he so chooses. Toss the foodies to the side of the lid so that pup has to go get the food and then come back to interact with the lid. Your goal is to get the dog to put his paw on the lid. This may take one session or a few, we move at the dog's pace. Put the lid away after each session.

When you have the dog pawing the lid each time it is presented change the picture a bit by placing the lid on the ground, changing your location, or distance. Choose only one piece to change at a time and keep sessions short. After a couple of sessions you should be able to name the behavior.

You can take you lid anywhere and transfer the target behavior to just about anything. Laying under your chair at an outdoor cafe, dog bed or mat, turning off the lights, the possibilities are endless.

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