Hand targeting or “touch”, is a great behavior to teach for a variety of reasons. A hand target is when you present your hand and the dog bumps his or her nose against your hand. Below is a video I created on how to teach hand targeting.
Hand Targeting Can Be Used For:
- Getting a puppy or a nervous dog comfortable with hands and human touch.
- Building confidence around people that a dog might be uncomfortable around.
- Redirecting a dog’s behavior.
- Confidence building to get a dog comfortable with objects that might be scary to them. These may include a brush, tools used at the vet, nail clippers, etc.
- Teaching a recall.
- Low-stress handling and cooperative care.
- Teaching more advanced behaviors.
- Modifying behaviors.
Hand targeting is a great foundation exercise for dogs of all ages. To learn how to teach a hand target take a look at this video I created with my puppy Journey.
How to Teach Hand Targeting:
Bonus Video: Targeting an Item:
Bonus Video: Low-Stress Body Handling:
Bonus Video: Targeting Objects
This article was also posted on Positively.com.
Anthony De Marinis is the owner of De Marinis Dog Training & Behavior on Long Island, NY. He provides private in-home training and behavior modification solutions using positive reinforcement-based methods. He also provides video consultations remotely as he has many clients across the United States. Anthony has 6 professional certifications which include: Certified Dog Behavior Consultant from the International Association for Animal Behavior Consultants, Certified Graduate of distinction from the Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training & Behavior, Certified Behavior Adjustment Trainer, Certified Victoria Stilwell Licensed Positively Dog Trainer, The Third Way Certified Trainer and is a Fear Free Certified Animal Trainer. Currently, Anthony has a young Australian Kelpie named Journey. They are learning about agility and nose work together. You can visit Anthony’s website and learn more about him and his services at: www.demarinisdogtraining.com