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Video:Teach Hand Targeting to Dogs

with Andrea Arden

One effective dog training tool is hand targeting, which is a simple cue that any dog can learn. Learn about hand targeting and how it can help encourage and improve your dog's obedience.See Transcript

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Transcript:Teach Hand Targeting to Dogs

Hi, I'm Andrea Arden at Animal Haven SoHo located in New York City for About.com, and today I'm going to show you how to teach your dog to hand target.

What Is Dog Hand Targeting?

Hand targeting is teaching your dog to use his nose to touch your hand on cue, that is if you put your hand out and say "touch", your dog should come running over and touch your hand with his noise.

Hand Targeting Benefits

This is a very useful skill for many reasons, its also a good social exorcize, that is when people reach down to your dog to say hello, your dog knows what to do, which is to touch their hand, rather than jump on them or back away.

Start Hand Target Training

Hand targeting is a very easy thing to teach. You just start with some treats, with your dog in front of you, put your hand out, your dog is probably out of curiosity going to touch your hand right away, so when he so get ready, and the moment they do your going to say "yes", and then give them a treat.

Positive Reinforcement in Hand Targeting

The word "yes" is a marker word - that is, it marks the behavior. It says to your dog what you did at that exact moment is what is getting you the treat. It shouldn't take your dog more than five or 10 repetitions to understand that when it hears the word "yes" it means what it just did when it heard it is the right thing.

Practice Hand Targeting With Your Dog

Start with your hand about six inches away and gradually increase the distance so that your dog is moving farther and farther to get to your hand. If you have a friend or a family member who can play this training game with you, you can have them seated across the room or yard and you can call your dog back and forth so that they learn to become and excellent hand targeter. And that's how you teach hand targeting.

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