logo
logo

Teaching a dog to touch his nose to your hand on command is a simple, highly effective training protocol that has many practical uses:

  • It can teach a touch sensitive or hand shy dog to welcome physical contact instead of avoiding it.
  • It can help a reactive dog to direct his attention to the handler, thereby interrupting fixation.
  • It can establish a bond between an anti-social dog to a human handler because it is a process that encourages teamwork.
  • It can help teach a non-biddable dog the value of working with humans.

The exercises begin with a simple behavior and reward protocol under low distraction.

Once the dog becomes proficient, we then raise the level of distraction and reduce the frequency of reward. By introducing distraction and practicing the exercises in different environments, we are providing a variable reinforcement schedule. Variable reinforcement schedules create stronger behavior, and create behaviors that are more resistant to extinction. This means that with time and practice, the dog will generalize the learning experience.

Start with the dog in a quiet area (low distraction). Place a high value food treat in your closed fist and present it to the dog saying “Touch!” in a happy voice. When he touches his nose to your hand, mark “Yes” and open your hand. Repeat several times.

Switch the food to the other hand, present the original hand, now open and empty, PALM UP, UNDER HIS CHIN. He will smell the food and should respond to the “touch” command exactly as he did in #1 above. Mark the instant his nose touches your hand and give the treat from the other hand. (Note: with highly reactive dogs, begin by tossing the treat on the floor.) Repeat several times.

Repeat #2, but vary the placement of the open hand.

Repeat #3 in different environments, under gradually increasing levels of distraction.

http://www.CanineDimensions.com

Articles

Barking

By Denise Collins
6/21/2021

A dog should be allowed to bark. After all, that is one reason we have dogs, to alert us. We would just like to control the “on and off switch.” It’s the rare human who hasn’t yelled at their dog, “Quiet" or "Shut Up!” when the dog is barking at the doorbell, a noise, or at you to get your attention. We think that if we raise the volume of our voice, this ...

read more

Behavior Terminology

By Mary Mazzeri
6/21/2021

Behavioral Terminology: What are they talking about?

You hear dog trainers tossing around training terms that don’t make sense to you? Here’s a look into decoding the lingo.

The definitions are generally accepted among behaviorists (which is where this terminology is standardized): Whether a given act is reinforcement or punishment is defined by what the dog does in the future. Doesn't matter what anyone else thinks of it, it's the dog ...

read more

We Need Leadership If You Want "Real Change"

By Andy Luper of a Canine Academy International
6/21/2021

The title might sound political but it isn't. Rather, this is written from the dogs point of view for owners who don't seem to "get it" despite their best intentions, and the advice of a qualified professional.

Dear owner, your dog would like you to know:

  • Despite you giving us human names, we are in fact dogs that react to you and our environment.
  • What is most important to us is not who ...
read more

Training with Energy

By Patty Homer, CDT, CPDT-KA
6/21/2021

Scientists have discovered that dogs can smell the presence of autism in children.

'Seizure Alert' dogs can alert their owners up to an hour before the onset of an epileptic seizure. There are dogs that can detect cancer before medical tests can. With these incredible capabilities, it is hard to deny the effect that our own energy can have on our dogs. The idea of sharing "good energy" is not just a “woo-woo” concept reserved ...

read more