Category Archives: hand targeting

Teaching Your Dog to Hand Target

By Lisa Mason

First time and seasoned dog owners can benefit from training their canine companions to obey various commands or perform certain tasks and tricks. Hand targeting is just one of many training tools used. In fact, this version of “come” is easy to teach, easy to learn, and can be taught by dog owners of any age or experience level.

About Hand Targeting and Its Benefits

Hand targeting is a command that teaches the dog to touch his nose against the palm of the hand. As with the more basic and simple verbal “come” command, hand targeting is considered basic obedience. It should be mastered thoroughly before the dog and trainer move on to more complex tricks such as “sit pretty” or “jump.”

Benefits of this training command vary based on the desire of the trainer. It can help teach a dog to respond to visual cues, which can be beneficial when calling the dog from far distances or even for more complex future training such as agility training. It can help teach a shy dog to be more trusting of new people, and it can be beneficial to dogs who are hearing impaired.

How to Teach a Dog to Hand Target

To start, a container of their favorite CANIDAE treat should be on hand at all times. In the beginning, it is beneficial to rub the treat against the palm of the hand to help encourage contact with the dog’s nose. This is considered the easiest and most efficient way to teach hand targeting, as the aroma draws the dog’s nose in.

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