Target help

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Paige, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. Paige

    Paige Let it be

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    Bandit is learning how to target with his nose and he already knows how to with his feet. He gets confused if you try and get him to target something with his nose when it's on the floor. Should I just try and let him figure it out on his own? Is this an issue with something I am doing?

    I am currently putting it just in different spots near him and he gets the jist of it being to his right, to his left, over his head but on the ground he doesn't get it. If I hold it and it's above the ground he understands but not if its laying flat.
     
  2. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    It could be that he's learned that if the target's in your hand, he should touch it with his nose, but if the target's not in your hand (ie. flat on the floor) he should paw it. If this is the case, you can keep your hand on the target when it's on the floor, and then just work on fading out your hand. Or you can work on placing the target on other surfaces to get your hand out of the picture: for example, you can tape it to the wall and have him touch it on vertical surfaces; or put it on a raised step stool or something so it's flat as if it's on the floor, and then just work on gradually lowering it to the floor.

    It could also be that he's having trouble deciphering between the cues. You could try not practicing the paw target at all for maybe a few weeks until he's solid on the nose target. Or practice only the nose target in, say, the kitchen, and practice the paw target in the living room. Then when he's solid on both, start working on cue discrimination in a third location.
     
  3. Paige

    Paige Let it be

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    I haven't done the paw targeting for a long time. Probably close to two months. It was actually one of the first tricks I taught him when he was a puppy so he seems to fall back on it when confused. That and down.

    Those are some great suggestions and I'm going to try them. I think that is exactly what's happening.
     
  4. Paige

    Paige Let it be

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    Too late for me to edit so I am going to double post. He already got it just with me leaving it on the ground with my finger touching it the first two tries. Then he had it down like a champ. He tried pawing it a few times after I stopped having my hand on the target but he got over that pretty quick and touched it with his nose.

    Smart boy! I swear all our issues are entirely me and not him. If I just tweak my handling he gets it no issue. I love this dog. :D
     
  5. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    YAY! Awesome! I'm glad you got it!

    Pawing is one of those things that dogs just LOVE to do, so when you reinforce it - training target pawing, shake, etc. - that tends to be the go-to behavior for the dog pretty much FOREVER. The service dogs we train have to do a lot of nose targeting, so ALL of our trainers are forbidden to teach anything involving pawing. I had to yell at one of our apprentices just today for teaching hi-5 to one of the dogs.

    I can say, I'll highly respect any trainer who can teach cue discrimination between nose targeting and paw targeting.
     

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