Targeting theory/definition

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Lyzelle, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. Lyzelle

    Lyzelle New Member

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    I get the theory of most training techniques, but I don't know the fancy lingo. :eek:

    What is "targeting", exactly? And how would you go about teaching it? Or what is the theory of practice behind it? Definition...whatever you'd like to call an explanation.

    Every time I think I get a hold of the lingo, someone uses it in a different way than I thought it was meant. I just need to find a training terms dictionary for reference on these sorts of things.

    It's like learning a whole new language. And I already have Italian on my plate!
     
  2. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    there is no dictionary, just make sure they make sense to YOU. :) Be consistent, be fair and you'll be fine. As soon as you get 20 people to agree on what one term really means, you'll find 20 more that say it's something else and have a compelling reason to back up their position.

    Targeting to me means where are they going to bite :)
     
  3. SpringerLover

    SpringerLover Active Member

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  4. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Targeting to me is either nose to an object or feet to an object, depending.
     
  5. Lyzelle

    Lyzelle New Member

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    So basically just to acknowledge an object in some way, shape or form?
     
  6. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    To me that's touch ^^

    Target here is a place to run to

    ETA: Of course, I use it for the ferrets. God forbid I try to teach Rosey anything, that would suggest she's a dog! :rolleyes:
     
  7. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    For me targeting it touching something with nose or feet.
     
  8. Danefied

    Danefied New Member

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    Hahaha! 20 different answers, isn’t that the truth!

    To me targeting is contact basically.
    For my guys if I want them to touch their nose to something I teach the cue “touchâ€. If I want them to touch their paws to something I teach the cue “targetâ€.
    I’ve also taught Bates to “target†my left leg with his right shoulder to help with heel. That one doesn’t have a name, its a body language cue. I get in heel position and pat my side.

    Targeting with their nose is useful for all sorts of things. I use it most as dog nose to my hand and then my hand becomes a lure, an invisible leash in a way.
    I also use nose to hand target as a reward for one of my dogs because he *really* likes doing that behavior and its a good way to keep him up and engaged between exercises in the ring.

    Targeting with feet to an object is awesome for all sorts of things. Agility people use it to teach contacts. Obedience people use it for perch and platform work to teach body awareness, positions, go outs, etc.
    Really, once your dog understands the “target†game, be it feet, nose, the possibilities are endless.
     
  9. Lyzelle

    Lyzelle New Member

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    Aaah. I gotcha. I was looking for new things to teach Zander and I didn't know what this meant or if I taught it.

    Well, I guess I sort of have something new to do. I never taught it, but he has a "bad habit" in touching my hand repeatedly when he doesn't know what I want. I guess because I use my hand as a lure a lot.

    Thanks for the replies! Everyone's was different, but it still helped tons.
     
  10. Emily

    Emily Rollin' with my bitches

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    I think some of the confusion might be stemming from the fact that in reference to bitework and tug, "targeting" is often used to mean what RTH said, where the dog is going to bite. But it's also often used to mean a contact behavior with either nose or feet, usually in reference to marker training. Neither definition is incorrect. It's just a matter of context. :)
     
  11. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    Of course it does depend on context. But to me, targeting means zeroing in on an object or a specific place on the object. We often use a "target," usually a small-ish flat object like a plastic yougurt lid, or also a hand, or a bite sleeve, or whatever, to teach the dog to target - focus in on a small place. It's usually followed by some learned behavior, like a nose touch, hand touch, bite, etc.

    So in service dog training, when we teach, for example, the dogs to push the lightswitch with their nose, it's really two separate behaviors: target the lightswitch (find it, go to it), and then push it. When we teach retrieve, a very important step is teaching the dogs how to deliver the item, how to target our hands and put it there. So again, that's two steps: target (find) my hand, and put the object into it.
     
  12. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    As with much of the English language. :)

    That's pretty much my definition, too.
     
  13. Lyzelle

    Lyzelle New Member

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    Thanks. :)

    Been working on it as "touch" last few days. Apparently it was too easy. First day I worked on the idea with lure and waiting for him to do it himself. Caught on prerty quick. Later that day he offered it when I was eating a sandwich. Tried random objects yesterday.

    Today...his new default behavior is to nose anything close enough when he thinks I want something.
    Bacon. The great motivator.

    How far can you build this? He's going to get bored and moody again soon.
     
  14. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    You're teaching him to touch things with his nose?

    The service dogs I train use this to push doors and drawers closed, cabinet doors, refridgerator, etc. (pretty much anything that's reasonably light enough for them to move). They push light switches, automatic door buttons, even moving limbs, like when your arm or leg falls off of your wheelchair and you don't have the strength to move it back.

    I think it's used in treball to teach dogs to move the balls. It's sometimes used in agility at the bottom of contact obsticles to teach dogs to stop on the contacts.

    So I guess what I'm saying is, get creative!
     
  15. Lyzelle

    Lyzelle New Member

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    Yep, with his nose. Making him understand he has feet is something else entirely, and he already offers 'shake' a lot, so I'll have to find a way around it to make him think with his feet...but not shake. And put a new word to it, although he's doing really well without the "touch" verbal cue, just with me pointing.

    Thanks for the ideas!
     
  16. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    Teaching descrimination between touching with their nose and touching with their feet is VERY VERY DIFFICULT. I've personally never seen a trainer succeed. The service dogs I train are pretty much never taught to paw anything, they always just use their noses. I know of other groups that teach paw only, never nosing. But I don't know of any groups that teach pawing for some things and nosing for others, because it's so incredibly difficult.
     
  17. Danefied

    Danefied New Member

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    wow, now you have me very curious!
    Bates “targets†with his feet if I put something on the ground and he “touches†with his nose if I put a sticky note on a vertical surface, but now that you mention it, he does make that vertical/horizontal distinction. Now you have me wondering if I can put a “target†object on a wall and see if he’ll use his feet or his nose.... hrm....
     

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