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Hi all,

Just recently joined, have been reading past topics for weeks, this is a great site. One thread mentioned the command "touch".

I've tried teaching my 11month old girl (Abby) but this seems to be one command she just cannot grasp. Any tips for teaching this?

At this point i've been holding an object, ask her to touch, as soon as her nose hits it i praise and treat. Although getting her to touch an object not in my hand has not been going so well.

Thanks!
 

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Hi Dobedad, welcome to the list :)
Here is an excerpt from Karen Pryor. I followed these instructions with my cat and he caught on pretty quick and if a cat can do we know a Dobe can do it :) If you don't have a clicker you can mark the behavior with your voice.
If you like this you can get many more "lessons" from
www.clickertraining.com

Good luck :)


Getting started with target training

Rub some food on the tip of the target stick and encourage the dog to sniff it. Click for looking at the stick, for nosing it, licking it, and bumping it. Give the dog a treat after each click. Repeat several times, putting the end of the stick an inch or two from the dog's nose each time.

Move the stick so it is above the dog's nose, below it, to the left, and to the right, clicking for touches in each direction. Move it away a little, and click if the dog takes a step toward it. Try walking with the dog and the stick; sometimes the dog catches on faster if it gets clicked while moving.

See if you can get the dog to stand on its hind legs to reach the tip of the stick, or bow down to reach to the floor. Settle for small movements at first; make it easy for the dog, not hard.

Keep your sessions short; three or four minutes is plenty. Keep the stick and some treats handy, perhaps in the kitchen, so you can do a little target training several times a day. Some dogs will catch on in a single session, and begin racing for a chance to touch the stick; others may take five or six sessions just to touch it with confidence.

Watch for signs of understanding: a wagging tail is a good sign. When the dog is eagerly touching and following the stick, and perhaps grabbing at it when you aren't even asking for that, raise your criteria. Start asking him to touch it two or three times for a single click and treat, or to follow it for several steps.
Omit the click if the dog mouthes or bites the target stick, or touches it along the side rather than at the end. Your dog will not mind the omitted clicks, but will try harder to find out what he needs to do to get you to click him again.


Now you can use the target stick to teach other behavior. If you are interested in agility training, you can use the target stick to teach the dog the obstacles, and to indicate contact points. An obedience trainer could use the target to teach go-outs and the drop on recall.

Use the target to teach the dog to walk beside you on a loose leash, or out in front of you in "parade" position for the conformation show ring.

You can transfer the behavior to other targets. Yellow sticky notes can be used as targets on furniture or on/off switches, or to teach the dog to retrieve specific items such as the TV remote. The red dot of a laser pointer can be a wonderful target for working your dog at a distance; a laser pointer can be useful in tracking and other scent work, in agility, and in police work.

Above all, have fun with target training, and enjoy this new way of communicating with your dog.
 

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Great advice TracyJo!

By the way WELCOME DOBEDAD!

Lexy got it pretty quick just a matter of repetition. Now I'm working on teaching her a mark with her touch item. I place it out away from me and she has to run to it and sit by it. That's going a little slower......
 

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i agree - start small!

i start with a new object, and the minute bowie looks at it, click. then he goes closer, click. and then he nudges it, and more clicks. once he figures it out, he quickly learns the touch command. this way you shape the behavior. telling her to touch when she doesnt know the command probably just confuses her. in my clicker classes, this is one of the first ones we work on and most dogs get it within 1-2 sessions this way.
 

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I did this with Mic and it didn't take long to get him to touch an object I held out. I also started doing it with my feral cat who basically dislilkes and distrusts me, and it works with her too.
 

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i think we should all try it... i wonder if my dobes as young as they are will catch on or should i say soemtimes as dumb as they are LOL... anyway... thanks so much tracyjo... that is interesting im not sure what clicker is for... is it for reward? or what?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the help. We haven't been doing clicker training, although sounds popular here! I'll keep up the practice without a clicker for now and see how it goes
 

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whiteandblue said:
i think we should all try it... i wonder if my dobes as young as they are will catch on or should i say soemtimes as dumb as they are LOL... anyway... thanks so much tracyjo... that is interesting im not sure what clicker is for... is it for reward? or what?

The clicker is a sound that tells the dog "YES, THAT'S WHAT I WANT!"

But, in order for the clicker to send this message, you must first teach the dog what the clicker means. This is easily accomplished with a handful of treats... Just click and give the dog a treat. No need to ask the dog to do anything at the start. Once the dog hears the click and knows a treat is coming, you can begin using the clicker to shape behaviors.

With the clicker, it's all about timing. With verbal praise, there is first a lapse between the time the dog does the behavior and the time you say "good dog." There is then another lapse as the phrase "good dog" is processed by the dog's brain. With the clicker, you can click at the *exact* moment that you see the behavior you want. It has also been shown that since it is a simple sound and there is no processing that needs to occur in the dog's brain, that the dog will understand it did the right thing more quickly -- Thus, the dog associates the good much more closely with the behavior you are marking.

Clicker training is not for everyone or every dog. When done correctly, I do believe it can help a lot of dogs because it takes out the guess work for them. It gives them a clear idea of "this is what she wants" and when they offer a behavior and fail to get a click, they understand "that isnt want she wants." However, there are other very valid training methods that work as well.

whiteandblue -- your puppies should be more than ready to start with clicker work. If you plan to eventually do agility it will help a lot if they are clicker-savy. The next puppy I get will be working with the clicker from the first day it's in my house. Many people have used clicker training to work with pups younger than yours.



As for teaching touch, I think there has been some great advice. I started with my hand flat and bits of treat tucked between my fingers. I would then put my palm and inch or two from the dog's nose and when the dog leaned in to smell the treat I would click and reward (or if you're not going to click, then say "good touch" and give the dog the treat). I then worked to steadily increase the distance. Once the dog was comfortable going forward to touch my hand I would change where I put my hand - above the dog, behind the dog, etc. I then transitioned the "touch" command into a follow command by rewarding the dog for moving toward my hand and then when she got there and i moved my hand farther away for moving again to touch it.
Then, with the introduction of objects, I found a bit of peanut butter on the object works wonders! Or, try using an object the dog already likes to touch (ie a toy). Put it in front of the dog and as she gets her nose to it but before she can pick it up, praise and reward (again, much easier done with the clicker due to the speed).
 

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Welcome DobeDad. I am sure you will love it here. I am also really starting to think about the clicker training! Every one gets great results with it. It can't hurt to try it right? I am also going to try and teach Gracie "touch it" I'll let you all know how it goes!
 

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hmmmm... il think ill go buy one today... this way the babies can start doing that... and thank you so much for the how explanation most people would say some horrible stuff about not know what its benefits are and im glad you are sweet enough to take the time to tell me... cause i had no idea... and ill try it maybe they willc atcfh on to it... hugs
 

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We started Pyper on click training last week and is working out great. She seems to respond more with the click than with the command. We are at the stage where we just look at her without the "sit" command and she will do it. Next will be the "Come". (Maybe the 'don't eat laundry' command.. lol)
 

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clicker training takes a lot of getting used to, and a lot of inventiveness on the trainers part, because you need to figure out how to clarify what you want, and you really look at how you have been training and what your dog truly understands - in addition, you get to see that sometimes your dog really WASNT that well trained beforehand!
 

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My first use of the clicker was with a private trainer who came to my house to work with Mic and me. In addition to what she taught me I did some reading about it, the reading was very helpful, but more on the order of a supplement to the basics that I got from the trainer. "Hands on" training with someone who knows what they're doing is IMO the best way to start out.
 

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micdobe said:
My first use of the clicker was with a private trainer who came to my house to work with Mic and me. In addition to what she taught me I did some reading about it, the reading was very helpful, but more on the order of a supplement to the basics that I got from the trainer. "Hands on" training with someone who knows what they're doing is IMO the best way to start out.
i totally agree. i felt so stupid in my first clicker class just trying to figure out how to hold the leash, the clicker, and treats... it was awkward at first and i'm lucky i had a truly excellent trainer (and kim) to guide me through. i found it to be very worth it in the end.
 
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