Targetting

Targetting is a useful exercise for teaching a dog to go to a particular position such as a send away. It can be used for teaching jumping, to send the dog over the jump to the target and then back. Other exercises which use targetting are those where the dog's nose must be in a specific position, some people use target sticks for heeling.

For a target stick, you can use a 5/8 piece of dowel with a small tennis ball glued on the end. Reward for touching the tennis ball with the nose (just like the article, this training begins with a look, then moving towards the target, then actually touching it). I use the command "Touch".

Eventually once the behavior is taught, the target stick will need to be faded, this means it must be gradually removed from the exercise.

A square of carpet can be used for sending the dog to a position, usually paired with a down command, and can then be used for the send out. The advantage of the carpet is that it can be made smaller and smaller so that it can be faded easily.

You can also use other targets, a traffic cone, a piece of carpet, or a plastic lid, agility trainers often use colored plastic and eventually transparent plastic to teach their dogs to hit the contact points on obstacles.


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