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The Tricks & Training challenges thread has really motivated me, but I don't want to hijack. I'm just wondering how to differentiate between "Touch" with a paw, and "Touch" with a nose? Is that something that would be useful for more complicated tricks or will shaping and capturing the "Touch" with whichever body part is appropriate work just as well?
 

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I would personally use different commands. "Touch" for nose, "scratch" for paw. I like to vary hand signals for things too. But my dog is not especially user friendly. She learns and then REMEMBERS and by golly, mom better not generalize things 'cause that's wrong.
 

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I'd teach separate commands. Casper knows that "touch" means to paw at my hand, while "fist bump" is to hit my fist with his nose.
 

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I also teach separate. Target for nose and Touch for paw.
You CAN shape each different trick that requires these techniques. But if you want to use nose and paw targeting extensively in the future it's much easier to teach both and generalize it. To take it one step further, you can teach a Touch verbal command and have a visual patch (like duct tape) used exclusively for Touch. That way you can get your dog to touch ANY item you point to, and/or you can stick the patch on any surface or object you want it to touch. You can even go further and have a stick with a marker at the end exclusive for touching. Same for Targeting. From there, the possibilities are truly endless:

Tricks that can come out of Touch:
-marching (touch your feet as you raise them)
-waving (touch something held high)
-dig (once the dog gets the idea to Touch the area, frustration turns it into dig)
-knock on door (touch closed door)
-close door (touch open door)
-limping (touch object slightly high while walking)

Tricks that can come out of Target:
-close door (target open door)
-close light switch (target light switch or put 'target patch' on light switch)
-circle (using a target stick)
-sit pretty (raise target stick)
-mop the floor (target rag on floor)
-fist bump (target closed fist)
-push a toy car (target car)
-jump (raise target stick high above head)
-heelwork (target hand or stick held at heel position)
-shaking head 'No' (set two target patches on either side of dog's head. Dog targets one, reward on opposite. Repeat, randomize. Dog ends up shaking head as it 'guesses' which patch to target. Kikopup came up with this one and it is sheer brilliance, the simplicity of it!)

I'm going to stop before I get ahead of myself; I really want to teach Soro to push a toy car across the room, just thought of that now! But I really should focus on my current projects... My point is though, MOST basic tricks stem from the same kind of foundation. And it's not that a dog that knows Target will, say, immediately learn how to mop the floor simply by pointing at a rag and saying Target. But it does allow you to skip the step where you shape the dog to gradually get closer, then investigate, then mark for investigating the right way, etc.
 

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High five is another one that comes from touch. It's actually amusing how I taught Crystal that one -- she already had "touch" down and would touch my outstretched hand or any object. One day I held my hand vertically in front of her and said, "High five!" She had never heard that command before and just looked at me. I said, "It's touch, but up high!" and she gave me this look, like, oh, okay, and reached up and high-fived me. After that, I could say "high five" and she'd do it every time. Only had to explain once. ;)
 

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For us, "touch" with nose is a flat hand held vertically as if you were telling someone to stop. He knows the command well enough now you can also point at what you want him to touch with his nose and say "touch." If you want him to touch with his paw, it's a hand out palm up or fist in front of him. For that we use "paw."
 

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We tell Alannah "paw" and hold our hand out flat when we want her paw. For touch, we make a fist, say "touch" and she bumps it with her nose.
 

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Honestly, I've never used a word for either one. Dogs who are purely shaped will figure it out very quickly. I can't think of any situation where Bear hasn't figured out which one I wanted within a few seconds.
 

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High five is another one that comes from touch. It's actually amusing how I taught Crystal that one -- she already had "touch" down and would touch my outstretched hand or any object. One day I held my hand vertically in front of her and said, "High five!" She had never heard that command before and just looked at me. I said, "It's touch, but up high!" and she gave me this look, like, oh, okay, and reached up and high-fived me. After that, I could say "high five" and she'd do it every time. Only had to explain once. ;)
This is pretty much how I taught it to Watson. These dogs who like to paw things are just too easy for this trick. Haha. He knew to touch my feet with his paw (he created that trick on his own and I captured it), so one day I held up my hand and he tried to touch with his nose, I waited a second, then he hit it with his paw.


I use "touch" for nose targeting, and "paw" for targeting with a paw. Similar to Hambonez, I hold my hand up in a high five position after pointing to an object and he will generally paw the object. "Touch" is now getting harder because he wants to paw everything, so I need to use a specific object that he knows to touch with his nose (like duct tape, a plastic lid) on the new thing rather than just pointing and giving the command.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
This is pretty much how I taught it to Watson. These dogs who like to paw things are just too easy for this trick. Haha. He knew to touch my feet with his paw (he created that trick on his own and I captured it), so one day I held up my hand and he tried to touch with his nose, I waited a second, then he hit it with his paw.


I use "touch" for nose targeting, and "paw" for targeting with a paw. Similar to Hambonez, I hold my hand up in a high five position after pointing to an object and he will generally paw the object. "Touch" is now getting harder because he wants to paw everything, so I need to use a specific object that he knows to touch with his nose (like duct tape, a plastic lid) on the new thing rather than just pointing and giving the command.
That's how we taught Snowball too - he'd only just started to learn Shake. He still does High-five much better than "Shake".

Thanks for the help/suggestions. I like the idea of shaping, but I'm not sure either Snowball or I are patient enough for it.... anytime I try to shape something it ends up mostly as him sitting or down-staying in front of me for extended periods of time.
 
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