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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

I love teaching my pup cool tricks, she is very smart and enjoys learning. I recently started to teach her how to close doors. She is very good at targeting and catches on really quickly, however I am facing one problem. She is very paw-oriented and we have mostly done targeting work with her paws (the last few tricks, anyways). While I was teaching her to target the door, she originally wanted to use her paw. I am not sure I want her using her paw, because I don't want to teach her to scratch the door. But, when she uses her nose, she just tries to bite the target (sticky note). When I have it in my hand, or have it on the door with my hand above/behind it she will touch my hand, and not the sticky note. We went back to just targeting the sticky note in my hand for a few days, but the same thing happened as soon as it wasn't right on my hand. Where did I go wrong?

Thanks for any advice!
 

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Teach your dog to target (touch) your hand with their nose, and then you can shift that on to other objects. The commands you use will vary. I use "target" for nose-targets and "touch" for paw-targeting (which I think might be backwards from what is usually used by many agility people, but it doesn't matter that much what word you use as long as you're consistent with it).

Here's a couple videos that use clicker training to teach a nose-target:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttEZKk-DtMo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWSJVwZybwo

In my obedience class were taught to hold a treat between our fingers (instead of a fist or two finger) to get the touch and the hand signal was an open hand held out to the side slightly.
 

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When I taught this to Ranger, I moved from the sticky note in my hand to on the door feeding a treat between two fingers infront of the sticky note. Got him touching it a few times like that and then waited him out. I needed to be kneeling to begin with, and I fed at the sticky note each time.

You have to make sure they'll target the sticky note on your hand really well to start.
 

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I used painter's tape to teach this. I taught my dog to target the tape in my hand with her nose first and then put my hand near the door and then put some tape on the door. When she did it consistently I removed the tape.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Gingerkid- I have never thought about having two different commands for paw and nose targeting. Thank you for this suggestion! I will go back and be more specific with the difference between paw and nose targeting. Also, she does know how to touch my hand with her nose, but as soon as I put any kind of target on my hand (i.e. a sticky note) she will go out of her way to find my bare hand to touch. I will just be more specific with her until she touches the sticky note. Thank you!

SDRRanger- This is a good idea. After I go back over my touch & target cues with her, I will try feeding her at the sticky note and waiting her out a bit more. Thank you for the suggestion!
 

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SDRRanger- This is a good idea. After I go back over my touch & target cues with her, I will try feeding her at the sticky note and waiting her out a bit more. Thank you for the suggestion!
The hardest thing I found with clicker training/shaping was waiting for their brain to figure out what I was asking. It's just ingrained for us to want to help, but when you step back they really do work things out for themselves (as long as the build up training was solid).

Currently I am training the foster Shadow to "go to his mat". We built up the value of the mat, worked on luring him back onto it (by dropping treats while he was off the mat) and finally it was time to release him off and let him figure out what I wanted. He sat on the floor beside the mat for 30 seconds thinking and (while I stopped myself from giving any help) he got up and walked over to his mat and sat down to look at me. Break through!!!!

Good luck, it's great when they pick it up
 

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Gingerkid- I have never thought about having two different commands for paw and nose targeting. Thank you for this suggestion! I will go back and be more specific with the difference between paw and nose targeting. Also, she does know how to touch my hand with her nose, but as soon as I put any kind of target on my hand (i.e. a sticky note) she will go out of her way to find my bare hand to touch. I will just be more specific with her until she touches the sticky note. Thank you!

SDRRanger- This is a good idea. After I go back over my touch & target cues with her, I will try feeding her at the sticky note and waiting her out a bit more. Thank you for the suggestion!
Thank YOU Hailey. Snowball's gotten sloppy with his nose targets lately, and I was just letting it go. Turns out it was because I was using an outstretched hand which was getting confusing because he couldn't generalize my flat hand between "Touch" and "high-five" and "shake". So now I use two fingers, like Kikopup, and its already so much better! I find it also provides a much smaller area for him to target, so he's more precise about it.
 
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