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24 - Ask your dog to follow a hand target

24 - Ask your dog to follow a hand target

Now that your dog has learned to touch the back of a hand in greeting (way 15) you can extend this exercise to teach him to hand target and follow. This is an easy exercise to teach and very beneficial as you will be able to ask your dog to move without pulling on his collar or leash. It also forms the basis for working off -leash.

  1. With your dog watching you, move your hand a centimetre or so (2in) and as he begins to follow it with his nose, click and treat. The treats can be delivered from the hand or dropped to the floor.
  2. Gradually extend the distance and time that your dog will follow your hand. Teach him to follow both hands.
  3. You can now encourage your dog to follow a hand while walking by your side to gain his attention when he becomes distracted.

OWNERS OF SMALL DOGS

If you have a small dog you can use a target stick instead of your hand to protect your back from injury due to constant bending.

Cookie is learning to follow Marie’s hand. As well as being a practical exercise, this also gives Cookie a more appropriate way of responding to hand movement instead of the biting that she was doing before

In potentially distracting situations, use hand targetting to encourage your dog to follow you

From 100 Ways to Train the Perfect Dog, Copyright by Sarah Fisher, licensed through ContentOro, Inc and used by arrangement with D & C

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