Targets Are Yet Another Powerful Tool, Especially When Training For Agility.
Last week I wrote about using a lure as a technique to shaping behavior. A target is an alternative or one more way to help us shape behavior while training.
I’ve been doing agility with my dogs for over 10 years and one of the first things I teach all of them is a hand target. This target means that my dogs should touch their nose to my hand when I present it to them. Once this is understood by the dog, I can use it to guide them into different positions or directions.
For agility, it’s a directional tool that assists in guiding my dog where I want them to go. This simple hand target can be used to teach many behaviors, but, targets don’t always have to be a hand. Targets can be many different things such as: an object or a target stick as seen in my video. You’ll commonly see a larger version of this type of target pole used with marine mammals – keep an eye out for them the next time you’re at a zoo or aquarium. They aren’t as commonly used with dogs, but as you can see from the video, dogs can easily and happily use them too!