Target Training a Blue Star

After introducing Grom to the agility course this past weekend, I thought it would be a good idea to target train him.  Once trained to touch an object with his nose, he will follow it anywhere.

I took a bamboo stick out of the yard and attached a plastic blue star on it with a twist tie.  Doggie only gets a treat when he touches it with his nose.  To begin, simply touch the star to the dog’s nose, click, and treat.  Typically, only a few repetitions are needed before you can quickly advance to holding the stick a few inches away from his nose.

This video shows how quickly a dog moves from beginning to advanced steps. 

Grom is allowed to be distracted and make mistakes.  I do give him the command “off” if he decides to surf the floor for crumbs rather than work.  He gets right back to work.  Note, this command does not work with all dogs.  Grom has learned that “off” simply means to ignore what you are getting into and start having more fun with me. My other dog Heidi believes she is in “trouble” when she receives the off command and stops trying all together.

Target training should be a fun experience.  I always keep my training sessions nice and short to avoid “puppy brain.”

I cannot wait to see the little guy tackle obstacles by simply following the little blue star.  Think of all the silly dog tricks to come!

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