We have done a couple of different training sessions (albeit slightly quieter as I am still not allowed to run and jump post the nasty tick incident) and that has bought a couple of things top of mind; i) going back to basics in teaching behaviours and ii) the usefulness of a target.
So what is a target? Well we did the google thing and man are there some complicated descriptions. 1st World Dog style…. something for me to focus on. This can be as simple as a piece of plastic, wood or paper. As I am pretty food motivated (in case you hadn’t realised than check out my Recipe Book) when we are learning something than the target and food are normally pretty closely related. Here are some examples of of what can be used…
This one is nice and big…
This one, a yoghurt container lid, fits nicely into the treat container.
Opps…. in trouble for running away and trying to eat the target (what not to do!)
But in my defence it smelt of cheese….
So what to do with it. At its most basic when I touch the target mum says “yes” and I get a treat. Often the treat is waiting for me on the target but sometimes, like if I am likely to head straight for the target and not do whatever I am supposed to do first, then mum will place the treat on the target as she says “yes”.
One activity for using the target is getting me to run away from mum. A bit like the Touch & Out game, just rather than mum throwing the food it is already out on the target (also means I have to be good at me stays… and don’t forget to randomly treat for good stays when doing targets). Here are some videos of me running towards mum and also running out from mum.
There are all sorts of other things that can be done with targets in shaping movements by moving the target slowly around to create a specific line, doing contacts in agility or even playing soccer! More of these to come on future Tuesdays but in the spirit of Training Tips 1st World Dog Style this is just a little bit to practice and have some fun with.