In 2013 we worked on teaching hand targeting (“touch”) and targeting an object like a target stick or plastic lid in our play groups. This month we’re going to expand on those skills and work on targeting a specific place, in this case the landings by the back doors. The end result will be dogs that will run to the landing and sit when we give them the cue (“Go!”). You can use the same techniques at home to teach your dog to go to their bed, crate, or a specific place in your house.
To teach your dog to TARGET their bed:
1- Start in a quiet place with no distractions.
2- Have your treats easily accessible and grab your clicker if you have one.
3- Stand by your dog’s bed with your dog sitting or standing in front of or beside you. Lure your dog onto the bed with a piece of food in your hand and lure a sit or down, click and treat. Repeat this several times from several different spots around your dog’s bed.
4- Use the same motion that you used in step #3 to lure your dog onto the bed, but this time do it without any food in your hand. Repeat this several times from several different spots around your dog’s bed.
5- Take a break, and then repeat steps 3 and 4 several more times.
6- Once your dog will consistently go to their bed without a treat in your hand change your motion into an obvious hand signal (like pointing to their bed), and repeat this several times from different spots around your dog’s bed.
7- At this point, you can start adding distance to the behavior by taking 1 step back from where you were working near the bed and repeating step #6.
Check out our video of dog’s learning “Go” on our YouTube page to see how to get this behavior started.