This video by kikopup showcases an effective training that focuses on paw targeting. This short but accurate training video presents an easy-to-follow training process. Not only does this help in improving basic obedience training of your dog, it also provides a foundation for teaching your dog more advanced commands in the future.
All you need for this exercise is a clicker, some treats and something to “target” – like a yogurt lid, a ball on a stick, or a plastic push on light. Take a treat and hide it under the light so that the dog can see that it’s covered by the object. Click whenever you see any paw movement towards the light. Once your dog performs this for ten successful times, pretend to put a treat under the light. When the dog shows paw movement, click and reward it immediately. Your puppy will also try different moves like using its nose but don’t reward it until it only uses its paws. This will help your dog distinguish the desired action.
The next step is to raise the criteria by putting the treats back inside the light and then holding it in your hand. Hold it higher so that when your dog’s paw moves, it will move up as it reaches for the light. Click and reward your dog for every paw-raising movement. To make your dog use both of its paws, you have to hold the object far to the left and far to the right. This will exercise your dog to reach using each of its paws at a time. Take note that it will be easier for your dog if it’s in a sitting or a lying down position.
Practice and practice this over until your dog gets familiarized with the steps. You have to consider though that there are some dogs that might take longer to teach compared to others. There are some dogs that love to use their nose more than their paws. You will also need to take care when training bigger dogs because they can have sharp claws. These should be correctly trimmed by someone that knows what they are doing, so as not to hurt the dog (the claws contain nerve endings and these need to be avoided). This training promotes a dog to paw with a toy or any object – and not your skin.
Basically, the training provided in the video lays down the foundation for many other dog tricks and behaviors. From this basic lesson, your dog can learn the shake, wave, high five, and hands up commands to name a few.