This training video by kikopup demonstrates the ‘touch’ command – a great exercise especially for shy dogs who need to build confidence. It’s a great way to help dogs to start interacting with people.
Hold out two fingers and click as your dog goes out and sniffs your two fingers. Dogs will naturally want to sniff your hand if you outreach it towards them. Make sure that you click during the exact moment when your dog’s nose touches your two fingers. Timing is very essential because if you are too quick or too slow in clicking, you are not setting your dog up properly to learn the command. Another important aspect of this part of the training is your hand gesture. This should be very clear to your dog so that it will only touch your hand whenever it’s in a proper gesture. You don’t want your dog touching your hand all the time.
You can raise the criteria by trying the hand gesture from different distances and from different positions. If your dog continues to succeed, try to keep making it harder so that it can adjust to different situations. If ever your dog has a difficult time recognizing the cue to touch your hand, try moving your hand away or hide it then present your hand again. Take note that you should only provide the verbal cue if and only when your dog is reliably touching your fingers every time you hold them out. In order to do this, you just say the word ‘touch’ before your dog reaches out for your hand. Of course you have to immediately click and reward your dog every time it performs the trick.
It’s also a great way to train your dog to come to you. You can perform this by saying the verbal cue and every time your dog obeys the command, throw the treat far away from you then repeat the steps. Make sure that you practice this in a place where your dog won’t have a hard time finding the treats.
What’s great about this command is that it can also serve as your basic obedience command that can lead to more complicated ones. You can utilize this command to lure your dog away from another treat on your other hand. You can also lead your dog to follow you by holding out this ‘touch’ hand gesture. Basically, there are a lot of tricks that you can come up with just by simply instilling this touch command. When you raise the criteria and your dog successfully overcomes them, you will know that your dog is ready for more complicated yet impressive tricks.