Training Dogs Using the Touch Command
It is essential to train your dog in order to ensure that they are happy, safe and polite. One of the most useful behaviors you can teach them is the touch command – this is where they learn to touch their nose to your hand or another surface on command.
Benefits of Teaching the Touch Command
There are numerous practical benefits of teaching your dog the touch command. These include:
- Distraction Training – teaching this command improves your dog’s ability to focus and ignore distractions.
- Utility – the ‘touch’ command can be used as an alternative to sit, stay or down and makes recalls easier.
- Safety – being able to immediately get your dog’s attention can be invaluable when you’re at a busy place.
- Specialist Training
– the ‘touch’ command can be beneficial in service dog training and agility events.
Teaching Your Dog the Touch Command
There are a few basic steps for teaching your dog the touch command.
- Start With Luring – to get your dog to initially touch your hand or an object, you should start with a lure. Hold the treat in one hand and, with your other hand, make a fist in front of your dogs nose. When he touches, reward him immediately.
- Add the Command – once your dog has learned to touch his nose to your hand, begin to add the verbal command ‘touch’ before you present the fist. Each time your dog touches, reward him with a treat.
- Fade the Lure – gradually reduce how much of the treat you’re showing and hold your fist closer and closer to your body before presenting it. Eventually, present your hand without a treat and give the ‘touch’ command. When your dog touches you, reward him.
- Keep Practicing – the touch command can take time to learn, but with plenty of practice and patience your dog will understand the command soon.
The touch command is incredibly useful and can be beneficial for both you and your dog. With patience and practice, your dog will soon understand and be able to obey the command.