“I’ve been working with a trainer who says I’m a super quick learner. I know sit and paw and I almost do ‘down’.”
Moe is a gorgeous 5-year-old, 85 lb. Chocolate Labrador. He is affectionate and smart, and must be the only pet in the home. He is not a “dog park dog” — he’s seen a behaviorist and he has isolated anxiety issues that can surface at random times, causing him to react to other animals. Moe needs a special home with a family that will be patient with this loving boy’s special needs; LRROF.org.
Touch is a behavior taught by multiple dog trainers in the community. However, its purpose is oftentimes lost on your average dog owner. Why are you teaching my dog to touch your hand? The act may seem simple, but a hand touch is an exercise that encourages engagement. On the surface, yes, the dog is simply bopping your hand. Teaching it as a behavior that’s put on a cue, however, means that you can re-engage a distracted dog anywhere. In order to come and press their nose to your palm, the dog needs to come back toward you. If they are staring off into the distance or have become fixated on someone else’s dog, requesting “touch” gives the dog a job and redirects their attention. The behavior can transition beyond basic obedience. It’s also used in dog sports to ensure the dog is prepared to work. Whenever you witness it in the future, keep in mind, it’s a “touch” of engagement.