How To Use A Target Stick

Target sticks are great tools to use to teach other behaviors. It is what we call a foundation behavior. I am using a Karen Pryor Clik Stik, which is nice because the target stick and the clicker are combined into one tool. But, you do not need anythign fancy to teach this behavior. You can use a spatula with a colored rubber end, or even make your own with a small colored ball on the end of a wooden dowel.

Present the target stick just in front of your dog, they will reach out to investigate it and you should click and treat. Repeat. You can slowly add distance between the dog and the target, so then they have to walk a step or so to reach and touch the target.

You can also teach your dog to follow a target. Present the target stick and slowly move it so your dog will walk to reach the target and click while the dog is moving.

This is a great exercise to work with your dog on. Stay tuned for more ways to use targeting to expand your dog's skill set!

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