Dog Training: Teaching a dog a paw target

Dog training how to teach a paw target

We are sharing some dog training how-to videos over on our social media channels. This week we started with a paw target,  so we wanted to share a bit more information on our blog as to why this is a useful behaviour to teach your pups.

Paw targeting is a foundation behaviour essential for many dogs that compete in dog sports, trick training or even service dogs. 

What is a paw target? 

Essentially it is asking your dog to touch something with their paw. You begin training using an object such as a plastic lid or a small mat.

The ideal way to teach this behaviour is using a method called shaping. This is where we reward the dog for movement towards the desire behaviour. 'Shaping by successive approximations.'

Once your dog is hitting the target with their paw,  you can add a word (verbal cue) to the behaviour.

Benefits of training a paw target trick training nail clipping canine fitness

In trick training, the paw target can be used to teach a paw, high five, wave, crossing paws or go to a place.  

Paw target are helpful for nail maintenance or paw examinations. 

A service dog can use this behaviour to learn how to answer the phone or turn on the lights. 

We highly recommend having a paw target in part of your dogs behaviour repertoire. 

We offer in person classes in Centurion, Gauteng or online classes worldwide. 

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