Targeting is simply your dog "targeting" something. That something can be your hand, your keen, a weave pole, an easy button or a stranger. Targeting has been one of the most useful methods of training. Closely akin to luring, targeting can be used to build up confidence in dogs that are afraid or shy of objects, people, spaces or other dogs; targeting can be used to elicit new behaviors; targeting can teach distance behaviors and with fun games to play.

A "target" is anything that the dog must focus on and perform some action towards. The way the dog targets the intended object is either by a nose touch, a paw touch, a look, a sniff, using other body parts and even turning away from the intended object. Turning away means the dog sees the object (eye target) but can't accept it yet. This is a good measuring stick with shy dogs. How are they now targeting that object / person / dog? Trust in you and what you're asking a dog to do is a major side effect of target training. You can teach a shy dog to target a hand in order to develop confidence with meeting new people.

Targeting is the first step of retrieving and many other sporting type behaviors. Agility can be taught using nothing but target training. Targeting can be mostly a non-food method of teaching a behavior. Targeting uses both luring and shaping as a means to show your dog the path it must move to do the behavior you wish for. At first you would teach your dog to touch your hand with his nose. Once that nose touch is consistent, you would start moving your hand around to show your dog that targeting is more then just a stationary activity. For example, if you are teaching your dog to sit and he targets his nose to your hand, you can ask for the "touch" then move your hand up and over the dog's head causing his head to go back and eventually his rear hits the ground to maintain balance. So it is a bit like luring just not using food as the lure.

1) Get some tasty treats

2) Sit on a chair with your dog facing you.

3) Rub one of the treats on your non-dominant hand.

4) Present the non-dominant hand to your dog. Generally this would be about 3 inches away from your dog's nose and to the side of his face.

5) Mark and reward for any interaction with your hand. That would include a distance sniff. ANY interaction. At first you may not get a nose touch.

6) Take your hand away.

7) Repeat steps 4 through 6 many times (50) until your dog is pushing hard and fast at your hand with his nose.

8) Once your dog is touching your hand consistently and confidently, move your hand out a little bit further a few inches away, just enough that your dog need to stretch out her neck or take one step to touch your hand.

9) When you have consistency at the new distance, start moving your hand to different positions and different distances from your dog.

In Training

Standard Parkour



Jumpers Parkour

Creative Parkour