So, how do you teach touch? Hold a treat in one hand (don't let the dog see it). Hold out your other hand in front of your dog's nose. Most dogs are going to be curious and approach your hand. As soon as your dog makes any approach, contact, or sniff, give your dog a treat and praise her. You want to reward any interest your dog shows in your hand. Repeat the process until your dog gets the hang of it. Then, reward your dog only when she physically puts her nose to your hand. Add the command "touch" when she is reliably touching your hand. You know your dog understands touch when she can touch your hand consistently 10 times in one minute.
|Mandy looking and focusing on my hand. A piece of chicken is in the other hand. Initially give your dog a treat for just looking at your hand.|
|Mandy focusing on my hand again.|
|Mandy actually touching my hand.|
|Mandy touching my hand and looking over for her treat.|
As mentioned above, touch can come in handy any time you need your dog to come close to you. One way I helped reinforce the command in my dog was by having her touch my hand before I threw her ball since she loves playing fetch. Have your dog touch your hand before they do something they love. I also use it as a distraction when my dogs are barking and before I give them treats. Touch should be a fun, easy command to teach, and it can help you in a variety of situations.
Have fun training your dog!