of dogs and cats are killed each year simply because there is no place for them to go or anyone to care for them. This terrible overpopulation will be eliminated by being a responsible person and spaying/neutering your pet.
Alabama Animal Alliance Spay/Neuter Clinic at 334-239-7387 (PETS)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Touch-a fun trick to teach your dog

Touch. It is an easy trick to teach your dog, and it can come in handy. My dog woke up at 1:30 in the morning, so I let her out, thinking she had to go to the bathroom. I was wrong. She wanted to play, and started barking and running circles around me, just out of my reach. She is a smart girl after all.  I then ran back in the house, got her leash, and approached her. I was never going to catch my dog, but I had taught her the touch command. So, I held out my hand, told her to touch, and I was able to grab her and put her leash on. The lesson I learned: make sure my girl has enough exercise before bed!

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!

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