Decide on a hand target, such as two fingers or a fist. Hold your hand in this position about four inches from the side of your pup’s muzzle. When it turns and touches your hand with its nose, click and treat as soon as you feel the touch. Repeat, then move the hand to the other side of the dog, above and below the muzzle, then a bit farther away. Click and treat every time the pup touches the hand target.
Use this trick to move the dog to new places, such as on to a scale or through a new door or to encourage the dog to run back and forth between two people.
Begin with a delicious treat in your hand, holding it near your knees. Let the dog sniff it, then follow it as you move your hand away in a circle from your body while the dog follows the treat around the circle and back to your knees. Click and give the treat when back at your knees. Repeat once or twice, then pretend you have a treat in your hand, but wait until the circle is complete and you have clicked before reaching for the treat.
Note: If the treat is used more than a few times the dog will think it is part of the cue for the behavior and in future will only do the behavior if the treat is there to follow.
Use this trick as a way to give your dog a suitable activity when it becomes worried or impatient.
Go to mat
Select a mat, rug, or dog bed to use for this trick. This item should not be available to the pup except at training time. Prepare to train by having clicker, treats, mat and plan ready to go. Put the mat down and click as soon as the pup looks at it. Put the treat on the mat to create an association – the mat may be a source of treats. As the pup steps on the mat to get the treat, click again, this time for stepping on the mat, and put another treat on the mat. Repeat a two or three more times, then pick up the mat and take a break to pat or play with the pup.
Begin a second round by putting the mat down again. If the pup steps on it, click and this time throw the treat a few feet away form the mat. Let the pup get it and wait for the pup to return to the mat. Again, click and throw the treat a short distance to re-set the pup so that it can again return to the mat. Next click for more and more feet on the mat until you get all four. That’s enough for one day!
During the next few days, further practice will build up the pup’s attraction to the mat. Begin to ask for a sit/or a down on the mat. Build duration by treating repeatedly for staying on the mat. Finally, decide what you will call this behavior and add the cue (link to Add a Cue under Training Process)
This trick will take a bit more practice than Touch or Spin, but you will be very happy when your pup learns to Go to Mat when you ask.