Target Sticks

Discussion in 'Dog Tricks' started by MaryK, Sep 1, 2012.

  1. MaryK Honored Member

    Have some dowling and want to make a target stick for Ra Kismet.

    Two questions:-

    1. What would be the correct length and what should I put on the end?

    and

    2. Have tried with something else to get him to 'target' but so far, LOL, he just sits and looks at me with a quizzical look. How do I get him to 'target"?

  2. Dlilly Honored Member

    You could just get some sticks from a park, different lengths, and put a foam ball on the end. You could use the different sized sticks for different tricks. You could also use clay or play-dough and mold a ball at the end of the stick and let it dry.

    If you have a horse and happen to use a riding bat, you can you that too! (this is a riding bat- http://www.horsetackinternational.com/international-jump-bat.html#.UEJW2_F5mSM)

    How I was taught to teach 'touch' was to hold the lid up, then put it where the dog could touch it. If the dog put his nose near it or touched it, click & treat. If he didn't didnt even look at it, just lift it back up. You can try using an unusual object like maybe a spoon, plate, lid, or a shoe? The dog will be interested and want to investigate.
    MaryK and Dogster like this.
  3. MaryK Honored Member

    Thank you so much Dlily. I have some sticks here already (for the bird cage), so will try with them. Will get some soft foam balls, play dough or something like that tomorrow (Sunday nothing much opens here).

    Sadly no horse at present:cry: Thanks for the url, was wondering what you meant, we call them riding crops, same thing different name:D

    Will do all you say, so far Ra Kismet has just sat, no reaction at all. Maybe I trained him too well not to touch things:eek: I've tried a lid, butter lid, hoping the smell would attract but he just sat there as if to say "hey I'm not allowed to touch butter Mom"

    I'll keep trying, there has to be SOMETHING which will interest him enough to want to touch (other than his soccer ball:LOL:). Then of course click/treat. LOL if only it were Zeus, all I'd have to do is put a pair of Jocks on the end and he'd be touching immediately - he's the King of Jocks, something about the smell I guess:rolleyes:
    Dogster likes this.
  4. SD&B Experienced Member

    You could try actually touching his nose with the target and then c/t. Then progress to holding it just a smidgen away and let him try to touch it. Once he gets the idea to move, he'll probably progress easily.
    MaryK likes this.
  5. sara Moderator

    I just taped a fuzzy ball on the end of the dowel. I dunno how long it is, but it's no longer than 2ft, (maybe 18"?)
    Dlilly, MaryK and Dogster like this.
  6. MaryK Honored Member

    Thank you, I'll get something for the end and try that, he usually catches on pretty quickly to what I want him to do.
  7. MaryK Honored Member

    Fuzzy ball, that might catch his interest - well it IS a ball:D That's about the length of the piece of dowling I have, great!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Dogster likes this.
  8. Mutt Experienced Member

    I got one with my clicker, but the great thing about it is that the lenght is adjustable.
    How I thought it: I put abit of cheese on the end and holded it near the dog, when they were about the eat it, I clicked and the cheese was the reward. They quickly got the idea that touching the end meant a click.
    MaryK and Dogster like this.
  9. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Just what I was going to suggest, Mutt. Rub a bit of your treat on the end to "smell it up" :LOL: and when Ra's nose gets right at the end, click/treat. Rinse, repeat. Works like a charm. :D Then add the 'touch' cue .. then start moving it around. Good stuff.
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  10. jackienmutts Honored Member

    As far as capping off the end of your target stick, you can just use something like little screw caps (I think that's what they're called) .. little plastic caps, if you want to cap it off, or if you're using dowels or 'borrowing' the bird cage perch :LOL: (great idea, I might add, esp if it's a long one), you can just use it as is. You sound busy. :ROFLMAO:
    MaryK and Dogster like this.
  11. curls139 Well-Known Member

    Just read in my little trick training book that a flat piece of wood or plastic (so butter tub top is good) is used for paw targeting and so the dog needs to be able to put his paw on it easily (make sure it is big enough and securely fastened on). It says balls are used for nose targets and should not be mixed with the flat paw target - each one for either paw or nose to stop the dog getting confused.

    Also a square of mat/carpet/plastic lid not attached to anything can be used to put on ground or wherever you want dog to target to.

    If your dog doesn't show any interest in the target after three seconds, you're advised to re-present and encourage the dog verbally saying "what's this" or using your 'release word' "go on then" or "get it", whatever you use so that he knows you are not proofing another trick and that it is OK to touch this new thing.
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  12. MaryK Honored Member

    Great idea! Ra LOVES cheese, LOL that should get his interest and a reward of CHEESE!!!!!!! Make his day!:D

    Want to get an adjustable one, will have to look around e-bay and see if they have any available in Australia.
  13. MaryK Honored Member

    Going to do that Jackie, with CHEESE! If that doesn't get him interested, I give up!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you all so much:D(y)
  14. MaryK Honored Member

    First - what is the name of your little book of tricks please?

    That makes sense for paw work, something flat, will look around for that too. I'm teaching cop=cop at present and flat would be much better, can see why too.

    Three seconds then re-present, I'll do that. If I say 'go get it' there is ONE thing and one only Ra Kismet will head for - his soccer ball - he knows that 'cue' a bit too well and LOL doubt he will change from racing for the soccer ball. Oh to have found the 'right' cues in the first place, my fault, just didn't think of further down the track.

    Like the piece of mat etc. that's an easy one to arrange. Will help with a lot of tricks!

    Thank you Curls(y):D And off subject. How is my darling Russ going? Please post and let us know:D
  15. MaryK Honored Member

    Great idea Jackie, that's easily arranged. Yes the sticks are quite long, some of them, and fortunately Rakins isn't a 'stick' lover. So he won't chew them (like one dog who shall remain nameless, name starts with the last letter of the alphabet:sneaky::D).

    I am busy and LOL now have Rakins SERIOUSLY reminding me I'm late with training. His paw is working overtime!:D:eek:
  16. curls139 Well-Known Member

    Im reading its not necessarily a cue word you need to use...just a bit of verbal encouragement for him to know its ok to touch it and you're not testing him - -sounds like you have trained him too well :ROFLMAO: (only joking!). It's a little book, very simple and easy to use. Published by Hamlyn all colour petcare 'Dog Tricks' www.octopusbooks.co.uk - its Uk version though so not sure if you'll have a tough time getting it! Will post soon on how our Russell is doing - thanks for asking :)
    MaryK likes this.
  17. MaryK Honored Member

    Ah that's the 'secret' to make it just a verbal ask, fun thing, not a cue per se!(y) LOL well when it comes to 'leave/not touching' he just maybe a bit too well trained - no jokes! He was a little thief of the first order when he was very young, so he did get rather a lot of training on leave it:D Now he thinks he should 'leave' everything, including targets!!!!!:eek::confused:

    Thank you, have bookmarked octopusbooks and will see if they mail to here. Also, we do get Hamlyn books so will check with the book stores and keep my fingers crossed.
  18. Jean Cote Administrator

    Hi Mary. For $15 you can get one at PetSmart that is retractable. That's the one I use. It also has a built-in clicker so you don't have to juggle two things at the same time. As for conditioning your dog to 'target', it's pretty easy... you just wait for your dog to touch it with his nose, then click & treat. :D You may need to rub a bit of treat or peanut butter the first couple of times.
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  19. MaryK Honored Member

    Thank you Jean, hopefully I can get one over here. We don't have PetSmart unfortunately in Australia:(. But a retractable target with clicker would be grand! Will look on line. Was wondering how I was going to juggle treats/stick/clicker, that would make life so much easier all round. And if I am comfortable Ra Kismet will be too.

    Will use peanut butter on the end, so far he's not interested in touching a mere stick , but as he's a very food orientated dog peanut butter on stick with a cheese treat (another fav not given too often) should do the trick!:D Up the ante a little:D
  20. MaryK Honored Member

    Jean, just googled, so far no luck getting one on-line in Australia. Postage for shipping from other countries, OUCH!!!!!!! one was US $36.00 it cannot be THAT heavy or bulky ! Unless of course I spent over $85.00 then I got free shipping:eek:

    Will go to our local pet stores and see what they have. One is very, very good, so they may just have a retractable target stick with clicker - sans the postage costs!

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