How to teach your dog a nose touch – Transcript

Hi my name is Ali I'm a canine behaviourist and training advisor here at Battersea  

Today we are going to show you how to teach your dog a nose touch  

This is where your dog touches their nose to a target such as your hand  

This is a really useful behavior as it can be applied to lots of different situations and can also be a great building block for other training  

For example it can be a way for your dog to greet people politely or to help with your recall training  

It's great for nervous dogs who are worried of meeting new people or might find eye contact intimidating 

Start this training in an area away from distractions  

You can use a portion of their daily food to reward them but if they're not interested in it you may need to something a bit tastier  

To teach this your dog can either be in a standing or sitting position  

Hold your palm out to the side of your dog's face, but not so close that your dog wants to move away 

Most dogs will naturally investigate your hand with their nose  

Once they've done this, you can mark it with a ‘yes’ and reward them  

Repeat this process until a dog can successfully do this five times  

Some dogs may struggle with this exercise especially if they have a negative association to hands or are naturally timid 

In this case you can place a treat in between your fingers when offering your palm to your dog to encourage the initial investigation 

Continue practicing this but now only reward when your dog's nose is touching your hand  

If your dog is becoming frustrated or disinterested you may have moved on too quickly so go back to the first step  

Once your dog is consistently touching your hand with their nose, you can add on a voice cue  

As you offer your hand say ‘touch’ then give a yes and reward  

When they're successful next we are going to vary the position of our hand to make your dog's nose touch more reliable  

This could be positioning your hand away from your dog or using your other hand  

If your dog is progressing well with the nose touch you can introduce a target into the training  

For example, you can place a post-it on to your hand and repeat the same process  

Once your dog has got the hang of this you can transfer the post-it to a different location point to the poster and say touch 

Once your dog is familiar with the touch queue you can begin to build up the duration 

When your dog does a nose touch count to one second in your head before rewarding them  

When they can consistently hold their touch for one second see if they can increase it to two seconds before rewarding them  

Continue to increase a second at a time progressing out your dog's own pace  

If they are struggling to hold it for the duration that you're asking, go back to when they were last successful  

Those are our tips on how to teach your dog a nose touch if you'd like to learn more about how to teach your dog The Battersea Way visit our website or follow our tunnels