Eliminate the dog from the "how to train your dog" equation and dog training becomes easy.

First part of every class should be dog free. Clicker train the handler using Tagteach. Ferinstanvce:

Explain away about treat delivery protocols but sum it up with "hold the treat like this (hold a treat, let them see your hand from all angles, decide on a name for that hand position (treat hand), (have the student click you) and say, " Your tag point is, 'Treat hand'".
let them shape their hands holding a treat and when it is correct "click" (tag).
What are they clicking? Have them practice timing. Like clicking along with "Dazzle"" on my home page.
combine the click with the treat delivery and you Tag for the correct ""your tag point is pause" you tag them when they present the treat within 3 seconds.

Show the "ZEN" hand (treat held in a closed fist, presented fingers down). Practice opening the hand to let the treat drop. That will be what you do when the dog stops mugging the hand and looks away.

Flat hand with treat on the palm. Explain that this gives you the opportunity to associate a brief scratch under the chin with a treat. That scratch becomes a secondary reinforcer you can use when you don't have a treat.


Start watching dogs and dog videos. The behaviors that you train are all based on vbarious movements and you need to train your eye. Watch any video of any dog and begin to focus on ears, (up?, back? forward?), tail, held high,level, low? eyes,open and round, narrowed, is any white visible? (that's referred to as "whale-eye and is considered a strong indicator of canine stress.)

Hand Feeding

I have been seeing "Hand Feeding" used for a wide variety of purposes. The thought process behind HF is use the dog's interest in his regular kibble To cause the development of a classic conditioned response to the owner/handler's very presence. Before the animal can begin to learn the first thing that must exist is for the animal to feel safe and secure. Respect the dog's boundrys, when you decide to begin the program make a commitment to HF a portion of the dog's meals.

Every bag of kibble has some indicator of how much to feed, determined by the dog's weight. Measure, put as much as you plan on HF and begin. I generally break the training down into three parts and in the beginning I jump around a lot so it stays interesting for the dog.

PART I - Left,Right, up, down. Hand shape is important, dogs notice small changes in body movement and position. Hold one piece of kibble with the tips of your fingers. Put the kibble close to the dog's nose (calmly, and gently) and move it slightly in any direction. The moment the dog FOLLOWS the kibble with his nose say your marker word (I use "yes" but recommend to clients that they use "kay") I recommend using a clicker for actual training, this is conditioning. You want your marker word to to mean to the dog "I just did something good, I'm going to be paid." just as fast as possible after saying the marker word, feed that piece of kibble to the dog. Grab another piece of kibble and pick a new direction, mark and pay, repeat 1/2 dozen to a dozen times. Try changing the game, reach for a piece of kibble, but do not pick it up, hold your hand in the same position as if you just did. Don't dawdle you're trying to pull a fast one on the dog so don't put your hand in front of his nose and let him figure out your don't have kibble. Move your hand and as soon as the dog's nose follows the hand, "marker word" and quickly grab a treat and pay the dog. You have just switched from bribery of the lure to reward for hand tracking.

Lots of kibble left lets do some more.

PART II - Touch.

Our dogs must learn to not only allow themselves to be touched but we will teach them how to learn to enjoy being touched. We begin by touching them, calmly, gently and briefly and we pay for every touch with a piece of kibble. There is no force, no pressure to perform, just gentle touches with a kibble for every touch. Do this at a very leisurely pace. The important thing is for the dog to see you as the source of all things good if your dog shies away from you or your hand, go back to L,R,U,D for a while and see if the dog's confidence begins to increase

PART III - Positive Interrupter

Go to the "Positive Interrupter" page for the Kikopup video.

The "funny" thing about this is it eliminates punishment. By providing all these wonderful food treats you have become a "Conditioned Reinforcer" for your dog. Now, your approach is a reward for your dog. To avoid rewarding "bad" behavior we use the "Positive Interrupter" a whistle, cluck or kiss sound that you make and when the dog (decides to come to you) you say "yes" and reward immediately after you touch the dog's collar.