One of the first things I love to teach any dog is the hand touch.   This is also a great way to teach owners that they can get their dog to offer a behaviour with a simple visual cue and just a little bit of patience.

Teaching a hand touch has many benefits:

It is a fun way to get your dog to come all the way to you (and not stop a few meters away)
It helps you to avoid the ‘grab at your dog’ routine which often results in a game of ‘chase me!’
It teaches your dog that paying attention to visual cues results in great things
It is used to guide your dog into a desired position so you are not reliant on using his lead for control
It can help avoid inappropriate behaviours like jumping up on people
It can also help when teaching fetch
Once your dog understands that the hand touch has benefits, you can progress to teaching a collar grab (which builds drive and excitement) and teaching a ‘release-the-toy’ cue.  Both have benefits for agility training.

Teaching the Hand Touch

Adding a step back