The best safety command!!!

One of my favorite international trainers is Sylvia Trkman.  I have many DVD’s outlining shaping for dozens of tricks – tricks to strengthen your relationship with your dog, tricks to condition your dog, tricks to motivate your dog, etc.

The last DVD I ordered was for developing handlings techniques for the high drive, high energy dog.  The first exercise was training the palm touch.  Offering your palm should get your dog focused on you and, therefore, help you handle your dog past traps.

I taught all my dogs the palm touch.  I started adding it to my training sessions when I am working more challenging sequences.

But, it has other applications as well.  Dogs handle stress differently.  Some shut down, sniff the ground, and may not move faster than a walk.  Others get supercharged, get the zoomies, or get silly.

Both DashDash and Barney get supercharged.  They are high energy dogs and all our training sessions have built and maintained drive.

When DashDash gets stressed, she gets silly.  She’ll dive into the scent articles scattering them.  Any scent articles that didn’t have the good sense to scatter will then get flipped over her shoulder.  She’ll pick up all three gloves for the directed retrieve and refuse to give them to me, instead shaking them and trying to engage me in a game of tug.

Barney disconnects and gets the zoomies.  When I work a new rally behavior, he may hop away from me and then run laps around the ring.

At our recent Doberman specialty, the jump was the second exercise in the rally advanced course.  Barney sprinted for the jump before I got a chance to approach the first exercise.  Knowing that was the wrong choice, he started running laps.  As he started his second lap, I held out my hand, said his name, and he slammed on the brakes to change direction and return to me.

Later that day, as I was getting him out of his crate, he got startled and ran from me before I got his leash attached.  By the time I took a breath to call his name, he was nearly two rings away from me, close to 80 feet.  I held out my hand and called “Barney, Barney.”  He skidded to a stop and turned and saw my hand in the air.  He sprinted past nearly a dozen dogs and handlers who stepped into the aisle on their way to the breed ring.  He never looked at those dogs and handlers, other than to make sure he didn’t run into them.


How to Train the Palm Touch

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