When it comes to teaching your dog targeting skills, leash skills, and other fun training commands like, "hug", the command "paws up" will become your best friend! This command is simply getting your dog to target an elevated platform or object and putting his paws on it when commanded. Here's how you'll teach it to your dog:
For starters, you'll want to grab some treats and your training clicker. In addition, you'll want some sort of elevated platform. This could be a stacking block, cot, or even a chair.
You'll then guide your dog onto the platform slowly and carefully. You will do this by slightly lifting your hand above his nose and then towards you. Be sure to watch for his paw placement on the platform. Once both front paws are on the platform, you will click and reward him. You can then release him with your release word (OK, release, free, go, etc.).
You will continue this process until your dog is doing it reliably and confidently with your physical guidance. You can then start introducing the command, "paws up". In addition, think about a hand signal you'd like to include and start adding distance between your pup's nose and the treat.
After your dog has gotten this down, you can start using it for tricks like, "hug", for teaching hip awareness and leash skills, and sharped up his targeting skills in general.
With any specific training questions, don't be shy! Message Busy Dog today so we can help with all of your training needs.