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Testament to Targeting

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Training is not a luxury, but a key component to good animal care,” states Ramirez (qtd. in Gordon, 2012). Working with an animal on a targeting behavior helps to build a solid foundation for a positive relationship; because it does not involve any physical manipulation it is less “scary.” Instead of taking hold of an animal’s body part, we are helping him to use his brain to touch a nose, ear, or chin to a target and thus to gain access to favorable consequences. We teach that touching the target equals a click (or other marker) and a treat. In other words, by making it easy to figure out how to earn access to reinforcers, then delivering them in a timely manner, your dog (or other animal learner) quickly may equate this “game” to a positive experience with you. Read article.

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