Target training has many practical dog training applications. For me, I find that I don’t have to stoop, reach or bend down as much during a training session. Target sticks work especially well for small dogs where you would normally have to bend down and use a lure to start training a behaviour.
I have been working with Molly the Boxer with the nose target and recently transitioned her to the target stick. It was no problem, since we have done a lot of work with a handheld target. It is simply a nose touch to the end of the stick, followed by a click/reward.
If you watch the video below, you’ll see how I am using the target stick to start training a basic trick. The stick makes it so much easier to work with a big dog in this specific case.
If anyone would like to video themselves starting to train a trick with their own dog using a target stick I would love to see it. You can paste your video link in the replies (I hope) if you so desire. If not, just try using the stick as an extension of your own finger point. You can do all kinds of things with it! Just make sure your dog is not afraid of sticks or of you carrying one. have fun!