Purpose: This video shows the very first session of capturing a rear foot to hand target. I make use of the skills we already developed during Pivot , and Pivot + Step-Up to set up the environment where Ron Burgundy is likely to offer the behavior I’m interested in capturing.
Equipment: None, or an angled Standing Platform (see NOTE below)
NOTE: When teaching this to a grown dog, a slightly angled Standing Platform can be substituted for the handler’s leg.
Targets: Part 1 lays the foundation for a fluent rear foot to hand target which is a critical skill to have long term. At the foundation level, we are teaching mainly body awareness, where later this exercise will become a balance and strength challenge.
- In the first portion of this video, you’ll see I first use my legs as a target, as they are longer, and provide more surface area, increasing the likelihood my pup will make contact, so I can mark and reward more easily/frequently.
- You’ll notice from the beginning, Ron Burgundy has a harder time stepping to his left. It could be my mechanics, the wall being in the way, or simply that he’s right “handed”… this is something I’ll work on away from the rear foot target exercise (using pivot to improve those skills), before attempting again.
- In the next portion of the video I begin to introduce my hand as a target surface. I basically move my hand so that his foot inadvertently makes contact. Later I will begin to introduce the concept that his foot needs to “find” my hand. But one tiny skill at a time.
- In the last portion of the exercise, I include my (failed LOL) attempt at trying to get RB’s left foot to contact my hand. In hindsight, I was “lumping” two skills together instead of “splitting” them apart (the pivot to the left is a separate skill from the foot target), and should have just focused on the right rear foot. I included it because seeing that learning process might be valuable to you.