TOUCH - EQUIPMENT NEEDED
In addition to the equipment used in Recall you will need -
- A target box such as the "Touch N Turn" Target Box. This cleverly designed
piece of equipment can quickly be folded flat for ease in transportation
and storage, yet it is strong enough to cope with big dogs running up to
and turning off it.
Either a helper to stand on the back lower crosspiece of the target box, OR between two and four iron stakes and a lump hammer to fix the target box firmly to the ground so that it does not move at all when the dog runs up and presses it. The target box link gives details of the recommended dimensions of these stakes.
- Heavy-duty sticky tape (often called "duck tape") which can be bought at DIY stores - It needs to be heavy-duty tape so that it can stick to a variety of surfaces as you generalise where the marker is put. This tape is used either to hold down the paper marker (see below) or as a marker in its own right. Experiment to find what size and shape suits your dog - the marker can be one strip (eg 3-4"/8-10cm or longer) or a cross made out of two strips of tape. Be careful not to make the marker too small as the dog needs to see it eventually over a distance of at least 51ft. However, if the marker is too big the dog will become confused over which part of the marker it is being rewarded for touching.
- Good quality sharp scissors to cut the tape.
- Pieces of paper approximately 3" (8cm) square. Although dogs
are unable to see colours as we humans see them, they are able to
differentiate contrasts and find it easy to see bright colours
against a dark background. With this in mind, it is best if either
white or brightly coloured paper is used for teaching Touch. Be
careful that the dog does not mouth the paper or try to tear or
pick it up (particularly terrier breeds) - in these circumstances
it is best to stick at least two edges of the paper down firmly
with the heavy-duty sticky tape, or just use the tape as a
- A clicker - this is not essential
but if the dog is used to being trained with one it is a very useful tool
to use. However, it is a very powerful tool as well and should not be
used by inexperienced handlers - find a good dog trainer who can show you
how to use it correctly and at exactly the right moment. Sheila Harper Canine Education stocks a variety of good books and
videos about the subject and can recommend trainers who teach clicker training
and courses that you may like to attend.
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