Obj 4: Several Cued Nose targets *Free*

Objective 4: Dog does multiple cued nose touches to your hand for one treat. 

Now is when we can start using “variable ratio: for reinforcement as discussed in Discussion 2. This makes it unpredictable which is more fun for the dog. This also builds value of touch to the dog. You’ll start seeing harder touches and perhaps faster touches when you start with variable ratio. You can actually use variable ratio to get better nose targets if you select for them. Watch for the 7 most firm, most precise, fastest etc out of 10 repetitions and mark and treat those over other ones that aren’t quite as good.

Here’s a few sample patterns of how many nose target reps you might ask for to start with.

1, 2, 1, 1, 2, 2, 1 

Because we are asking for more nose targets in each repetition, we can do fewer sets than 10 so we aren’t making too many things harder at once. For example the training session above still asks the dog to do 10 nose targets but she’s only getting marked 7 times. 

We also don’t want to ask for too many in a row too fast or the rate of reinforcement may drop too low and the dog will get either frustrated or lose interest in training.

So, if your dog was successful with the previous session, try these numbers:

2, 2, 3, 2, 1

2, 3, 2, 3

2, 3, 3, 3

3, 2, 4, 1

3, 4, 2, 1

4, 3, 2, 1

2, 4, 5

2, 5, 3

4, 5, 1

The above are just example numbers. Your dog may need you to practice with a more gradual build up to 5 in a row.

Here I start with asking for what is known as “Two-fers”. Two behaviors for one treat. 
The dog does two nose targets then is marked and rewarded for the last one. 

I start with a warm up of two single nose targets first.

Did you see how the dog hesitated a bit when I presented my hand sideways the first two times? Watch the video again to see it. 

That’s because so far, I have only pointed my fingers toward the ground. The shape and direction of my hand has become the cue for the nose target. She has to decide if the change of hand position means the same thing. Even small changes like this can cause a dog to fail! 

Tip: If your dog has trouble doing them in sets of 2 right from the start, then alternate 1, 2, 1, 2 etc. Then fade to doing only 2 each time.