Coco – Hand Touches

Hand Touches ✋

Hand touches are invaluable for terriers. Terriers are very body-sensitive, and do not respond well to being over-handled. Instead of over-handling, build deep motivation for your terrier to target quickly at will to your hand — and the sky will be the limit to what you can do together! If you really put the work in now in making hand touches very clearly taught and consistently rewarded, you will have one of my favorite foundation skills under your belt for life.


  • 1-3x per day, 3-10 minutes per session
  • Priority Level: Critical

Items Needed

  • Treat pouch with treats


  • YES! – When your pup touches your hand
  • Go Get It! – When you toss a treat away

The Game

  1. Sit on the floor. Toss a treat away from yourself, saying “go get it!
  2. Get ready into position while your pup is eating the treat. Extend your hand away from your body, almost as if to shake someone’s hand. Your hand should be flattened and at doggie nose level. Keep your hand still and don’t prompt your puppy. Make sure your other hand is not touching your treat pouch.
  3. The second his or her nose touches your hand, say “YES!”
  4. Then grab a treat from the pouch, show it to your puppy, and toss it away on the floor saying, “go get it!
  • Repeat! You can vary if you are sitting or standing for the exercise — just be sure that your hand is at your pup’s nose level.