Communicating with your dog using clear cues or signals is super important to keep frustration low and success high. Putting behaviors on a cue that is truly understood by the dog and generalizing those behaviors to many objects and situations helps you communicate with your dog in many different training or life situations.

For instance, if I train my dog to put something in a bowl (thing in a thing), then I want to be sure that I can ask my dog to put any item in any container. Another example is generalizing a nose touch to different positions and objects.

In the video I have used a target stick with six different behaviors. These are all previously trained behaviors that are on a verbal cue.

1. “Touch” = touch your nose to it

2. “Paw”/”Foot” = touch your left paw to it and touch your right paw to it

3. “Follow” = follow it

4. “Carry” = hold it in your mouth

5. “Bring” = bring it to me

6. “Put it in” = put it in the bowl

As you can see, you can do many behaviors with a single prop as long as the cued behavior is understood by the dog. I hope this helps you understand that dogs are VERY smart animals and they can handle a LARGE library of well-trained behaviors.