I have chosen to teach my dog to nose touch a pot on a chair. The reason for this is that most vet consult rooms will have a chair for the owner to sit on and the easiest way for a vet to examine your animal is when the animal is standing up.
The dog touching the pot means I can start with whatever examination I need to perform, moving away from that pot in any way or form indicates for me to stop what I am doing and wait for my dog to indicate we are ready to start again (he is then touching the cookie jar again). And it is just waiting, the dog is in control and if he doesn’t feel ready there is no judgement or encouragement from me. He is in control and all I do is wait. If he says he can’t cope today, we will stop. Simple!
Other start button behaviours could be a hand touch or sitting in front of you. I use the sitting in front for voluntary blood giving and the KC vaccination . As a vet I prefer to sit on the floor with a dog to take blood as a dog can walk away and does not have to worry about being off the floor on a table, as I think that adds stress to the dog and a feeling of no control over the situation. However, in a small dog this may be some additional behaviour you may want to teach as most vets prefer small dogs to be on the table.
These start button behaviours need to be trained separately.
Coming soon: videos on how to teach the sit in front of you, hand touch and pot touch