Course Overview

Course Objective:

Nose boop alerts and gentle chin rest interruptions can help bring attention to repetitive or unwanted behaviors, bring the handler back to the present moment, or alert to an impending medical episode such as escalating anxiety or panic that has physical precursors.

In this course I will teach you to train two different alert and/or interruption behaviors including:

  1. Nose Press or "Nose Boop" Alert/Interruption Behavior
  2. Chin Rest on Leg Alert/Interruption

You will then learn to pair that alert with a physical behavior that you are exhibiting so that when you do a specific behavior your dog approaches you and alerts to this behavior via a nose boop to your leg, hip, or hand or a chin rest on your leg.

Examples of Behaviors You Can Train Your Dog to Interrupt or Alert To:

  • Leg Shaking/Bouncing
  • Repetitive Picking/Rubbing
  • Head Scratching
  • Hair Twirling
  • Nail Biting
  • Significant Changes in Breathing Like Heavy/Pronounced Breathing or Panting
  • Hands Over Face/Crying
  • Hand Wringing
  • Repetitive Cracking of Knuckles or Other Joints
  • Finger Drumming
  • Rocking
  • Other repetitive but non-self-injurious behaviors

The goal of training this alert is to have your dog bring attention to or interrupt specific behaviors so that you can take action on, or ask your dog to take action on your behalf. For example, your dog could alert to leg shaking, which you know from previous experience can be a sign of escalating anxiety, potentially leading to a medical event, so you then implement your de-escalation methods recommended by your healthcare professional, which could include asking your service dog for another task, such as deep pressure or medication retrieve. These additional medical responses are outside the scope of this course, but information on training them can be found here:

It is best to consult with your medical team to determine what tasks or therapies would be most beneficial, both regarding what to train your dog to alert to, the alert behavior itself, and what responses after your dog alerts to your behavior would be best for your disability and situation.

This course will also cover teaching a dog to close doors and drawers as a precursor and foundation behavior to a strong alert/boop from your dog. While you may be temped to skip this step when training the nose boop alert, know that spending time on foundation behaviors prior to teaching the full alert will give you a stronger alert behavior and require less troubleshooting long term. It will also teach your dog another behavior/task, closing doors and drawers, that may have other applications for tasks down the road.

Basic intelligent disobedience or superseding cues will also be covered.


What This Course is Not:

  • This is not a scent training course. Your dog will not be taught to alert to chemical, heart rate, or other non-physical changes. You must be exhibiting a unique replicable physical behavior that you want to teach your dog to alert to every time you do it.
  • You should not teach this behavior for self-injurious behavior interruption. If alerting to a behavior could put your dog in danger (ex. cutting, hitting), please teach a “go get help” or “press a 911 button” behavior instead, to prevent injury to the dog.


  • Understanding and practice with positive reinforcement training methods including shaping, luring and capturing. If you are not familiar with these methods, start with this free mini-course before moving on to this training program.
  • You will also need a dog that enjoys treats/foods and will take them happily as a reward. Training your dog to work for food is outside the scope of this course.

Service Dog Reminder:

"A service animal is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA."

Disclaimer: Completion of this course does not automatically qualify your dog as a service dog. The service dog must meet ADA standards which include public access training, to be considered a fully-trained service dog. For more information on the ADA and service dog laws, etiquette, selection and training, please take my Service Dog 101 Course available now.

Equipment Needed:

  • Long stick or dowel or target stick
  • Painters Tape
  • Clicker or Marker Word that your dog understands to mean a food reward is coming
  • Small, high-value treats that your dog enjoys
  • Treat pouch or similar easily accessible treat holding container
  • A camera or phone to tape your sessions for your own documentation or review. While this is not mandatory, I've found over the years that clients learn so much by reviewing their own training sessions. It's also a great way to record how far you've come!

Okay now that we have that out of the way, it's time to meet the cast of this course (aka all the wonderful pups you'll see training throughout the instructional videos!)

Complete and Continue