Today Bo experienced the Grand A-ha! Today, he connected his behavior to the click and reward. The lightbulb went on and it's burning brightly. I always love this point in training, when you see that your trainee finally gets it.
During the week, Bo's general behavior has improved. He's stopped mugging, and he's taking treats much more politely. He was a bit of a grabber. In other words, he got the idea that mugging didn't produce the desired results (food), and he no longer felt the need to grab food aggressively because he understood that the click was a promise that the treat was coming. So today I re-introduced the target.
Bo would touch the target when I offered it in my hand, and he would follow it down to the ground and side to side and touch it as well. But when I dropped it to the ground, he had a hard time dropping his head down to touch. He was conflicted about moving his head away from me, the vending machine, to touch the target. But if you offer and wait long enough, eventually your trainee will give it a try and -- JACKPOT! After a few more touches, I was able to roll the target away and he would follow it for the touch. He now loves his target and gets truculent when I finish our session. (We did four sessions just today!) I've attached a picture of Bo touching his target.