Before you teach your dog anything else-teach him/her to “see”
We all know how difficult it is to try to get the attention of people who are focused on mobile phones. Well, when your own dog focuses on things across the room or outside the window, trying to make them notice you is no different. Teaching your dog to “watch” commands will lay the foundation for all subsequent training. This simple tip not only promotes the connection between you and your dog but is also very useful when dealing with countless distractions in life. Once your dog has a reliable “look” cue, you can prevent all kinds of unwelcome behaviors and instead have a dog that focuses on you and future tasks.
what do you need
- Super delicious dog treats like , or
- A quiet and controllable practice environment
“Watching” training techniques
- First (with your right hand) put the dog snack (with your right hand) briefly under your dog’s nose-long enough so that he/she can smell the snack and know you have food on hand.
- Pick up the snack and place it next to your right eye. (The way you hold snacks will also become your gesture). *
- As soon as the dog sees you, he tells him, “Good-looking!” and treats him. The first few times, your dog only needs to stare at you for a fraction of a second.
- Repeat these steps a few times and take a break.
- Finally, based on this, let your dog look at you for at least a full second while repeating “good-looking” before giving treatment
- After repeating a few times, practice giving hints, and then sweep your hand to the side of your eyes without any snacks in your hand.
The training sessions should be short and interesting-take a break before any one of you gets frustrated. As your dog starts to understand the prompts, you will give less and less snacks. But don’t just stop giving hospitality. Look for situations where he performed well in response to prompts. For example, give snacks that respond quickly and/or maintain eye contact.
Once your dog behaves consistently in a controlled environment, add some distractions. Practice with him outdoors or on your daily walks, and “look” from time to time to keep him alert. If he looks back, remember to praise, no matter how short-lived.
You caught my attention-what should I do now?
Once you can use the “look” command to reliably attract your dog’s attention, you can start using it as a front mark for other simple commands such as “sit down” or “down”. Then superimpose “watching” with more interesting activities, such as “watching”-we go in a car, “watching”-we go for a walk, “watching”-“let’s play and fetch things”. These types of activities are like rewards for the “look” of success. Soon you will say “look”, and your dog will quickly turn its head towards you and raise its ears-not wanting to miss the opportunity to please you, and eager to know what will happen next.
*If you are left-handed, please use your left hand to hold the snack and sweep it to your left eye.