Getting your dogs attention when out and about is very handy. Not only can it get you passed distractions and stop your dog from interfering with other people, but it also helps to lower your dogs desire to go after the distraction, whether it be through excitement, aggression, frustration or fear. Like most training it needs to be started at home and then once your dog has learnt the lesson well, can you introduce it out in the real world.
Take a treat and let your dog know you have it, take it up to your eye line and when your dog looks, praise and give the reward. Repeat this several times.
Now in the same way as above but this time add the ‘cue’ , which for this exercise can be ‘look’ or ‘watch’ or anything else that suits you. Say the cue as your hand reaches your eye line.
Now have a treat ready in your other hand but use an empty hand to signal to your eyes, say cue word, then praise and reward with your other hand.
Now extend the length of time that your dog needs to hold your gaze before getting the treat. Remember build it up in steps, don’t push your dog to fail.
Now practice with your dog in the home, but the dog needs to do it whilst walking a step or 2. Rememeber build up distance gradually and your dog should still be getting a treat everytime.
You should now be ready to take the exercise outside in the real world and usually I would expect it to have taken a couple of weeks to reach this stage. When you try this out on walks, do it first when there are no distractions, set your dog up to succeed. Then gradually work on it with more distractions. If your dog has a particular like/dislike of people/dogs/bikes etc , they should be the last thing that you try this command for, so that your dog has had all the training it should need to succeed.
We hope you found our Rules of Play – Dog Training useful, check out our other Dog Training tips/games: No Means No and Rules of Play.
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