Clickertraining With Your Dog - Getting The Dog To Focus / Look At You
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Clickertraining With Your Dog  -  Getting the Dog to Focus / Look at You

Getting the dog to look at you might sound simple and not something that needs to be trained?

I have a different opinion, I think this is the first behaviour everyone should teach their dog!

As I prefer to training with positive reinforcement, so called clickertraining I will describe how I would start.

Begin with the dog in front of you, on leash if necessary. Just stand still and wait until the dog by coincidence turns and looks at you, then click and reward. Repeat this several times.

Use the everyday situations to train this behaviour. If the dog looks at you when you are preparing its dinner, click and reward. If he looks at you during his walk, click and reward. The more times you are able to reward this behaviour, the more often the dog will look at you.

You need to decide if you want the dog to make eyecontact with you or if it is enough that he looks at you. If you want him to make eyecontact/look at your face it can be a good idea to have some treats in your mouth to get his focus there instead of on your hands. When the dog has learned to always look at your face, you can start giving the treats from the hand again.

The dog needs to learn to focus at you in many different situations, especially when training close to other dogs. Start by clicking for focus a few times when the dog is in front of you, then slowly start walking backwards. When the dog follows you and looks at you - click and reward! With time you can walk longer distances, make turns and so on to gradually make it more difficult. Keep doing this until your dog can follow you with full contact for at least 20 metres.

To start with you can train indoors with no disturbances and when you feel your dog is ready take the training outdoors. Maybe first in your garden, then to the sidewalk and eventually closer and closer to other dogs. If somewhere along the way the dog cannot keep focused on you. Go back to the point where it works and move gradually closer again.

Another important thing - the treats! Don't forget that different treats have different "value" for your dog. Compare a dry bisquit to roastbeef, meatballs or chicken..... Inside without distractions your dog might be more than motivated by even its own dryfood, but outside with lots of distractions most likely need some premium-treats.

Good luck with the clickertraining, and don't hesitate to contact me on my site Sighthound Supplies


Street Talk

Vernon L  

This is interesting! I never heard of the clicker training before reading this. Last time I train my dog back in 1990. I used the old fashion chock-chain. We don't own a dog right now but my wife have hinted enough that she want one. When we do, I think I'm going to try the clicker training! Thanks!

Reply
  about 4 years ago

Thanks Vernon! There is a super book called : Don't Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor which explains why clickertraining works so well. I think you and your wife would enjoy reading it. If you can't find it at the library I have a link from my website that you can use. I hope you get a dog soon, they really fill your life with joy! :-) Camilla

Reply
  about 4 years ago
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