Written by Melissa Viera
Teaching your dog to pay attention to you is an important foundation skill in training. Practice this exercise a few minutes a day and your dog will be paying more attention to you for training time by the end of the week.
1.Prepare a few small treats and begin in a distraction free area. Later you can introduce distractions, but in the beginning set your dog up for success by beginning in a quiet area.
2.Wait until your dog happens to look at you. When your dog looks at you mark (click or say yes), and reward your dog with a treat. Timing is key. You want to mark as soon as your dog looks at you. If your dog does not look at you on their own you can prompt them by moving, making a noise or saying their name.
3.When your dog looks away do nothing, but as soon as he or she looks at you again mark and reward.
This exercise will not only help improve your dog's attention, but it will also help you practice having good timing and treat delivery. Once your dog is a pro at paying attention in a distraction free area you can start slowly adding in distractions. Can your dog pay attention while a person walks by, a dog, while a ball rolls, in a new environment?