We will teach you how to get my dogs attention. without using signals.Getting our dog to pay attention to us is essential for good communication, and safety outside the home. Once you have taught your dog to recognize its name , you should start training it to pay attention to you.
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- How to teach a dog to pay attention?
- Possible problems teaching your dog to pay attention
- Precautions when teaching your dog to pay attention
How to teach a dog to pay attention?
Unlike other basic canine obedience exercises , by teaching your dog to pay attention you will not train in a distraction-free place, but will take advantage of everyday distractions from the first day of training. Although the training of this exercise is carried out in formal sessions, you can carry it out taking advantage of your dog’s walks and other situations of daily life.
In this case we are going to use the clicker to work with the dog, for this reason, if you want to use it too, we advise you to spend a few days before loading the dog’s clicker for training .
Follow this step by step to teach your dog to pay attention :
- Go with your dog to a place where there are some not very intense distractions. Your dog must be distracted, but not so much that it never looks at you. If the place is closed and safe for your dog, you can let it go. If the place is open (streets, parks, etc.), your dog must be on a leash.
- Stay still and wait Your dog will sniff the ground, look at everything that catches his attention, explore the place and do whatever he wants. At some point, however, he will look at you. At that precise moment, click and give him a piece of food.
- Then walk around a bit to allow your dog to explore the environment (this will also act as a reinforcer). Wait until he is distracted again and repeat the procedure.
- If your dog is loose in a closed place, you can use the clicker to click. If your dog is on a leash, you may find it easier to click with your tongue or use the release order.
Keep in mind that timing (the exact moment we click) is extremely important for this exercise. Perhaps it is more important than for other exercises, because the first few times your dog will only look at you for an instant, and perhaps it will only be an accidental glance when exploring the environment. So be sure to use the correct conditioning booster for good timing. If you need a clicker for this, find a way to do the first sessions indoors. Or, if your release order seems too long, try a tongue click.
Practice this exercise twice a day in short sessions and don’t worry about the number of repetitions you do. What matters is that your dog begins to realize that looking at you from time to time has good consequences . Therefore, you can do very short sessions, with three repetitions or a little more. Of course, if you can do 10 reps sessions, do them.
Since you do this exercise with distractions, you can take advantage of your dog’s walks. Every time you take him for a walk, stop a few times on the road and wait for your dog to look at you. Then click, give him a piece of food and keep walking. Also take advantage of clicking and giving your dog a piece of food every time he looks at you when they are walking.
Possible problems teaching your dog to pay attention
If a long time passes without your dog spontaneously looking at you, check out the distractions that exist in the place. Perhaps they are very intense and you need a place with milder distractions. You can also move a couple of steps to the side. Many dogs pay attention when that happens.
Make sure you don’t confront your dog with things or situations that scare him. In that case, it won’t pay attention to you, but all it wants to do is escape. In order for your dog to stop being scared of something, you must desensitize and countercondition it, but that is a different topic and is not part of the exercise of paying attention.
It is very important that you practice this exercise in different places , but not inside your home. Few dogs are more annoying than those that follow you and stare at you all the time indoors. Practice in the garden, on the street, in the elevator hall and anywhere you can think of, but not inside your house.
Precautions when teaching your dog to pay attention
Avoid risky places that scare your dog. Also avoid distractions that overstimulate your puppy, or he won’t be able to pay attention to you. If you are practicing on the street with your dog on a leash, pay attention to his body language and anticipate any tug on the lead. It is dangerous for a medium or large dog to run away when it is attached to the leash, because it can cause severe damage with the pull, or make you fall.