Getting And Keeping Your Dogs Attention The Key To Effective Training

Getting And Keeping Your Dogs Attention The Key To Effective Training

Getting your dog's attention is​ one of​ the​ most important things you​ can do to​ accelerate all other training skills. And if,​ once you've got it,​ you​ can keep that attention,​ then you're really going to​ make some fast progress. Keeping your dog's attention is​ essential in​ competition work,​ in​ the​ obedience ring for example,​ but also invaluable in​ everyday life.

Okay,​ so we've established the​ advantages,​ now we need to​ look at​ how to​ attain this goal. it​ isn't necessarily going to​ be easy to​ keep your dog's attention,​ and some breeds are certainly more difficult than others but here are some tips on​ how to​ achieve this with most dogs.

Use the​ sit command and a​ tasty treat. Your dog must already have learned this command and it​ must be solid – the​ dog must understand what is​ required of​ him and respond quickly to​ the​ command. you​ can read my article on​ teaching your dog the​ sit command if​ you​ haven't already taught him this.

So,​ give the​ sit command,​ asking your dog to​ sit in​ heel position,​ and use his favourite tasty treat to​ encourage him to​ look upwards at​ your face. Praise him when he focuses his attention on​ you,​ give him the​ treat and release him from the​ sit command. Do this again and again,​ each time increasing the​ time where he is​ looking and concentrating on​ your face. you​ want to​ have his attention,​ so he is​ responsive to​ your next command.

Soon,​ your dog will automatically look at​ you​ when he sits,​ because he becomes accustomed to​ being praised and given a​ treat. as​ with all training,​ you​ can gradually replace the​ treat with praise,​ just giving him an​ occasional treat to​ maintain his interest. Whenever you​ are not giving your dog your undivided attention when he is​ sitting to​ heel and looking at​ you,​ remember to​ give your release command. He will quickly lose interest if​ you​ are busy,​ and you​ need to​ continually reinforce and reward this behaviour.

Once you​ and your dog are working well with this in​ a​ quiet location,​ you​ can gradually add other distractions,​ increasing these in​ small increments to​ allow your dog to​ adjust. Praise him when he gets it​ right,​ give the​ release command and play with your dog – he must know when he has done well,​ and training should be a​ happy,​ pleasurable pursuit for both of​ you.

The next step is​ to​ extend this principle to​ heeling and other obedience training. Using the​ same procedure as​ above,​ gradually teach your dog that is​ to​ his advantage to​ watch you,​ to​ be looking at​ your for your next command,​ during all obedience training. the​ key to​ this is​ to​ build his attention span by tiny increments and praise him when he has done well. Never get frustrated or​ angry with your dog if​ he loses attention. This will be detrimental to​ his training – simply praise him when he gets it​ right and make sure,​ at​ the​ beginning,​ that the​ treat you​ choose is​ his absolute favourite. Praise,​ fun and patience are the​ three things that will gradually build obedience in​ any dog.

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