Monday, January 26, 2015

How to Train Your Dog to Look At You By Amy Bender

The command “look” is used to get your dog’s attention. It is useful for times when you need your dog to focus on you, such as during obedience training. It is especially helpful for those who work as a team with their dogs. For instance, people who compete in dog agility or those who are involved in search and rescue can use the “look” command to get their dog’s attention in order to give them instructions on what to do next. It is also useful for working on behavior problems. Having your dog focus his attention on you can divert his attention away from the things that bring out fearful or aggressive behaviors.
Here’s how to teach your dog the “look” command:

Getting Started 

Portugese Water Dog looking for instruction - Apple Tree House/Photodisc/Getty Images

 “Look” is a very simple command to teach. You will need some treats, and your clicker if you are working on clicker training. Teaching “look” is a great way to introduce your dog to the clicker if you have not already done so. You should begin training in a quiet spot with very little to distract your dog. Once you have your clicker and treats ready, say your dog’s name followed by the command “look.”


Getting Your Dog’s Attention

For many dogs, hearing their name will be enough to get their attention. If your dog looks at your face after you give the command, you can praise him or click, and give him a treat.
Some dogs may not respond immediately to hearing their name paired with the “look” command. In this case, after you give the command, wave a treat in front of your dog’s nose, and then pull the treat up to your face. Your dog will follow the treat, and end up looking at your face. Praise him or click, and give him a treat immediately.

Within a few short training sessions, you will have no problem getting your dog to focus his attention on you. Continue practicing with your dog, and gradually move up to working in more distracting surroundings. Soon you will be able to get your dog’s attention in any situation.

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