Environmental cues for focus
Teaching your dog that him seeing certain stimuli (might be other dogs, people, distractions or specific situations) mean to focus on you is a real training shortcut – that means that as soon as your dog sees one of these things he immediately looks at you, gets into focus mode, and all you need to do is to reward him!
Practice for 1-2 minute sessions and then take a break. Have a few sessions today and tomorrow.
Kids are often great dog trainers. Teach each child how to play this game safely – have your child sit in a chair to practice.
If your dog is mouthy, jumpy or likely to get over-excited it might be best for you to get the behaviours established and then bring in the kids to help with practice.
Always supervise child-dog interactions and make sure children learn to leave the dog alone when eating his rewards.
Top Tip for Today’s Training Game:
Start working on these games in really low distraction situations. What really gets your dog distracted or excited?
Might be other dogs, passing people, squirrels or interesting smells.
Well, don’t start working around those until you can ace these games in other situations first.
You will need:
- Training Mix
- stuff for walkies i.e. leash, collar and so on
Beginner Level Games
Start this exercise by practicing some Find My Face! in a low distraction situation – this might be on a quieter street area, in a quiet spot out on your walk or in the garden.
Allow your dog to pick out things in the environment and just let them observe…
Wait for your dog to choose to find your face; YES! and reward. Repeat.
Practice this game of passive focus in mildly distracting situations.
Check out Bailey practicing some passive focus in a mildly distracting carpark, with people, vehicles, noises and sniffing to distract her:
Note that we don’t ask her to check back in, instead just wait – lazy dog training!
Advanced Level Games
Door manners – focus at doors
Getting to, through and out doors is generally met with lots of excitement and enthusiasm in dogs – it’s just so rewarding on the other side!
Teaching your dog to be calm, patient and focused on you at doorways will not only make life easier but potentially safer too.
Without even asking him, we can teach your dog to automatically find your face inside, through and outside each door!