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Teaching your dog to focus on you

Does your dog have a hard time listening to you or giving you his attention when you need it? It may feel like he's intentionally ignoring you out of defiance - but really, he just has a lack of self-control and doesn't know what he needs to do when you're asking him for his focus on you.

A great way of turning his lack of self-control into an immediate response is through the command, "look". This is an awesome foundational skill that every dog needs to learn. Your dog has a range of focus. Let's say that range it 1-10. One being completely focused on you, ten being he has no idea that you exist. Teaching "look" essentially gets your dog to completely focus on you no matter what the situation may hold. Here's how you teach it:

Some trainers will say to put the cookie to the dog's nose, then up to yours. But this ultimately teaches your dog to track a treat. I recommend putting the cookie to your pup's nose, then next to your face. This way, when you ask your dog to "look"

at you, you can see his eyes shifting from contact with the treat - to all eyes on you! Then, reward him with a click from your clicker and treat him.

For recommendations on training tools read our blog, "Training Starter Kit"

Practicing "look" in a variety of situations will, in the long run, yield the best results. You want to make sure to push your dog to focus back onto you, no matter how distracted he is. Practice this command while he's playing with his toys, play with another dog, when on walks, in the yard, etc. to ensure he has a well-rounded understanding of what you expect from him when you say, "look".

Getting your dog to be 100% reliable with this will take time. I recommend practicing for about 15-20 minutes daily for the best results. That being said, any practice is better than none at all, so practice as much as you can in differing situations!

With any specific training questions, don't be shy! Message Busy Dog today so we can help with all of your training needs.

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