Attention Exercise

 

If we want the dog to pay attention to us, we must learn to pay attention to the dog!

         Reward attentive behavior frequently.  Dog will do "what works", so they repeat behaviors that gain them rewards.

         Be a step ahead.  You know what is distracting to your dog, so be ready to intervene before his attention is pulled away from you.

         Keep good control of the dog and situation.  if you aren't ready and he manages to be rewarded for some inappropriate behavior, you will have a difficult time convincing him it isn't a good idea next time.

When walking from one place to the other:

         Be ready with treats to distract him away from people and other dogs as you walk from place to place.

         Avoid crowded areas and be aware of proximity issues; the closer he is to the distraction, the more tempting it is.

You set the rules:

         Your dog does not approach another dog without permission from the other owner.

         Your dog does not approach another dog without permission from you.

Work Attention:

         When your dog is distracted, mark and treat when your dog looks back at you.

         If he just doesn't look at you, clear your throat, make some other noise or movement to gain his attention and reward.

         Over the next few weeks reward your dog's sits, downs and waits with attention.

         As he becomes adept, expect that he will look longer for a mark and a treat.