We need to earn our dog’s focus now – so we can ask for it when we need it.
How do you know when your dog is focused on you?
When they’re looking, you bang in the eyes – the eyes have it!
If you haven’t tried out The Eyes Have It Part One, go there first and have a go at that initially because I’ve just switched it up to expert level!
Not really… well, I didn’t think I had…
So if I’ve heard one trainer say this, I’ve listened to twelve-hundred say it… Suppose your dog can do x indoors with no distractions. In that case, they’re highly unlikely to be able to do x down the park with a ton of hairy, horny, noisy, smelly and potentially tasty other distractions (I may be paraphrasing).
That’s why with each of these games, we should try variations out. Nip outside or pop the lead on or add some movement, or as in this case, hold your treat hand away from your face.
The Eyes Have It
- Grab some of your dog’s best treats in one hand.
(We naturally recommend our grain-free training treats high-value crunch, small with no nasties so you can be generous with rewards guilt-free.)
- Stretch out your arm and hold your treat hand away from your body a bit (I think I went too far).
- When your dog looks at you, mark their behaviour with a ‘Yes!’ or similar and reward them with a treat.
- If they continue to avoid eye contact – go back to your previous working method and add an extra step before going back to this one.
Roscoe’s Attempt at ‘The Eyes Have It Pt 2’
Here’s my attempt to get Roscoe to focus on me when my hand was further away from my face.
As was the case with Pt 1 – there are all sorts of minor distractions from the rest of the household for Roscoe to deal with.
I need to try again with a hand nearer my face and move it away more slowly over more attempts.
A quick prompt (noise or movement) to attract them to glance at you comes in very useful.
Expect imperfections – I missed a little glance or two.
I’m learning just as much as Roscoe – I managed to avoid Roscoe just wandering off as he did in Part One, and we ended on a high note.
Fancy trying it out? Pop your attempts (good and bad) in the comments below – small videos or screenshots or photos – pop them in so we can help encourage each other…