My Dog doesn't pay attention!
Megan Brooks CDT, CGC Evaluator
When a dog owner tells me that their dog doesn't listen or pay attention it generally means one thing, the dog has never been properly taught to pay attention.
It is very important to teach your dog to pay attention to you. By “pay attention” I mean that when you give the cue your dog should make eye contact with you and await your next command. I use the dog’s name as the “watch me” command. You may choose to do the same or you may decide to use another word such as “look” or “attention”. This week you should begin practicing this several times daily. Follow the steps outlined below for teaching the “watch me” command.
1. Begin with a treat in each hand.
2. Take a treat in your right hand and place it briefly in front of your dogs nose in order to focus his attention on it.
3. When he notices the treat, say his name and the word you have chosen while simultaneously bringing the treat up to your forehead and holding it between your eyes. Your dog should follow the treat with his eyes.
4. As soon as your dog looks at your face, praise heartily and give him the treat from your left hand. (if you give him the treat from your right hand, he would follow the treat with his eyes, thus taking his attention off of you and the wrong behavior would be rewarded.)
5. Repeat this exercise several times in different locations and as many times a day as you can
Last Updated: Monday, February 08, 2010