If your dog is not focusing on you, then there is a great chance that he is not listening to you either. Getting a dog to give you the necessary attention is the first milestone you need to conquer to teach them any behavior. Luckily, keeping your dog’s attention is something that can be improved upon, and it’s an essential part of training your dog in good manners.
By nature, most dogs get distracted easily. They get excited when they see other animals, smells, food, people, etc. Sitting still and focusing on a human who is desperately trying to get them to do something is not natural for them. For a majority of the dogs, you will have to teach them to give you unwavering attention.
How to Train Your Dog to Focus on You
The good news about training your dog to focus on you is that for dogs focus, and joy usually goes hand in hand. The more fun and entertainment your dog is having during a training session, the more likely he will remain focused on you. Here are simple methods you can employ to ensure that your dog stays focused on you during training and have fun in the process.
1. Use treats and clickable
Emphasizing the positive is one of the best methods of training. You can achieve this by using reward-based training to help build your dog’s confidence by offering a reward every time the dog does something right rather than punishing them for mistakes. Additionally, you can add clicker training to make the exercise much more fun as your dog will try focusing on what you are teaching to achieve a treat or click.
2. Work at the right pace
Every dog is unique, and such you will need to figure out the best structure training that ensures that your dog remains focused and successful for the significant part of the practice. You can use a five trial ratio where if your dog gets the desired outcome three out of five times, then it’s best to let him continue at that pace. If he gets it once or twice, you should think about starting all over again, and if he gets four or five, you can move to the next level of training, which can be more difficult.
3. Use command and name
As you train to focus on you, you can use the command “watch me” or “look” to get the dog to pay close attention to your instruction on what he needs to do next. You will need to pair your pet’s name with the “watch me” command and wait for their reaction. If your dog responds, you can put the treat close to your nose and pull it up to your face. As your dog follows the food, he will end up focusing on your eyes. At this point, offer the treat and a click immediately.
4. Practice everywhere
It’s essential to start your focus training in a quiet familiar environment with the least distractions for greater focus level. However, after your dog has successfully achieved the desired results, it’s time to add distractions. You will need to teach your dog to ignore everything else and to focus on you entirely.
Getting your dog’s full focus is very important for teaching your dog various behaviors and tricks. It’s also immensely important for your dog’s safety and those around you. If you can get your dog to give you attention, then communicating becomes much more manageable. Incorporate the above tips on How to Train Your Dog to Focus on You and watch your dog learn more quickly.