Training your dog requires commitment and patience.
It also requires your dog to pay attention to you.
It’s important to the training process. He can’t learn anything if he’s off in the clouds.
Another core reason to getting your dog to focus when training your dog is to teach him to look to you in situations when you’re out and about. This is essential to his safety.
So how do you get the attention of an unfocused dog?
Interestingly enough, through training.
How Do You Get the Attention of an Unfocused Dog?
First things first. As with any type of new training, it’s important to begin indoors.
To put it simply, there are just too many outside stimuli for any new training to be done anywhere except inside the house where you can control the environment and limit distractions.
Eye contact is also key, and it’s the first step in teaching your dog to focus on you.
Take a treat and place it near your eye. Once your dog looks you in the eye, give him the treat.
Over time, your dog will understand that eye contact gets him a reward. Eventually, you can move to simply placing your hand near your eye to get the desired effect. But the treat still stands, of course.
Training your dog to leave it is the next core component and teaching him to focus on you.
- Begin by placing a treat on the palm of your hand.
- When your dog goes for it, close your hand around it so that he can’t get it.
- Once he leaves it alone, you can then give him the treat.
- Be sure to give the “Leave it” command as you close your fist so that he understands the command word associated with the action.
After he’s got the command down pat when the treat is in your hand, move to placing the treat on the floor.
Begin with giving the “leave it” command and waiting for a few seconds. Chances are, that’s all your dog will be able to handle in the beginning.
After a few seconds, release him to get the treat.
Slowly increase the time over multiple training sessions until you dog is able to “leave it” for as long as you say.
Remember, training your dog is all about consistency. It’s better to begin with a super short time of “leaving it” to ensure his success than to try to walk before he can run.
The Focus Combo
Here’s where you get into training your dog to focus on you. You’ll combine “leave it” with “look at me”. You might experience a few hiccups in the beginning as this is an advanced command combo, but your dog will get it.
Once he does, you’ll be able to move to the yard, where you can further strengthen this focus command where more distractions are present.
Training Your Dog to Focus on You – Convenience and Safety
Training your dog to focus on you serves two purposes. It allows you to more easily teach him other commands because you can get his attention for increased success. It also allows you to protect him from himself in possibly dangerous situations.
Training your dog to focus on you can help with everything from preventing a dog fight to keeping him out of dangerous situations like running into traffic or chasing an animal into a dangerous environment.
Remember, training your dog to focus on you is the key to further training success and safety, so give it a try. It might seem daunting at first, but your dog will get it in no time.