1. Pay Attention Continued...

Exercise 1.5 Attention Training with Added Distraction

This is a super exercise to start adding distractions to your attention training!


In your quiet area hold a food treat in one of your hands, you can let it protrude from your fingers so your dog sees it.  Then stretch your arm out keeping the food in clear view.


If your dog is highly food motivated, he will very likely look at the food in your hand and perhaps even drool.   If he's the type of dog who gets frustrated he may bark or paw at you and if he's a jumper, he may attempt to jump up and grab the food. 


Ignore all these behaviours and keep the food firmly held so he can't reach it, the only thing that’s going to work for him is to make eye contact with you.


Just wait patiently until your dog looks into your eyes and the moment he makes eye contact with you say 'yes' and feed a treat.


In some cases, your dog might not notice the treat in your hand. If so try moving the hand with the food around a little to grab his attention. If you really need to, you can lower the hand and let him sniff the food, then raise it back up into position. 


Next, change hands and when he’s really got the hang of that then hold both hands out as if you were an aeroplane. 


As long as he continues to make eye contact he gets a treat, be careful to bring your hands back to the centre position near your face before you feed so that the treat always comes from your face.


Now try the exercise in heel position using the arm nearest the dog to extend out holding the food.  Start with your arm high and then gradually lower it and see how close you can get to your dog’s face with the treat!