Can We Have Your Attention, Please!

I took a walk today with our current foster dog Freddie, an 8 month old Jack Russel. As we stepped out onto the footpath, Freddie kicked into overdrive – sniffing, whining, straining at the lead and alert to every noise. I said his name…nothing. I asked him to sit….nothing. Not even an ear twitch! Where could I go from here if he wouldn’t listen to a thing I said? I had to go right back to D’For Dog’s first rule of dog training – Attention is everything!
If we don’t first take the time to teach our dogs to give us their attention, then training even the most basic behaviours can become very frustrating.

How do you develop focus and attention in your dog?

  • Have your dog on lead in a quiet, low distraction area
  • Arm yourself with some food treats and a Zen like state of calm
  • Without saying anything, stand still and wait for your dog to look at you.
  • As soon as your dog glances at you (it may be by accident the first few times) say ‘Yes!’ and reward him with a food treat and a few steps of movement through the environment.
  • Repeat this exercise in as many different places as you can think of – around the house, on the driveway, at the beach, at the dog park, on a busy street and at the café!
  • Don’t be tempted to speed up the process by trying to get your dog’s attention with food, verbal commands or tugs on the lead!
So, back to Freddie’s first lesson in attention… At first he whined and strained at the lead, frustrated that I had stopped walking. Finally he threw an annoyed glance my way – Yes! I took this opportunity to reward him with a treat and a few steps of movement. Then we stopped again.  This time the protest was bigger and louder from Freddie. No problem, I practised my Zen like calmness and quietly waited for his eyes to connect with mine. Yes! This time I rewarded him with movement towards a tree to sniff. We continued our walk, stopping regularly to practice the attention exercise and mixing things up by interchanging food, opportunities to sniff and access to other dogs as rewards. Things are starting to fall into place for Freddy as he learns that the key to unlocking this exciting outdoor world is paying attention to the other end of the leash!

About us

The D’For Dog team goes further than just dog training - we teach you to recognise why your dog behaves the way he or she does. You’ll learn the skills and techniques to effectively communicate with your dog and change your dog's behaviour, so that you are able to mould your pooch into the dog you’ve always wanted. Contact us now and reap the benefits of a well trained dog!

Our Guarantee

We stand by our training methods – if you follow our programme you will see your dog’s behaviour improve! However, if you aren’t convinced after your first session, you are under no obligation to embark on a D’For Dog programme.

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021 121 4293