- William Smart
Make it fun to focus
Updated: Jan 14, 2022
Many behavior problems we encounter with dogs are either caused by or can’t be solved because of a lack of focus on the dogs behalf.
The truth is actually that lack of focus is only half the problem and the reality is that owner and dog are simply not engaging together in the best possible way.
There are lots of great ways to improve engagement with your four legged friend, therefore increasing your dogs focus on you.
The goal is to achieve a situation where your dog is looking to you (specifically at your face) for direction and confirmation at very regular intervals be it at home, in the garden or out on walks.
Kiss and click! Kiss and click is a great game to play with your dog to improve engagement.
Armed with a clicker and a handful of small tasty treats walk around your house or garden and wait for your dog to look away from you.
Now kiss! Make a kissing sound with your lips (or squeak, whistle, say your dogs name) and as soon as your dog makes full eye contact with you click and treat your dog.
Kiss, click, treat, repeat! The game is simple so just keep going. The important thing to remember is that you only click and treat when your dog looks into your eyes. Often your dog will look at your treat hand or clicker hand, some trainers are ok with this but we prefer full eye contact as dogs will receive more communication from your facial expressions than following your hand.
Are you clicking right? It’s essential when using a clicker for training that you are getting your timing spot on otherwise you may be rewarding the wrong behavior. We can help you with this during one to one training sessions either in person or via video call.
Handy tip.... If you don’t have a clicker or are struggling to click and treat in good time, try saying YES instead of clicking to mark the required behavior response!