Here’s how to train this behavior:
- Begin in a quiet place and ask your dog to sit. As soon as your dog sits and then looks at your face, click and treat.
- Repeat several times. After several repetitions, your dog will learn that good things happen when he/she makes eye contact. Be sure to reinforce offered eye contact.
- Once your dog is offering eye contact reliably, you can add a cue, such as “Look at me” or “Watch me.”
- Next you can start adding distractions. Begin with an easy distraction so that your dog won’t be overly excited (for example, an old toy) and work your way up to bigger distractions (favorite toy).
- Practice a few minutes each day around the house and yard. When your dog is ready, try moving to more distracting settings, such as walks.
With practice, your dog will quickly learn to look at you for guidance, no matter what is going on around you. For more training tips and ideas, check out our blogs and our Dog Trainer Foundations course!