It’s not that your dog is intentionally ignoring you, it’s just that you’re competing with all the interesting sights, sounds and smells in her world and she hasn’t yet learned how interesting you can be. The solution is to show her the benefits she’ll receive when she pays attention to you.
Begin with this easy training exercise.
Getting You Dog’s AttentionStart in a small space such as a hallway with a treat your dog really likes. Show her that you have the treat in your hand, then drop it on the floor behind you. She’ll immediately try to get to the treat and your job is to quietly block her from it. Block her from going around you or through your legs, just make sure she doesn’t wiggle by you and get the treat. After several unsuccessful attempts, she’ll get frustrated and look at you. When she makes eye contact, immediately give her the treat and praise her.
Pretty simple, huh? This concept teaches your dog that good things happen when she looks at you or pays attention to you. Once she understands this basic exercise, expand on the concept by trying some of the exercises below.
These are just a few ways you can use this technique with your dog as you go through your daily routine. Anytime your dog wants something (food, a treat, a toy, to go outside, to play), it’s an opportunity to train your dog to pay attention to you. Quietly blocking and patiently waiting for eye contact before rewarding your dog with something she wants is a very effective way to strengthen the bond between you and your dog. It also makes training much easier, teaches your dog to look to you for direction and teaches her to ask for permission for things.
What are some other ways you have used this technique or other exercises to get your dog’s attention?