Fun to Focus




Teaching your dog to focus on you is a vital skill, especially if they struggle with over reactivity. If you reward your dog generously for checking in with you, they will offer it more frequently which will make everything else so much easier.

Start off by getting some of your dog’s favourite treats and wait for them to look at you. Try not to prompt them but instead patiently wait. When your dog glances at you, mark and reward them. Some dogs may struggle to make eye contact initially. For these dogs simply mark and reward any time they turn their head towards you.

Next, move away a short distance before waiting again. Mark and reward as soon as your dog looks at you. Repeat this game, increasing the speed and distance you move. Eventually you will be running away with your dog chasing you, eager to make eye contact.

Rewarding your dog on the ground will give you some extra time to get away before they catch up with you again!

The more fun you make it, the more enthusiastic your dog will become at focusing on you.

An alternative which is great in smaller spaces is to mark and reward eye contact before turning on the spot a quarter circle. Wait for your dog to move and look at you. Mark and reward before turning again. Don’t be afraid to mix it up and practice in both directions.

Focus games are great to practice when you have a spare few minutes throughout your day – perhaps when the kettle is boiling, or you’re waiting on the phone.

Soon your dog will be checking in frequently wherever you are.

Contact Us

Call us on 650 538 3011 or email YOUR peace of mind is JUST one phone call or email away.

    Articles you may be interested in