VIDEO: Teaching a “Look/ Watch Me”

3February 2015

Below is a video taken from this month’s Basic Manners–Level One Class.  In this video, Animal Behavior Certified Dog Trainer, Athena Angelic, explains and demonstrates how to begin teaching this Cue/Command to your dog.  We have also attached the notes for training for reference.

Look / Watch Me:

We want a dog who looks to us for direction and permission.  Having a dog that is well focused on the owner will give you control over many situations.  This is the exercise you will practice when your dog becomes distracted during training.  This is meant to help focus (or re-focus) the dog back to the owner.

To do this, we place the treat directly in the dog’s nose then raise it straight up next to our eye, while standing back up.  As you raise your hand give your command word, “Look.”  Eventually we want the dog to look directly in our eyes, but to begin with, it they look anywhere in the general area of your head, say your “Good” (Reward Marker) and give the treat.

If your dog remains in position but is not looking at you, do NOT repeat your arm movements or verbal command.  Instead, hold the treat in position next to your eye while looking at the dog and WAIT.  You will wait 30 seconds to a minute.  If the dog still has not looked, give your No Reward Marker or “Uh-oh,” move positions, take a breath, and then try again.

Marker Word:
Use your chosen marker word:  “Good” or “Yes” (or the Clicker).
This is the word (or sound) that says to a dog, “Yes! That is exactly what I wanted you to do!” and is then followed with a reward.
No Reward Marker:
This is what we do when the dog does not do what we are looking for.  Try using an “Uh-oh” or “Eh-eh.”  This will let the dog know that the behavior just performed is not what we wanted, while still encouraging the dog to continue to try.  After using the NRM, physically move places (both you and the dog should move) to help “re-set” the training, then try again.  Never repeat a command more than once.