|Teach your dog 'Look at me!'|
Teach Your Dog to Pay Attention
Repeat this quick exercise a few times each day and you will have a very useful command to get your dogs attention. The idea is to get the dog making eye contact with you on cue. Once your dog is looking at you it is easier to give him a command or show him what you want him to do.
Get a small tasty treat and wave it in front of your dog, got his attention? Good! His eyes should be focused on the treat in your hand. Move the treat up slowly to your face and next to your eyes. Your dogs gaze should now be directed at your face. If you are clicker training click as soon as he looks you in the eyes, say 'Look' and then give the treat. If you are not clicker training just say 'Look' while he is looking into your eyes, say 'Good' and give him the treat.
Repeat this exercise 5 or 10 times, and then ask your dog to 'Look' while keeping the treat in your hand at your side. The chances are he will look at the treat, and when it is not forthcoming, will look you in the eyes to see what is going on. As soon as he does this click, or say good, and give him the treat. If he does not then go back a step and continue moving the treat to your eyes for another 5 or 10 repetitions before trying again.
Building up the 'Look'
Once your dog is getting the hang of this exercise you can increase the amount of time he has to look at you before you dispense the treat. Build this up slowly as dogs can feel uncomfortable making prolonged eye contact. When your dog is very reliable 'proof' the look command by carrying out the exercise in different places and with different distractions, and finally by giving treats randomly for responding to the look command.