How To Get/teach The Dog To Listen And Offer Attention?

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by myraellen, Jun 1, 2014.

  1. myraellen Well-Known Member

    My friend would like to know how to teach a dog to listen to his/her owner and how to get his/her attention. Her dog, Lotta, is naturally that kind of dog who often stares at her/his owner but Lotta doesn't listen. This is not only about training sessions: Lotta often concentrates on something else and behaves sometimes like no one has said anything and like she wouldn't "hear" anything like those dogs in this video:


    So, Lotta may not notice that one is saying something. She sometimes behaves by that way also when she is looking at my friend. Note: Lotta is not deaf although she behaves like she was. So, Lotta should learn to listen to her owner (not only verbal cues and it doesn't depend on how many times they are said).

    My friend has seen this tutorial:

    So, that is one idea.

    Someone else asked sometimes elsewhere for advice about this except her/his dog didn't look at her/his owner so much. Someone else adviced to reward the dog when s/he offers some attention to her/his owner. Should my friend also do what was suggested although Lotta already knows how to look at her? In a tutorial, about some different behavior the trainer is throwing treats to the dog. When the trainer pauses throwing the treats, the dog waits patiently them. My friend tried it in order to see how Lotta reacts. Lotta started to act silly and to beg the treats. My friend wasn't actually training Lotta. How do you prevent it from becoming begging so that the dog doesn't do it only to get treats?

    Does someone have also other ideas of how to teach the dog to focus and to listen to his/her owner? My friend means generally human speach.
    running_dog likes this.

  2. running_dog Honored Member

    I know it isn't your dog but for speed of typing and phraseology I've written as if it is.

    The second video you posted is good advice even if your dog already looks at you a lot. For the begging aspect think about it as if you make a sound (maybe the dog's name) your dog is given an opportunity to earn a treat. This makes the sound meaningful to the dog. At first you will have to treat every time but later you will use verbal and tactile praise sometimes instead.

    If you stop training and the dog wants to go on (silly and begging) just ignore the dog. It doesn't get rewarded for being "silly". I mean REALLY ignore the dog, don't talk to it or even look at it, if it jumps up don't push it away (turn your back and step away instead) and however silly it is DON'T laugh (so difficult at times), as all of these are attention which is a big reward to many dogs.

    If you want your dog to listen to you you have to make your speech meaningful to the dog, if you talk a lot and it isn't relevant to the dog it won't listen (like those dogs in the first video you posted, I wouldn't have listened to her either she was waffling on like she wanted to be ignored). As well as the method in the video try using a few key words regularly at relevant times like "walk", "lead", "ride in the car", "bed time", "treat", "bone", "dinner" that way your dog learns that these words are meaningful and will start listening for them as hints that something exciting is going to happen. We call these "word associations", they can become quite complex for instance I can say to my dog Zac, "I'm just popping out I'll be back in a minute" and he won't follow me because he knows I'm coming back, he gives me about 5 minutes then comes to find me if I'm not back by then. I never trained this with treats, I just used to say it at the right time so he learned what it meant. As for "keys", "cat", "walk" or "go up the garden" we have to whisper them or spell them if we don't want both dogs to stampede the back door! One of our previous dogs used to know bone was bone, enob, b-o-n-e and e-n-o-b just from word association! You can see Elissa's dog Chewie has a very negative word association with "bath time"!
  3. myraellen Well-Known Member

    First of all, Lotta behaves this way also when my friend says only one word or her name:
    You had misunderstood that suggestion. That person was adviced to reward the dog when s/he does it by her/himself. This was meant to be done outside of training sessions:


    That comment about begging relates only to that suggestion. It still applies although that is not an actual behavior and so does also this: When my friend tries to train Lotta, she gets so excited that she won't notice or understand that my friend tries to teach her something. So, the questions are now:

    1) Should my friend also do what was suggested although Lotta already knows how to look at her?
    2) If so, then how do you prevent it from becoming begging so that the dog doesn't do it only to get treats?
    3) Or should my friend not to do it?

    That person was also adviced to do something similar to what was done in the tutorial. It was meant to be done seperately from that other suggestion. So, the person was given two different piece of advice.

  4. running_dog Honored Member

    Whether it is a name, a word or a string of words you need to make them meaningful to the dog in some way either by word association or rewards. Why should the dog pay attention to any word that brings no benefit to it? If you give the dog a piece of chicken every time you say its name it'll soon be paying attention and then you can start using less exciting treats when you say the name and introducing distractions, randomising rewards, sometimes rewarding with play, and eventually phasing out the treats and rewarding the dog with attention and verbal praise for responding to it's name.

    Actually I think you misunderstand the basic concept of training. I did not use the words "training session" I used the word "training". Any time we reward a dog for doing something it is training whether it is in a set session or not. At any time of day when I interact with my dog I am training it because all the time I reinforce things I want it to do and don't reinforce things I don't want it to do. My advice stands whether you call the interaction with the dog training or not.

    When Lotta becomes silly during training (whether during a "session" or during any other interaction) follow my advice to ignore her and she will soon learn that becoming over-excited is unrewarding and stops the fun.

    1) Yes she should train this. Lotta only looks at you when she chooses. You need to teach her to look at you when you choose.
    2) I answered that earlier in this post and also in my previous post here:
    You say:
    I'm sorry I don't understand this comment.
    Ripleygirl likes this.
  5. myraellen Well-Known Member

    My friend knows things about dog training and she understands what you write. It has been little difficult but first she tried to explain what she had read. After that she tried to explain what she meant.

    "That person was also adviced to do something similar to what was done in the tutorial. It was meant to be done seperately from that other suggestion. So, the person was given two different piece of advice."

    It means that s/he was adviced to do two different things. They were meant to be done in different times.

    "This was meant to be done outside of training sessions:
    Someone asked sometimes elsewhere for advice about this except her/his dog didn't look at her/his owner so much. Someone else adviced to reward the dog when s/he offers some attention to her/his owner..."
    It was meant do be done also when that person is doing something else. So, that is one of those suggestions.

    The other suggestion was to make a voice or say the dog's name and reward when s/he reacts to it somehow like in the tutorial we linked in the first message. My friend is going to do it anyway by the same way as in that tutorial.

    When we asked about that first suggestion you told that:
    When Lotta comes to my friend, how does she know if Lotta is offering attention to my friend or is she asking it from her? The thing is that Lotta often looks at my friend also in situations where many trainers want their dogs to look at them.

    When my friend used words "training session" she meant when one is actively training the dog as in that tutorial. In it the trainer is holding a clicker and is rewarding the dog when she does what that trainer wants her to do whereas in that other suggestion it's done also when that person is doing something else.
  6. running_dog Honored Member

    The two methods are not different in the sense that they are mutually exclusive or contradictory, they support each other and help your dog to understand what you want. For example, at the moment I am working on recall with my dog Zac, recall is all about how much attention my dog is giving me, so I do training sessions where I teach him to look at me, and also when we are out walking I will sometimes say his name and reward him for looking at me, and also I will sometimes reward him when he chooses to look at me, they are all part of training the same thing.

    It doesn't matter. You reward the the dog for doing what you want it to do whatever it's motivation for doing it. There is nothing wrong with a dog asking for attention as long as it asks in an appropriate way.

    So reward her for that. Just because she happens to look at you when many trainers would want her to still doesn't mean that you can always get her to look at you when you want her to.

Share This Page

 
 
 
Real Time Analytics