Learning Head Signals/ideas To Improve Focus?

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by luckylego, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. luckylego Experienced Member

    Hey guys,

    So I've recently started incorporating a clicker into Lego's training.. Nothing too fancy, I just used it to help improve her focus a bit, clicking when she would meet my gaze and gradually holding it for longer and longer. I started telling her to "look" and hold my gaze before she was allowed to do certain things (get a treat, go through a door, etc).. Just to see if it would make a difference in her all around behaviour to have her focus on ME more..

    Well, we noticed the other day that she's begun paying WAY more attention to us now than we thought.. And was using our eye/head movements as indicators as to what we want her to do. When we meet eyes and I look downward, she lies down.. If we look slightly upwards, she gets into a sit position. Now, it only seems to work when you're holding a stick - her most prized possession, but we're working on that. I thought it was a pretty cool development and so we're now working to polish it up a bit (she tends to bark and move around alot trying to get the stick while waiting for a command) and then maybe add more head/eye signals into the mix to see what else she can pick up! Any ideas or suggestions would be totally appreciated :D

    In the meantime though.. I was wondering if anyone had a couple exercises or games that they use with their dogs to help improve her focus? I'm really liking what I'm seeing with Lego since I started working on it with her, and so I'd really like to continue, but I have no idea how!

    Thanks in advance :)
    MaryK, jackienmutts and Dogster like this.

  2. SD&B Experienced Member

    With Sundog and Barney, they have to do a sit before I put their dinner in front of them and, when I call their name, they have to look at me. When they look at me, sometimes shorter and sometimes longer, then I release them to eat. We've been doing that for over 6 years now. I usually put the bowl under them so that, if they drool, the floor stays clean, lol.
    MaryK, jackienmutts and Dogster like this.
  3. Dogster Honored Member

    Wow, seems like you (and Lego) are doing a GREAT job with Lego's clicker training!!!:D You have both come very far since last time!!! I think teaching eye contact is a very good way to improve focus. You can teach the cue "look at me", or "watch me" so she learns to focus on YOU instead of the treat/stick. This can really improve trick training/overall training.

    "leave it" is a good one, that requires a lot of self-control. Since Lego loves food, you have to start slowly. Just put the food in your hand and tell her to leave it (if she doesn't know this already). You can (slowly) work your way to putting it on the floor, then close to her, on her...
    MaryK, SD&B and jackienmutts like this.
  4. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Really good work with Lego. It's excellent to work on a "look at me" or "watch" behavior, to improve focus and eye contact with our dogs. It's so helpful just for everyday life, as once they have that down, they tend to really start studying us even more than they ever did (which can be good .. and bad :ROFLMAO:).

    I do have a suggestion tho. You may want to add a hand signal and voice command in addition to your eye gestures with common things like 'sit' and 'down', etc. It's cool for you and her to be able to have those "secret" signals, but if she knows words/hand gestures to go along with them, others can communicate with her as well. Also, if you (or someone else) is wearing sunglasses, she'll still know what you're asking of her. Think also - people are constantly tilting their heads this way and that, even only slightly - you don't want her only focusing on people's heads for her behaviors, she'll go nuts. :LOL: Dogs are masters of our body language and study us so very carefully, constantly. Just throwing out suggestions for you to consider - altho I do love your ideas, and Lego sounds brilliant.
    MaryK, SD&B and Dogster like this.

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