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Dog Training Getting Your DogÆs Attention (part 2)

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Dog Training: Getting Your Dog’s Attention (Part 2)

Welcome to the second part of training your dog to “pay attention”. Continue with the same protocol and after fifteen minutes, get down on one knee to your dog’s level and untie the long-line from his collar, but don’t remove the collar yet.

Just take a few moments to tell your dog what a great job he’s doing. Give him a good pet on the head and talk to him in enthusiastic tone of voice. A good praise and a pat on the dog's head are all you need at this time to help shape his attitude for the next lessons that will follow.

Time For A Break

When you have finished your few minutes of praise, casually remove the training collar and give your dog a little privacy to take a break and think things over. Do not leave the training collar on your dog when he’s unattended because the ring can snag objects and cause strangulation.

Your first fifteen minutes of training may have seemed unremarkable to you. However, if you followed the instructions accurately, your dog began to realize that when he’s tied to you, he must move with you. If he failed to learn that on your first day, you can be sure that he’ll learn it, and more, by the fourth day, since it takes the average dog four days to learn an average thing.

At the same time, your dog is going to learn something else that is equally important. He is going to learn that you have the ability to use sound judgment as well as demonstrating a will that’s much stronger than his. Confidence and respect in your actions will begin to grow.

Day 2

Your second day of training should be same as the first day, except for the direction of your pattern. From your starting point the pattern could be the reverse of the day before, so that your dog will not know ahead of time which direction you intend to take.

Depending on your particular dog, you may or may not have struggles on your second day. If you do, handle it as you did the first day. Ignore all distractions and just walk!

Day 3

On the third day of training, even the most stubborn and uncooperative dog will begin to realize that nothing he does is going to deter your from going in the direction you want to go, and when you want to go. He will also realize that the line of least resistance is to follow you.

You will also notice, as you repeat the procedures of the first two days, that your dog will be watching you just a bit more closely. He is learning that he must move with his owner when on a leash. He has learned that you won’t direct him of your intentions. And since he must move with you, there’s only one way he’ll be able to be aware of your movements, and that is to pay attention to you.
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BONUS : Dog Training: Getting Your Dog’s Attention (Part 3)

On the fourth day, as you repeat the procedures of the first three days, you’ll discover that there’s no more opposition and no games. This is simple enough, unless your dog happens to become momentarily distracted and forgetful.

And that is just exactly what you want to happen, so that he will learn to overcome momentary temptation and distraction and keep his attention focused on you. After all, obedience is needed particularly in time of emergency, and since you are going to build obedience as well as character into your dog, it is not too much to ask, that, at a time when other dogs would yield to distraction and temptation, your dog has his attention totally focused on you.

Your job from day four until your pet learns to ignore temptation is to use distraction and temptation during your fifteen-minute training sessions. The procedures will be nearly the same as the first three days, except that you will walk in the direction of the distraction or temptation and hope that your dog will rush recklessly toward it.

You will of course have chosen that precise moment to wish him goodbye on his journey, turn, and walk fast in the opposite direction. And, as you may expect, his journey will be short (fifteen to twenty feet) before he turns around and walks toward you. Your dog will not hate you for having to turn around because he won’t associate his abrupt change of direction with you at all.

What Your Dog Will Know For Sure

The last four days have shown him that you will move whenever you choose, and in whatever direction you choose without first checking to see if it’s alright with him. Your dog knew this. What happened was his fault because he took his attention and eyes off you for a moment and gave in to temptation. It was just “coincidental” that you decided to move, at that same moment, and in the direction opposite to that in which he was heading.

You know that the move wasn’t really a coincidence, but your dog doesn’t know this, and will never know. What he will come to realize is that when a distraction or temptation appears, that is the exact moment that you will choose to reverse your direction of travel.

If you do your work well for the next few days, your dog will come to consider every temptation or distraction as a reminder and a cue to keep his eyes and attention on you. Distractions and temptations include people and things such as a skateboarder, a strange cat, another dog, a rolling ball, or a plate of food.

The list can go on and on, depending on your dog’s personality. However, to have someone call your dog by name in an attempt to distract him must be considered unfair. You must stick to other situations and things.

In Conclusion

To conclude this part of training, remember to always walk briskly in a straight line, with confidence in your movement. If you hesitate or walk slow, your dog will not develop the necessary confidence. Never give your dog verbal commands when working with him on the long-line. You’re not teaching him to heel yet.

For now, you’re teaching him four things. First, when tied to a person, he must move with that person. Second, your determination, will, and status are such that you will walk anywhere and at any time without first checking to see if it’s alright with him. Third, in order for him to be aware of your movement, and in which direction you’ll be walking, he needs to pay attention to you because you won’t let him know in advance. Fourth, when distraction or temptation appears, they are not excuses to be inattentive. On the contrary, that is when he must be the more attentive and focused on you.

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