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Old 01-22-2013, 06:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I have a two year old boxer named Bobo. He has little to no training experience. This is mostly due to the fact that my mom and stepdad do not allow dogs inside. However, I'm moving to live with my dad and stepmom in Utah this summer. They do not allow outside dogs. Dogs to them are part of the family so long as they do not cause harm to any human family members or to other dog family members. I need him walk-trained, sit-stay-trained, and name-attention trained by the time I get to Utah. The thing I'm mostly worried about right now is that he never looks me in the eyes. This is a very important thing in training. Eye contact is essential. I looked up ways to train a dog to look at you when you say his/her name, but the whole "sit and wait for the dog to look at you, click, and then treat" thing was impossible. I waited for 15 minutes out in the 14 degree cold waiting for him to look at me. I finally gave up and took him back home. He looks everywhere but at me. Why? When I put a treat in between my eyes, he looked at me. I said his name right when he looked at me, and treated him. I did this two more times before I figured out that when I said his name, his eyes went to my hand. I literally face-palmed. How can I get the attention on me? I need him to focus on me.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Teach him "watch"
Say his name, bring the treat up to your temple, hold it there for a few seconds and treat. If you're using the clicker, go ahead and click and treat.
Only use "watch" when you bring the treat up by your eyes.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I learned in traning class to drag the treat inbetween your eyes and when bobo looks say "watch me" and give treat. do this slowly, at first he will look at the treat in between your eyes, and then he will slowly learn that when you say "watch me" to look in that direction. after he gets it down with following the treat, try and hold the treat between your eyes for a tad longer... if he looks away.. put the treat in front of his face again and drag it back up to between your eyes. repetition. repetition.

will your mom allow you to train him in the garage? so your not freezing.

hope this helps.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I can ask her if we can do that. I'd only be able to do it on days when my stepdad is working though, because they park their cars in there. But still, it would be helpful. He did seem distracted because of the cold. He ran straight to his little... I guess it's a barrel with hay and blankets connected to the larger pen, when we got home. He does not do cold well. Lol... Thanks so much for the advice. So the thing with him just looking at my hand was a temporary thing? He'll stop looking at my hand if I keep on doing it the right way?
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If you use a clicker it will be pretty easy. We learned this in the PetSmart puppy class and I use the word "focus". We started out holding treat in front of the dog's nose and saying his name then move the treat to the tip of your nose so the dog is looking at your eyes and say "focus" or whatever word you want. Assuming he actually looks you in the eye, click and treat. Once he has that down move your hand off to the side instead (like near your shoulder). Do NOT click until he actually looks at you. It may take a couple minutes or more the first few times because he'll look at the treat instead. Then he'll realize, wait a minute I didn't hear the click or get the food and look at you to see what's going on. then you click and give him the treat.

If you haven't been using a clicker, don't forget to "load it" for a few days to a week as well. This means click and give a treat say 10 times in a row. The dog doesn't have to do anything, just click and give him a treat. This associates the click with getting food. Remember treats don't need to be large. I usually use the Blue Buffalo "Blue bits" little heart shaped treats and will break them in to 2-3 pieces depending on what I'm doing for Bruno (he's only 30lbs and 4 months old though). Whole they would be a perfect size for an adult dog though.
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Keep working on it. Be patient and dont expect him to sit and stare right in your eyes the first few times. It won't happen. Once they "get it" you'll know and will make everything else easier. Get his attention first and foremost. Teach that learning is fun and he'll learn. Spend as much time with him as possible. He needs to learn to completely trust you and then you will find it easy to train.



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Old 01-22-2013, 08:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by XDSmilezXD View Post
So the thing with him just looking at my hand was a temporary thing? He'll stop looking at my hand if I keep on doing it the right way?
When you use a food lure, you are supposed to click and treat only a FEW times then stop because, they become dependent upon it. They call that "prompt dependency", I dont know if he would for sure become dependent on it bc a lot of people use that technique, but i tried it once and the dog wouldn't do it if i did not raise my hand to my temple. So in order to avoid that, you could capture the behavior...capturing-is the process of marking and reinforcing behaviors that the animal does spontaneously. So whenever he looks at you C/T. Any time there is eye contact C/T. Wait for longer eye contact C/T. I would say 5 seconds of eye contact at least for one day... End session on a positive note and play tug or something fin afterwards. Next day any eye contact C/T, work back up to 5 secs C/T. When he gives you eye contact for the amount of time that you desire you can begin to add the cue...watch me or watch or focus or whatever it is, say the cue as soon as the behavior occurs, not after he looks away, C/T. repeat. Then back it up a few seconds when you know he's about to give eye contact C/T, repeat. Then eventually you can back it up to right after he is done eating his treat. Then practice until the behavior is on cue.


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Old 01-22-2013, 08:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The key to training is action first then add the command. Have the treat in your hand, as soon as he looks at you click and treat, even if it is a glance at first. Then 2 - 3 times if he does it consistently then add the gesture, then the command "watch me". The gesture is when you have the treat between your index finger and thumb, the 3 other fingers would point at your eyes. It takes a couple of times....However, to do this command the "sit" command or "down" command must be mastered. Is his "currency" treats or toy? some dogs they pay attention with treats and some with toys. Depends on the dog. Only focus on one command at a time. Once he masters the "sit" command, then you can move on to the "watch me", you cannot train him to do several things at the same time, it can be confusing especially if this is the first time you are doing any sort of training. It will take some patience and time. I understand that you want to train him right away to obey since he will be inside, but he has not been used to being inside....and he has been left on his own for a while outside so getting him to shift his focus may take a bit of time for him. If you feel yourself getting frustrated....you just need to take a break and give Bobo a break. No more than 1 hour of training per day, and use the command in daily routine.
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