How to Get Your Dog’s Attention

We can all agree on something. It’s difficult to get animal’s attention and it’s even harder to get the attention of a puppy. Dogs are extremely energetic animals by nature.

Photo by Michael Seely

Not only that, but they have short attention span, they are easily distracted as well and full of energy.

In many ways they are similar to kids.

It’s hard to teach a puppy if his attention is not aimed towards you.

No need to worry about anything, because we’ve prepared 4 tips to get the attention of your puppy.

First and foremost, keep in mind that as you perform the exercise you must be fully invested, energetic and enthusiastic. Because if you aren’t, you can be sure that your puppy will notice that and you won’t get the results you expected.

When you work with dogs you must be aware that getting their attention can be quite difficult. It takes time and patience. Some dogs get things down faster than others so don’t be disappointed if your neighbor’s dog is more advanced at some point.

Third, you need to know when you have your dog’s attention. Often times you can notice that by the body language of your puppy.

Sometimes dogs try to get your attention in many obvious ways.

But how can you distinguish when you have the attention of your puppy?

Well, you can notice that by the way your dog is looking at you. Is your puppy following your actions closely? Is it following you when you casually roam around your house? If the answer is yes, you have its attention.

Tip 1 – Energetic dogs

We mentioned above that dogs are energetic animals by nature and they are similar to kids as well. Trying to get the attention of your dog in the morning is pointless.

Your puppy is full of energy and raring to go.

Instead of performing exercise, take him out on a walk or a light jog.

That way you will drain your small dog, making it easier to work him later during the day.

Tip 2 – Eye contact

Eye contact is extremely important when trying to get your dog’s attention.

Grab a hand full of snacks and stuff them into your pocket.

Position yourself in front of it and wait its gaze to meet yours. As soon as that happens toss your dog the snack you have in your pocket.

Try this exercise few other times before your dog is completely out of energy.

Tip 2 – The “watch me” exercise

Before proceeding to a next exercise make sure your dog has the previous exercise down.

For the second exercise you’ll need a toy or a treat. Just as the previous exercise, sit in front of your dog. Bring the toy or the snack in front of its nose and let it sniff it.

But, be careful, you don’t want your dog to snatch the treat of your hand, that’s not the point.

After your puppy has a good sniff of the object, start slowly bringing your hand back towards your face and as you do that, carefully follow the reaction of your puppy.

The dog should start shifting his gaze between the object and your face. If it does, reward it with a treat. When you’re done, come back during the day and repeat the exercise.

Tip 3 – Slowly increase distractions

As your dog slowly starts getting the exercise down, start gradually increasing distractions. However, be careful not to make a big jump right away.

For an example, bring another person while performing an exercise. Or start performing the exercise in another room.

Feel free to be creative, but keep in mind not to add too much distractions right away, because the results won’t be the ones that you expected.

Tip 4 – False alarm

Dogs are known for their great sniffing capabilities, but they have great hearing capabilities as well.

When the house is quiet, drop something all of a sudden. As your dog approaches the object, step on it and follow its reaction.

If your dog happens to sit in front of you instead of insisting to take a hold of the object. Be sure that you have its attention.




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I'm Crystal. I'm married to Dale, and mother to Johnny.Some might say that my life is perfect because I get to do all the cliché wife things like cooking, cleaning, and decorating - but there's more! I also have many hobbies including needlework (crochet), sewing, and reading. My son's education is important, so we homeschool him together.

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