Teach It : Watch Me

Verbal cue: Focus 
Difficulty: Easy 

 When you have your puppy’s eyes, you have his attention. Teach your puppy to look directly into your eyes as a way to ask for his attention.


  1. Kneel down to puppy height. Hold your clicker in one hand, and in the other hold a treat at your puppy’s eyes level.
  2. Slowly bring the treat back toward your eyes, while using a calm, drawn-out voice to cue “focus…focus…”
  3. Once your puppy holds eye contact for a second or two, click your clicker, and give him the treat. You want your puppy to be successful, so try to click before he loses interest and looks away. As he gets better, you can start require longer stares before you click.
  4. Begin to phase out the handheld treat and instead use your pointed finger between your eyes and the word “focus” to cue his stare. Click when he makes eye contact and give him a treat.

 WHAT TO EXPECT: A puppy’s eyesight is not fully developed until he is about nine months old, so very young puppies will be less able to focus on your eyes. Shy puppies may be hesitant to look into your eyes, possibly because they feel it is confrontational. This exercise will be especially helpful for those timid puppies. Most puppies can learn to make eye contact within a couple of days.

TROUBLESHOOTING: My puppy won’t look into mu eyes Sit on the ground, at puppy height, to appear less domineering. Speak gently, and practice daily. Let your puppy make the decision on his own to look into your eyes-do not force the exercise.

TIP! Make a habit of requiring a moment of calm attention before routine rewards, such as at the front door before taking your puppy on a walk, or at the food dish before chow-time. As soon as your puppy holds eye contact for a second or two, click and give him his reward. This will teach your puppy self-control, and that calm, attentive behavior is rewarded.

Source : Kyra Sundance

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