We have decided that we must teach Milly "watch me" she is wonderful at listening to me or my partner inside the house with no distractions but outside where there are leaves or sounds and smells or if the TV is on in the house we really struggle to get her attention. We've been trying it with pieces of kibble which works fine cause she's a guts but she refuses to pay us attention if she can't smell the food. Does anyone have any suggestions on training "watch me" without food? or maybe you even have some supportive comments or previous experience even if it was using treats in training.
I love this method of teaching watch me:
Take a treat and hold it in a closed fist, make sure your dog knows its there, and then extend your arm fully out to one side. Your dog will be locked in and focussed on your hand, but wait. Don't give any verbal cues or signals, just wait quietly. Eventually, your dog will break focus and look towards your face - may be just a split second glance initially. The INSTANT that happens, mark it with a clicker or a reward-word ("YES!") and give a treat from the OTHER hand.
thank you for your quick response kaytris! I will definitely try that, ideally i'd love her to have perfected "watch me" before our next Puppy Pre-school lesson in a quiet room with the two of us and then challenge her at Pre-school around the other puppies to see how she goes.
Teaching "watch me" is a wonderful tool and the groundwork of a lot of other training...good for you for getting a jump start on it!! For training, I use a "stinky" treat that will get and keep attention. Natural Balance food rolls, hot dog pieces nuked, zukes training treats, string cheese, etc.. Keep that puppy happy
When you train with smelly treats, where do you keep them? I put her kibble in the pocket of my pants and she just sniffs out the pocket I have, sits next to my side that has the treats and whines. It's so cute but SO frustrating. it's almost like she says "yeah I know u got ONE in that hand but there's like 6 in your pocket!!"For training, I use a "stinky" treat that will get and keep attention.
Very teachable without treats, too. Point to your nose and give the command to WATCH. The dog will 'think' you're eating someting and immediately look up at your face. Praise. Even if the glance is only for a second or two. Lather/rinse/repeat.
You can also do this when you're being stared at, like when the dog follows you into the bathroom and sits directly in front of the throne, boring two holes into you with his/her eyes: "WHATCHYA DOING ON THAT FUNNY CHAIR, MOM??"
Or when you're mixing hamburger and you get the beggy-eyes and drooly mouth. "Are you watching me? GOOD DOG!!!"
We started out taking the treat up to our nose/face when the dog looked at you praise and treat. Then we started mixing it up with what Kaytris mentioned above. You have to eventually wean them off the treats start really slow treat 5x then just praise once and repeat eventually work up to treating every other time then treat every 4x or something. Just go slow.Originally Posted by kaytris
this is how i like to teach Watch Me, too.Originally Posted by kaytris
"Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend." ~ Corey Ford
I like that method because it gives the dog a choice on what to do, and requires it to think, rather than simply following a lure. I'm all for THINKING dogs.
Tried your method last night. Boy was it hard not to laugh! I got Milly to sit, showed her the treat and left it outstretched in my hand to the side with my fist closed as you instructed. She moved to my hand and sat staring at it for what seemed like ages. She stood, jumped up to it, tried sniffing, ran around my fist, sniffed the floor, ran around in little circles, sat, stood, whined, and then finally looked at me. This happened three times then my arm got sore.
Just thought i'd update you on how Milly went