Getting puppy’s attention the right way

When it comes to disciplining your dog most owners make one crucial mistake – their dog is not listening to them!
Like with small children, attention is important for dogs. It sets up a basis for any training. Otherwise, the dog simply won’t be concentrated on your efforts and will try to do something else like play with its toys.
Lack of focus is a sign that owner hasn’t properly trained his dog. This is something that needs to be done from the early age, otherwise, the dog will develop bad habits and will never be able to listen to you in future.
Here are some tips that will help you teach your puppy how to be attentive.

Start with eye contact
The first thing that needs to be taught (and learned) is to create an eye contact with a dog.
Ideally, you wish to use dog’s name. However, in theory, any command will suffice. Still, I would recommend dog’s name as it will have a much wider purpose and your friends and family can use it as well.
You need to bear in mind that dog’s do not understand what you’re talking about. They even have to learn their own name during the process. And that’s precisely where you start.
First, try repeating the name until dog looks at you. When he does, make sure to have a treat nearby. Repeat the process several times during that day. Try it again in the following days always have a treat. If you do not have a treat, cuddle or provide some sort of a positive feedback. Nevertheless, treat is the most efficient way to go for first few days.  
Whenever dog looks at you, try talking about something or doing things that are entertaining. Silly hand gestures may look very interesting to a dog and he will likely remain focused on you.
If a dog loses attention at any moment, make sure to call its name once again. Have in mind that you need to provide a treat each time he does so otherwise it will all be for naught.

Patience and persistence are the key
Always have in mind that patience and persistence are crucial for this or any other type of a training. Same goes for attention training.
One of the worst things you can do is use force or intimidation. This is something that was used back in the day and unfortunately, it is still used in certain places.
Training is definitely something that needs to teach a dog certain skill. But this learning process shouldn’t be done by using force. It can be counterproductive and deteriorate your relationship. Instead, always use love, petting, treats and other things that are positive for a dog and stimulate it to learn more.
Although people rarely think about this, all types of training are interconnected. Same goes for attention training. When dog notices you want something from him (a.k.a. training) he might take it either as a positive or negative experience depending on your actions during the training itself.
When it comes to attention training, be prepared to wait.
You might be forced to call puppy’s name several times until it finally looks at you. Once the eye contact is created and he receives its first treat, everything else will go more smoothly.

Test with toys
With all that being said, have in mind that attention training is primarily about prolonged focused not short-term looking.  
Dog needs to be focused during the whole sequence without going away or starting to do something else. Of course, you will call its name whenever he does but you need to do something else.
In order to strengthen dog’s focus, you need to use toys or something else that he really likes.
During this particular exercise, put a toy in front of him and then, call his name.
There is a good chance that a dog will disregard your call and instead go for a toy. When this happens, make sure to remove the toy or cover it with foot/hand. Call its name once again and continue repeating this until he looks at you.
Dog needs to be able to look at you no matter the circumstances. Only when you manage this, you can say that the training is truly over.

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