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teaching eye contact

January 17th, 2009, 08:21 PM
enzo and i wwere playing our nightly game of fetch in the house ( outside in the summer, but its wayyyy to cold for that lately) and i decided i should be doing training while playing, so i decided he needed to work on giving me eye contact without a command, so he has to look for my approval type of thing before he does something.anyways, when he brought the ball back, he automatically sits, so he is already in a good position in front of me, i take the back and make him stay in the sit. i move the ball down lower so he has to look down ( so it will be a little more effort for him to make eye contact, instead of just shifting his eyes) , when he made eye contact, i clicked while he was looking at me and then thow the ball as a reward. each time i waited for the eye contact, the quicker i got it. it has gotten to the point where he barely looks at the ball and just give me eye contact, so i make him hold it a few seconds before clicking, so i can lengthening the amount of time he watchs me. i just found this was a really easy way to teach it to him, so i thought i would share it. plus it gets some extra exercise in ( we play for about 30 mins ) so he is good and tired for the night :dog:

January 17th, 2009, 08:39 PM
Sounds like a good way! Would come in handy if teaching agility, no? .. What do you mean when you say you "Clicked"?

January 17th, 2009, 08:54 PM
yep, i think eye contact is very important in agility, one of its many great uses.

and by clicked i mean i used a clicker ( for dogs) it makes a noise, which is like a mark, telling him he did what i asked, so if i said sit, and he sat i would click and treat, its sort of like using a word constantly, like yes! or good! i find that clickers are very helpful in teaching any thing you want, especially if you are going to get in to teaching a trick or behaviour that has mutiple steps. also it can help speed up his reaction time to my commands. eg. if i said down, and he did lay down, but it took him four seconds to do it, and i wanted him to do it in 2 seconds, i wouldnt click or treat, but i would say good down. next time he might still take 4 seconds down and he would just get another good down, then he starts to realize he isnt hearing a click, so he speeds it up a little, this time it takes him 3 seconds to do a down, then i would say good down! and maybe a little tid bit, this may happen 2 or 3 times, then he realizes again there is still no click, so he speeds it up once more, then he does it in 2 seconds, like i wanted him to, i click and treat, which is the best reward he gets, he will do anything to hear that click.

January 17th, 2009, 08:57 PM
Where would one get one of these clicking machines??:p

January 17th, 2009, 09:08 PM
trying calling up a few local trainers, if they use the clicker method, they should sell them , or be able to tell you someone who does.

the one i have now i got from pets unlimited, it has an adjustable clicking sounds, so i can make it louder or quiter, which i like, thats also good because some dogs are very sensitive to sound, so you can just use the quietest notch and it shouldnt scare them. they are around 2-5 dollars, so they arent even pricey.:thumbs up

January 17th, 2009, 10:36 PM
I've seen clickers at PetSmart. I've never used them so didn't pay much attention. If you don't have a PetSmart near you, maybe your local pet supply store would also carry them.

January 17th, 2009, 10:56 PM
When I was working with Dogs With Wings they were using the clicker training and I could not believe how quick Sable picked it up her lessons. I was using it for Sasha for awhile and she started to learn so much better. With your information here I think that i will begin again with Sasha. I don't understand exactly why this works but it does.

January 18th, 2009, 12:29 AM
Do I love the clicker! I teach Bambi sign language command with the clicker.

Here's some video on how to do it:
click on any pic,you'll see the video

January 18th, 2009, 12:44 AM
I don't understand exactly why this works but it does.

it works because when you start off teaching what the clicker means, you click and treat several times, making a positive association with the click, and since the sound is the exact same everytime it is easier for the dog to remember it, and its association, which means a treat ( or toy ) even though you may think saying 'good boy' always sounds the same to the dog, it doesnt sound quite the same everytime.

January 18th, 2009, 09:35 AM
I don't mean to ruffle any fealthers but you really don't need the clicker.

We do the exact same drill - hold the toy at arms legnth from your face (I don't care what direction) and when the dog realizes that in order to get the ball and your praise he needs to look into your eyes. Each time you have him hold eye contact a tad longer and voila. The clicker is a moot point. You are the reward! Your warmth, your praise your touch and the continuing of the game. That's what its all about in the long run. The clicker is really an unnecessary step.

I know lots of people love to click, but for those who don't - you don't really need it.