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-   -   Eye contact (http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=55530)

allymack August 16th, 2008 08:23 PM

Eye contact
 
So on our walks i am trying to get Enzo to give me more eye contact, to keep him from focusing on other dogs. Everytime he looks at me i C&T. I have been doing this for a few days now and i have staretd to bump up the amount of time before i C&T so he has to hold the eye contact longer before he gets the treat.

The only thing is.. I am having two thoughts avout this..

1. Will he only give me eye contact so he can get a treat

and

2. Will he learn to give me eye contact when there are other distractions around, i.e. dogs?

luckypenny August 16th, 2008 09:37 PM

[QUOTE=allymack;641547]
1. Will he only give me eye contact so he can get a treat[/QUOTE]

Use treats only when training the eye contact in a new environment. Gradually decrease the amounts of treats and give them [I]ir[/I]regularly. However, the first few times he looks at you without you asking, make sure he's hit the jackpot and give him bonus treats.

[QUOTE=allymack;641547]2. Will he learn to give me eye contact when there are other distractions around, i.e. dogs?[/QUOTE]

He will but it'll take time to achieve this. The trick is to make sure you are in his 'safe zone' and only slowly decrease the distance between him and the stimuli. As soon as he is unable to focus on you, you are too close. In time, you should be able to decrease the distance.

The more repetition in different environments, the quicker he'll catch on.

allymack August 17th, 2008 10:35 AM

So you think i sould continue with this? Should i start praising more and start using Variable Reinforcement (VR) instead? With most of what Enzo knows now he is on VR and seems to be doing fine. I will defiantely keep working on it in new palces too.

Longblades August 17th, 2008 12:37 PM

I'm doing this too. My PuppyBoy is ten months now and I know it's working because I'm only buying a package of hotdogs once every 2 and half or even three weeks, instead of every week. :D

Several times lately when passing a yard where the dog is contantly out, barking, running along it's fence beside us and being a huge distraction my boy has immediately looked to me before I even asked. I am now treating every second or third "watch me" but in the situation of the barking dog I still treat every time.

The goal, for me anyway, is to have him NOT watching me. I want him to walk on leash beside me and know what he is supposed to do without constant checking with me. We're getting there.

One tip: Remember to give your pooch big SMILEs when he looks at you. OUr trainer said most dogs recognize human smiles and know that they are good. Treat sporadically, SMILE always.


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