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Almost five month old Bonnie learns "Watch Me"
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I've always heard that to train a dog, you need her to get her attention. That makes sense. If the dog is distracted, chances are she won't know what you're doing or what you want. Lots of trainers teach specific lessons to teach their dogs to focus. I've never done that. I've trained lots of dogs, but never have I taught the dog to specifically pay attention to my face. So I decided to give it a try.

The goal is to get Bonnie to look into my eyes. If we have that connection, she will be focused on me, and not other things in the area. First I show Bonnie where I want her to look. For this task, it's my eyes. Every time she looks into my eyes, I reward her. Once she's doing that, I try for a longer period of focus time. So if she had been looking at me for a second, now she would hold the eye contact for three seconds. I'll work to increase that time.

I've decided to use clicker training. This is also the first time I've trained a dog using a clicker. You can do this with your dog even if you are unfamiliar with clicker training. Instead of clicking, you just say, "Good Dog!" So every time you see me click in the video below, just offer your reward to your dog, whether it's praise or treats.

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