Keeping dog's attention while walking.
DogForums.com is the premier dog Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Keeping dog's attention while walking.

  1. #1
    Senior Member ara28's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    968

    Keeping dog's attention while walking.

    I'm having a bit of a walking issue with my dog, advice would be much appreciated.

    When we're just walking together usually he's behind me (because he's slow) I've got a 4 foot leash and it's usually folded in half and there's still slack. If I don't fold it, he'll probably trip over it. Anyways so he's a little bit behind me and occasionally he'll move a little bit faster and maybe get ahead of me, but not pulling. Depending on what direction we're walking he's either on the left or the right. When we're walking down the street he's always on the side where the patch of grass is between the street and the side walk (not the side of the sidewalk that is in people's yards).

    Since I've never really had a pulling problem with him, I've never really worked on him paying attention to me while walking, because he just follows.

    Well, for our training class we do loose leash walking exercises and we're not very good at it. She always asks if there's anyone that DOESN'T walk their dog on the left and I never say anything because we do both. But just standing it feels more natural for him to be to the right of me. So I'm not really sure what side I'm supposed to walk him on. during class the left just feels awkward. During these exercises he has to be right next to me and since he's used to walking a little bit behind me it's kind of like I'm pulling him along which is frustrating.

    So I decided to work on him paying attention to me while walking. I've been take him to a walking trail where there are people and other dogs and periodically just have him sit, and then continue. Well it's not working very well and I can't figure out what to do with him to get him to pay attention to me while walking. He'll stop when I stop and go when i go, but he's in la-la land and doesn't listen to 'sit' he just stares off into space. If I lure him with a treat he'll do it though. Anytime other than walking, no matter where we are. He'll sit when i ask him to. It's just the random stop walking and sit that we're having a problem with.

    I think the reason this is so hard for me is that we can just walk and walk and he'll follow me and walk with me, stop when I stop, etc.. so I've never really had to work on it.

    How do I get him to pay attention to me????

  2. Remove Advertisements
    DogForums.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Senior Member TooneyDogs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    4,423

    Re: Keeping dog's attention while walking.

    Lots of things to work on here. Walking on either side is correct unless you're going on to competition obedience. Then, the dog must be on the left which is the traditional side as it frees up the right hand as most people are right handed.

    Attention training usually starts with static exercises (not moving)...right/left turns in place, one step forward halt, etc. progressing to moving exercises with no distractions, then working with distractions.

    All of his previous walking cues came from just walking behind you. To teach new cues, they have to come from your side (treats at your hip/waist; petting and praise while at your side or even a favorite toy). Practice the new cues at home or in a low distraction place.

  4. #3
    Senior Member ara28's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    968

    Re: Keeping dog's attention while walking.

    Quote Originally Posted by TooneyDogs View Post
    Lots of things to work on here. Walking on either side is correct unless you're going on to competition obedience. Then, the dog must be on the left which is the traditional side as it frees up the right hand as most people are right handed.

    Attention training usually starts with static exercises (not moving)...right/left turns in place, one step forward halt, etc. progressing to moving exercises with no distractions, then working with distractions.

    All of his previous walking cues came from just walking behind you. To teach new cues, they have to come from your side (treats at your hip/waist; petting and praise while at your side or even a favorite toy). Practice the new cues at home or in a low distraction place.
    Thanks!

    so I should essentially start over, in the house, without actually walking?

    what do you mean by new cues?

  5. #4
    Senior Member TooneyDogs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    4,423

    Re: Keeping dog's attention while walking.

    The visual cues. For example, when walking and about to make a turn where is he looking...what is going to cue him that the turn is coming so you don't collide with each other?

    In heel position, dogs will focus on the closest foot, the knee, the hip or your face...those are the (new) cues to walk as a team. That's why we start in the house...standing still and do a left turn, right, about turns etc. and note where the dog is looking.

    When you walk outside don't always walk in a straight line...crazy walk...force him to pay attention to you. He'll watch you more and more....watching out for a 'Crazy Ivan'
    (Hunt for Red October...a sudden turn).

  6. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    1,467

    Re: Keeping dog's attention while walking.

    Easiest way to start teaching attention is to have the dog sit in front of you and you stand in front of the dog with 5 small pieces of food in each hand. The second the dog looks at your face reward. Continue on until the food is gone. Do it several times a day.

    Then you move to heel position and do it, then you go on from there.

  7. #6
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    220

    Re: Keeping dog's attention while walking.

    Was this mentioned? Using a treat or a toy, holding it up and the dog should just stare at it.

    Unless you're Maddie. She'll jump for it. Then ignore it when she gets corrected. But our trainer told us that-and she taught us to walk Maddie on our left.

  8. #7
    Senior Member ara28's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    968

    Re: Keeping dog's attention while walking.

    Quote Originally Posted by TooneyDogs View Post
    The visual cues. For example, when walking and about to make a turn where is he looking...what is going to cue him that the turn is coming so you don't collide with each other?

    In heel position, dogs will focus on the closest foot, the knee, the hip or your face...those are the (new) cues to walk as a team. That's why we start in the house...standing still and do a left turn, right, about turns etc. and note where the dog is looking.

    When you walk outside don't always walk in a straight line...crazy walk...force him to pay attention to you. He'll watch you more and more....watching out for a 'Crazy Ivan'
    (Hunt for Red October...a sudden turn).
    This is probably I really stupid question, but I just want to make sure that I'm doing it right.

    So..in the house, I put him on a leash have him sit by my left side, then turn left, click..treat, turn right, click...treat? With treat pouch on my right hip or left hip? and I'm assuming if he's on the left I hold the leash with my left hand.

    I'm going to work on all of this tonight. Lets say that if we start tonight and work on it every day for 15-30 minutes, how long do you think it will take for him to "get it"?

    The training class that we're in actually has nothing really to do with walking, it's just a warm up exercise that we do. the class teaches you how to teach your dogs tricks and they've got mini agility equipment so we work on that too. Last week we learned spin, twirl, wave, climb the mini a-frame, sit on a box, jump over a plank of wood. We've got class tomorrow.

    Quote Originally Posted by txcollies View Post
    Easiest way to start teaching attention is to have the dog sit in front of you and you stand in front of the dog with 5 small pieces of food in each hand. The second the dog looks at your face reward. Continue on until the food is gone. Do it several times a day.

    Then you move to heel position and do it, then you go on from there.
    The first and second part we've got. We have no problem with stationary, it's just while we're moving that there's the problem with not paying attention because he's in la la land. like yesterday we got to a corner of a busy street so i stopped and he stopped and there were lots of cars going by and i told him to sit, he didn't listen so i turned to face him so he would look at me and he was looking AROUND me at the cars going by not listening. If I can get his eye contact while walking then we have no problem, it's the getting an maintaining eye contact that's the problem I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaddieTheDog View Post
    Was this mentioned? Using a treat or a toy, holding it up and the dog should just stare at it.

    Unless you're Maddie. She'll jump for it. Then ignore it when she gets corrected. But our trainer told us that-and she taught us to walk Maddie on our left.
    He'll follow a ball or a treat if I'm holding it up but he's paying attention to THAT, not to ME.

    I want him to know that I'm freaking awesome and that he should pay attention to me ALLLLLL the time because I'm the best!
    Last edited by ara28; 06-10-2009 at 02:41 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  9. #8
    Senior Member KBLover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    In ur housez flippin' ur rugz
    Posts
    4,977

    Re: Keeping dog's attention while walking.

    Sometimes it seems like Wally isn't paying attention when I just randomly stop walking, but he will sit, even if he's still looking in the distance. He has to look at me, though, before we keep walking.

    If it takes him too long (say more than a count to 10) I'll say "Look at me" or "Focus" and when he does, we keep walking. I kept this up for a while and then started requiring longer looks to keep walking. We're up to about 5-10 seconds of steady contact, though I want to get it up even more.

    I second the crazy walk idea. I used to do this, a lot. In fact, I still do especially when he's off leash. He could get into a scent, but I'm just keeping going. He'll be like "what the ****? why didn't he stop?" and run to catch up. If he goes past me, I stop and walk the other way.

    Sometimes I turn right into him. Make him wake up and turn. Sometimes I just pivot and turn around, almost military style. Got him to pay attention at sidewalk intersections by randomly picking a direction to go in. Before, he would just turn because "we always turn here". Imagine his surprise when I kept straight and he had to get back in line to avoid getting stepped on

    Wally's latent learning position.

    Believe in yourself, be the type of dog owner you want to be and you won’t need labels." - Dr. Abrantes

    "I hear, I know. I see, I remember. I do, I understand. " -Confucious says why I love shaping in a sentence.

    "Once you've entered the battle, you've already lost." -Amaryllis' mom on dog and child training.

  10. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    1,467

    Re: Keeping dog's attention while walking.

    when he doesn't sit when you tell him, and you are sure he knows sit, you ENFORCE it and make that dog sit. "Tuck him" into a sit, or lightly pop his collar straight up, lightly slap or poke his rear, etc.

    I don't think he really has to make constant eye contact while walking, you just want him to check in every few minutes.

    I want him to know that I'm freaking awesome and that he should pay attention to me ALLLLLL the time because I'm the best!


    LOL Nice thought, but sadly, no matter what you do, you will sometimes NOT be the best/most interesting thing to the dog :P
    Last edited by txcollies; 06-10-2009 at 02:46 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  11. #10
    Senior Member ara28's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    968

    Re: Keeping dog's attention while walking.

    I do enforce the sit. i tap one finger on the base of his tail and he'll sit. I didn't mean constant eye contact, I want him to check in every few minutes but the trees and grass and air seem to be more interesting to him than I am.

    Quote Originally Posted by txcollies View Post
    I want him to know that I'm freaking awesome and that he should pay attention to me ALLLLLL the time because I'm the best!


    LOL Nice thought, but sadly, no matter what you do, you will sometimes NOT be the best/most interesting thing to the dog :P
    Hey, all I can do is try!

  12. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    1,467

    Re: Keeping dog's attention while walking.

    I'd start with attention walking small. Say in the backyard, and gradually move outward.

  13. #12
    Senior Member KBLover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    In ur housez flippin' ur rugz
    Posts
    4,977

    Re: Keeping dog's attention while walking.

    Quote Originally Posted by txcollies View Post
    LOL Nice thought, but sadly, no matter what you do, you will sometimes NOT be the best/most interesting thing to the dog :P



    Maybe I should just have a steak in my pocket. That should keep his attention

    Wally's latent learning position.

    Believe in yourself, be the type of dog owner you want to be and you won’t need labels." - Dr. Abrantes

    "I hear, I know. I see, I remember. I do, I understand. " -Confucious says why I love shaping in a sentence.

    "Once you've entered the battle, you've already lost." -Amaryllis' mom on dog and child training.

  14. #13
    Senior Member TooneyDogs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    4,423

    Re: Keeping dog's attention while walking.

    Quote Originally Posted by ara28 View Post
    This is probably I really stupid question, but I just want to make sure that I'm doing it right.

    So..in the house, I put him on a leash have him sit by my left side, then turn left, click..treat, turn right, click...treat? With treat pouch on my right hip or left hip? and I'm assuming if he's on the left I hold the leash with my left hand.

    I'm going to work on all of this tonight. Lets say that if we start tonight and work on it every day for 15-30 minutes, how long do you think it will take for him to "get it"?
    I prefer to train off leash in the house. I want the dogs to focus on my body movements and not take their directions from the leash.

    You can put the treat bag anywhere but, watch what the dog does...for example if the pouch is on your right hip does the dog forge in front of you to eyeball the bag (gets out of heel position).

    I keep my my training sessions very short....15 minutes max. They are very focused and quite intense (we might throw a ball for 30 seconds for a quick, fun break/reward) and we only work on 2 or 3 specific things. In your case, I would work on eye contact/attention and general body position as you turn.
    I would not be concerned if he doesn't sit after each turn....the automatic sit isn't the main thing that you're working on....that can happen in the next session or two.

    Practice right turns, left turns, sidestep right, one step forward, one step back, about turn in place. How long it takes depends on how consistent you are with your footwork and body posture....probably 2 sessions for loose leash...much more for competition heeling.

  15. #14
    Senior Member ara28's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    968

    Re: Keeping dog's attention while walking.

    Quote Originally Posted by TooneyDogs View Post
    I prefer to train off leash in the house. I want the dogs to focus on my body movements and not take their directions from the leash.

    You can put the treat bag anywhere but, watch what the dog does...for example if the pouch is on your right hip does the dog forge in front of you to eyeball the bag (gets out of heel position).

    I keep my my training sessions very short....15 minutes max. They are very focused and quite intense (we might throw a ball for 30 seconds for a quick, fun break/reward) and we only work on 2 or 3 specific things. In your case, I would work on eye contact/attention and general body position as you turn.
    I would not be concerned if he doesn't sit after each turn....the automatic sit isn't the main thing that you're working on....that can happen in the next session or two.

    Practice right turns, left turns, sidestep right, one step forward, one step back, about turn in place. How long it takes depends on how consistent you are with your footwork and body posture....probably 2 sessions for loose leash...much more for competition heeling.
    i just tried in the house with the leash on. I initially started without the leash but he was too far away from me. I tried to have him on my left side and when he would sit he would sit about 2 1/2 feet away from me not facing front but angled towards me a bit. I had to have him sit between me and a wall so he would be facing straight. i tried walking backwards but all he does is sit and scoot back, he won't walk backwards. I tried turning to the left and he just sat there so i tried turning right and he kind of got up but not really, so then i put the leash on and pulled out the coffee table and we went around and around and around and he was still behind me and didn't understand the 'position'.

    I'm doing something wrong, obviously, but i don't know how to fix it.

    If I have him on my left and the treat pouch on my right he's angled toward the treat pouch.

    I'll ask our trainer tomorrow to see if she can demonstrate the different things you're suggesting I do. I'm trying to imagine what it's supposed to look like in my head but I can't.

  16. #15
    Senior Member TooneyDogs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    4,423

    Re: Keeping dog's attention while walking.

    Quote Originally Posted by ara28 View Post
    I'm trying to imagine what it's supposed to look like in my head but I can't.
    That's the key! Imagine him sitting by your side and the instant you start to make a right turn in place he's up and moving with you....staying in perfect heel position. If he's not with you every inch of the way...stop (he's missing the cues)... he has to wieth you every inch all the way arourd.

    Now the hard part of not moving....what will it take? Luring with a treat, a toy, a tennis ball under his nose as you turn? Put him on leash with no slack? A light tap with your right foot on his butt as you make the turn?
    Excellent work with the wall BTW.

  17. Remove Advertisements
    DogForums.com
    Advertisements
     

+ Reply to Thread

Quick Reply Quick Reply

  • Decrease Size
    Increase Size
  • Remove Text Formatting
  • Insert Link Insert Image Insert Video
  • Wrap [QUOTE] tags around selected text

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
SEO by vBSEO 3.5.2 ©2010, Crawlability, Inc.