“LOOK AT THAT!”
Written by Lilian Akin, CPDT
Adapted from “Control Unleashed” by Leslie McDevitt

PURPOSE FOR THIS CUE:

TEACHING THE CUE:

First:

You need to teach your dog the cue to look at things first before you can teach him/her to look at another dog/stimulating object.

Start by picking an item from your house – it does not matter what that item is.  Hold it behind your back, pull it out, tell your dog to “look at that” or some other similar cue and then click/treat when the dog looks at the item. Put the item back behind your back once the dog has looked at it.  Do this with the same item until your dog seems to understand.  Then, switch items so your dog starts to generalize and realize it isn’t looking at that one item, but whatever you tell the dog to look at which is the rewardable behavior. 

At first you are clicking/treating when the dog looks at the item. 

Next:

From a distance you can start having your dog look at another dog or person.  Make sure you are at enough of a distance that your dog does not lose it and stays calm.  You will see a dog/person, point to that dog/person and then say “look at the dog/person” and as soon as your dog looks, click and treat. 

Ultimately:

Once your dog truly understands that “look at that” means to glance at the object you want the dog to glance at do you start clicking/treating once the dog reorients to you.  When your dog is voluntarily looking and then looking back at you, it’s then that you want to start clicking/treating not when the dog looks at the dog/person, but after the dog re-orients to you. 

Lilian Akin, CPDT

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