What is it?
Your dog will immediately turn away from a distraction and look at you when hearing the words, Watch Me
Why do it?
- Is a foundation for a reliable recall or other commands
- Can be used as a tool for helping dogs overcome fears
- Is a tool to increase focus on you around exciting distractions
- Prevents unwanted behaviors so you can reward good behaviors
When to use it
- To help your dog associate mildly scary things with fun
- When your dog is tempted to bark at something
- When your dog is tempted to disobey
- On walks
- To get your dog’s attention before giving a second cue (eg., “down,” “come” or “place”)
Ideas for Practice
- In the house, randomly
- When your dog is sniffing something in the backyard
- During walks
- When your dog is looking at something out a window
- Click and treat for correct responses.
- Say Watch Me only once. If unsuccessful, re-try after 3 seconds.
- If your dog won’t look at you, make an orienting noise such as a “smooching” noise with your lips immediately after saying, Watch Me, to cause your dog to glance your direction. Click and treat the glance.
- Avoid reaching into your treat bag until after you have clicked.
- Practice with as many distractions as you can come up with.
- If you are having trouble, de-intensify by getting further from the distraction until you can be successful.
- Practice in environments in which you will be successful at least 80% of the time