Originally Posted By: Art GWant to teach my 5 month old to watch something or someone specifically. Didn't really have to teach my last dog it came naturally. Even though Alex is alert and will watch something, he isn't connecting what he is doing with the reinforcement of watch him.
If you're talking about watching in connection with protection training, this is very easily accomplished, however, you absolutely must have the dog good on obedience first, and the dog must be a confident dog. You should also teach the dog a "stop" command prior to teaching it to watch something.
And, although 5 months is not too young to train this, I must warn you that once you train this "watch", the dog will forever be changed. In fact, this command alone can actually switch the dog from a happy-go-lucky puppy to a more mature dog capable of serious contemplation, and therefore, you must be willing to be "on top" of the dog from this point forward.
If your desire of a watch command is indeed what I've described, know that this can be accomplished in 5 minutes or less quite easily, and because it will trigger the dog's natural instincts, it will be very difficult to "untrain" later (ask me how I know), so you must be absolutely sure of what your aim is for the dog and its future.
With that said, I highly advise that you think this through very carefully, and consider all kinds of circumstances in which the dog could mistakenly go "on guard". For example, what if the dog goes "on guard" at the mall during a children's puppet show? This is why the dog must have a strong foundation of obedience.
This is important to consider: If the dog is not a confident dog and/or you do not have a solid foundation of obedience, you're going to have a real problem on your hands after the 5 minutes it takes to train a "watch" command.