Using pup's name to look vs seperate "Look" command - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-07-2018, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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Using pup's name to look vs seperate "Look" command

Background: 12 week old female. Has basically all basic obedience down to include stay/leave it/drop it. Recalls are going great as well.

I am getting ready to start leash (no pulling, walking beside instead of in front, ignoring destractions) and heel training. Right now, I'm getting two schools of thought on how to get your dog to look at your face. Some trainers recommend simply using the puppies name as a look command, while others seem to have a separate "Look" command.

I would love input on this. My pup is responsive to her name but I have primarily been using a "look" command to get her to look at my face and rewarding her as appropriate. Where as, typically I use her name before another command. Like when I do a recall, I go "Duchess, come here" in my commanding voice and she's been going GREAT with it.

Obviously the "if it's not broke, no need to fix it" comes into mind, but as I move into more advanced training such as heel and advanced leash training that will eventually lead to off the leash training, what will I have better success with?

And then there's the thought, why not just teach her to look at me with both? Or would that cause confusion?

Also, at her age, I can get her to look at me for a few seconds before she usually breaks contact. Should I be working her for longer durations or will that just come with time? I know puppies have very limited attention spans so I don't want to push it if it's too advanced right now. So far I will normally give her a treat just as long as she looks up at me.

Thanks! I appreciate all advice and critiques.

Last edited by Dutchy; 08-07-2018 at 04:04 PM.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-07-2018, 04:56 PM
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For me they just have to look at me when I call their name, followed by the command. For multiple dogs (mine two) I use "Doggies!" as a way to have them both look at me.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-07-2018, 04:59 PM
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Use a normal speaking voice for commands. You want them to respond every time, not just to the voice but command. They should respond if you whisper or if you raise your voice.

I just say Watch and they do. I use names for movement commands
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-07-2018, 05:08 PM
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We don't do formal obedience but I also use dog's name as a more casual attention-getter (does not need to be a focused look)...

ex: He is staring intently at the cat laying on neighbor's driveway... "Rumo! Let's go!"

He definitely knows his name because when we are talking about him, his ears prick up. For instance, I was standing in kitchen with my daughter talking casually and I said to her, "OK, and around 4 I'm going to take Rumo out for his walk..." Suddenly there was a big white furry guy in the kitchen pushing against my legs, looking excited.

So in that sense, if her name is a Look command, it gets a little imprecise, because what if you are just casually mentioning your dog ("Rumo met another dog today") or you use it just when talking to your dog ("Rumo, I'm really hot! Let's go home.")

I'm sure the pro dog-trainers will have better input though!

Rumo ~ rescue shepherd/husky mix
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-07-2018, 07:45 PM
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I use "Look" for them to look at my face and give me full attention. This doesn't work if I tell them to "look at that" because then they look at me. So if I want them to look at something else I use "Find" which also means "Find ------" .

I use their name to listen for an action. Since I have two dogs that I sometimes work at the same time, I am teaching them to listen for their name. It differentiates whose turn it is. They also hear their name in conversation and seem to understand that we are talking about them, but also seem to understand they might not have to do anything.
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