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I've been trying to teach my dog to look at me while walking so she knows when to sit when I stop, turn, etc... I'm never going to compete with her or anything so i'm not looking for perfect but just her attention.

We have off leash areas for dogs and i'd love to take her but not unless I know I will have her full attention in case I need to call her to me for whatever reason.

I've used several methods I've read on here and other places as well such as offering treats every so often, having a favorite toy of hers with me, etc..

She will look at me when im offering the treat but then go right back to nosing on the ground or looking around at traffic, etc..

Sometimes I wonder exactly how smart she is and if she's just playing some sort of frustrating game. lol

She doesn't pull on the leash unless she sees another dog and most of the time she will sit on command even when distracted but she will still be noisy about it.

Keep in mind she's only 7 months old so she's still a puppy with a lot of room to grow but I figure it's never too early to start training, or am I wrong and should I just wait until she's older?
 

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I get the best atention when I'm playing. She wont take her eyes off of me if I'm running like an idiot....I know that may sound silly. But keep running away from him, it becomes a game, then when you slow to a walk....eyes are on you waiting for you next move because, remember your tricky and may try to get away...try with a ball or toy first...then just you.
 

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Hi there Innuendo! I'm originally from Shreveport.

You're right - 7 months is a puppy. You need to take her slowly and not expect it to 'just happen.'

Personally, I'd work on walking on loose lead by your side - eventually with distractions - before progressing to focussed heeling.

Part of the puppy thing is being easily distracted.

Quote:She will look at me when im offering the treat but then go right back to nosing on the ground or looking around at traffic, etc..
Start in your backyard or even in a hallway in your home.

Baby steps- literally. First focussing on you. Then focussing with one step. then a few steps etc..

Set her up for success.

Reward for focus - repeat, practice, repeat.. Then focus with step-- repeat, practice repeat.

That's what it's about. Repetition and time and lots of patience.

Good luck.
 

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Are you expecting her to watch you all of the time? Rafi will look up at me for a treat or for his toy but he spends lots of time exploring, etc. I think the most important thing for off leash play is to have a good recall.
 

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I wouldn't expect my dog to constantly watch me when we are out walking. The mental effort would be too exhausting, and as others have said, your pup is still very young for extended attention.

Work on short "formal" obedience sessions where you want 100% focused heeling. Baby steps as zyp said, with a lot of rewards and play to associate "paying attention" with FUN!!!

For everday walks, work on a loose leash heeling. I have a different command for focused, eyes-on-me heeling, and everyday loose leash heeling. I think it would be cruel to not allow my dog to look around and check things out. However, for loose-leash heeling, I don't allow sniffing and stopping. I have a "head-up" command for when she drops her head to sniff things.

Depending on where I'm walking, I try to incorporate a bit of all three types in a walk: allowing Keeta to roam around and sniff for part of the walk, making her walk at my side in an informal heel (no sniffing), and short periods of eye-contact, focuses heeling.

If you can get a 10-20 steps of good, focused heeling amid distractions at this stage, that is good! Work on that as a foundation, and make your walks fun!
 

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As part of an overall obedience training we did the following for training concentration and focus in puppies. Put them in a sit and hold a treat just above and between your eyes and call their name - they stare at the treat from the sit.

They get the treat after staring at it for 5 secs. If they look away or get up, they don't get the treat and have to start over. Then progressively lengthen the time they have to stare at it before they get to eat it. After a few months, you can just call them and point to the forehead. However, this doesn't necessarily teach them to pay attention someplace with distraction like a dog park, it will teach them focus, patience, etc.
 

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A puppy, sniffing, exploring, etc. She does not pullon the lease and most of the time will sit upon command.

Sounds like an awfully good dog to me. Give a book entitled "If Bones would Rain From the Sky" a read.
 

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I did this by the beginning of the obedience class, foundation, is what we did. We took our dogs out in a large parking lot, on a semi loose lead, we would walk in one direction, then quickly switch to another direction, therefore making the dog after a while, learn that he's got to pay attention to us because at any second we can change direction again, then go from walking slowly to running, then slowing to a walk again, constantly changing directions.
Or you can use a "Watch me" command, teach it by using a treat, near your eyes, stand in front of your dog, and say watch me, keeping the treat near your face, if the dog stares at you for a good 5 seconds give the treat, then move it up, 10 seconds, and so on. Then do it from other angles.

These are just things I've used...
 

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OK, one more question.

Why do you expect your dog to look at you while walking. The dog wants to sniff, explore, perhaps look for squirrels.

As I said earlier it sounds like you have a fine dog.
 

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One thing I have definitely learned about my skills and abilities in dog training..... when I've tried everything I know and things do not improve and maybe are getting worse, and I am getting frustrated............... I now IMMEDIATELY stop what I'm doing and find those dog classes with those professionals who have trained hundreds of dogs and really do have the experience and background to help right away.

Training is a progression that on my own, I generally don't do as well as I should on my own. If I don't know a step, or think something is as important as something else, I skip it. Then a month or so down the line, I miss the correlation between me rushing the training and a problem I'm now having in training.

Classes 'force' the proper progression because of the weekly classes and homework in between. I can watch the other dogs/handlers and get a real feel for how we should be doing. I learn to TEACH the dog the proper way so they learn faster. First I teach then add the distractions.

BTW, have you heard of 'calming signals'? Cause alot of the stuff my dogs can do that DRIVE ME NUTS when I'm training and make me think they are ignoring me (sniffing, looking away, yawning, on and on) are REALLY calming signals my dog is throwing at me to have me and the dog calm down. So I'm getting mad cause my dog is 'ignoring' me (I think) by sniffing and my dog is trying to calm my anger by these signals that are making me madder so she's doing them more so I'm getting more frustrated cause now my dog is completely not paying attention at all. Vicious cycle that I just set up and am completely mis-reading......

http://www.diamondsintheruff.com/calmingsignals.html

http://www.dogwise.com/ItemDetails.cfm?ID=dtb527 DVD better than the book.
 

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Great advice from the others. Age is everything and I think you are expecting to much to soon. Give it time and you will get there.

Here are a few books I have used for just what you are looking for. Even if you never do any competition just learning the techniques will help you and your dog.

Terri Arnold's books...
http://www.dogwise.com/ItemDetails.cfm?ID=DTO181

ATTENTION TRAINING & HEELING, WHAT OTHER BOOKS DIDN'T TEACH YOU by Ruth Rosbach-Chandler
http://www.dogwise.com/ItemDetails.cfm?ID=DTO156

Hope this helps.
 
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