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I have trained Kodee to "watch me" and he's very reliable on it, but I know that if I wait for him to watch me for more than a few seconds before marking and rewarding, he looks away. I know dogs don't like to be stared at, and I have no problem with him looking away (as long as he obeys the command for a few seconds first), but I was wondering what is an appropriate length of time to expect him to focus on making eye contact w/me? He's a pet, not a working dog, I don't know if that matters. I just want to train him as well as I can, and I don't know how much to expect of him on this command.

I have tried extending the length of time between the command and the marking (like you do when extending the length of sits and downs), but we don't seem to be making any progress extending the time period.
 

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How old is your puppy? I would reward her often for watching you in the beginning, so she gets the idea that she is getting the treat for watching. VERY slowly increase the time from one second to two seconds, to three seconds, sometimes going back to one second and then maybe four seconds and always remember to treat. It takes some dogs longer to learn the watch me command and to reliably always watch. Some dogs also do have a problem staring at you in the eyes, therefore when she is doing it, you gotta treat her a lot to make sure she knows it is a good thing to do.
My puppy is gonna be 2 yrs old in March and he can do a pretty good heel with good attention without taking his eyes off of mine, but it is not 100% reliable. This is how long it can take and might take. Just keep working with her and you will get there!!!
 

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when i first use the" watch me"command with my gsds,i could only do a few seconds.after about 3-4 weeks i could get them to watch me for at least 11/2- 2 minutes.just keep working on it .it takes time.when you train with a young puppy,you need to work a little at a time.3-5 minutes.do this 2-3 times a day.if the pup doesn't show any interest,just stop and try again later.
 

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How old is your pup? Make sure you are rewarding when the pup is looking at you and not when he looks away. If you are using a clicker or a marker word make sure he understands what they mean. If he is really young you may be asking for more time than he is able to give. You can also use a negative to let him know that looking away is wrong. "yes" then treat when he looks at you and "no" when he looks away. He may also not realize yet that he has not been released when you give him the marker.
 

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I have heard the term "marking". What does it mean?
 

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Originally Posted By: DHauI have heard the term "marking". What does it mean?
I have found the best descriptions for this on Clicker sites (click here) .

Quote:What Is It?
Clicker training has been used with marine mammals, captive species, horses, dogs and even cats. Clicker training involves the use of a noise making device to mark correct behavior. It is used in conjunction with many other forms of positive reinforcement based training techniques. What you first need to understand about clicker training is the importance of the marker in learning any new behavior. If you were to ask for a sit from your dog or your dog happened to offer you a sit at just the perfect time, you would need to give some type of feedback immediately. If you were to wait five to ten seconds before giving this feedback, your dog would likely have stood up, lied down, or even done something completely inappropriate such as barking for your attention. You would not want to reward this behavior, but since you had not rewarded the correct behavior immediately you were stuck with this behavior instead. Instead, you wanted to reward the sit behavior that was offered first. This is where the marker comes in. The purpose of the clicker is to give your dog feedback about their behavior before the have a chance to offer something else.
And though you can use a word as a marker, I have agree with those who feel the clicker just works better. With us humans talking all the time, it just seem clear, 100% clear, that the 'click' mean only one thing. THAT was brilliant and your reward is coming!

From Karen Pryon's site (click here)

Quote:Clicker training involves shaping behavior in small steps, identifying the behavior, as it occurs, with some kind of marker signal. Dolphin trainers use a whistle; dog and horse trainers have settled on the clicker. But couldn't you just use a word, like "good," or "yes," as a marker signal? And wouldn't it be just as effective?

You can use a word—obedience instructors like the word "yes"—and it will work a lot better than treats alone; but it's not nearly as effective as a click. The evidence from dog training schools that have tried both methods suggests that dogs and their owners learn about 50% more rapidly when the marker signal is a click instead of the word "yes."

The click is easy to hear; words are not. The click is consistent. Words vary from moment to moments and person to person, but the click never changes. The timing of the click is easy to recognize; even beginners can tell if they clicked during the behavior they wanted, or a little too late. But we can't seem to make that same distinction with a word. Maybe clicker classes go faster mainly because people's timing improves rapidly. People who are using a word just don't have the same chance to develop good timing.

Finally, the word "yes" conveys a sense of social approval, not just to the dog but to the person saying "yes." What's the harm, if you are expressing positive emotion? Here's the problem: using a clicker, if you don't get what you had in mind, you just look for the next opportunity to click. Using a word, however, when you can't say "yes" you may feel frustrated and disappointed, and your posture may actually say "no!" The dog feels punished—and immediately the learning slows down or stops. Saving social praise for social interactions, and using a clear-cut mechanical marker signal that means only "you win!" to the dog, can speed up the learning and, strangely enough, remove stress and make the experience more fun for dog and owner too.
 
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