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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,

I was wondering, how do you teach your Dobe to look at you while on a walk? I see this all the time in the show ring, and it would be super useful for me. Yen is so gentle and friendly when we go on walks, but anytime she sees a squirrel or other dog she perks up and 100% ignores me (and sometimes barks). What's the best way to teach her to redirect her attention to me? She's not very treat motivated. I tried sticking smelly treats (like pieces of steak or bacon) under her nose and she'll still want to look at the squirrel/other dog. I've tried clicker training for a few months. Also tried getting her to sit and not continue the walk until she looks at me. Unfortunately, the squirrel/dog is usually gone after a while so it's not like she looks at me on her own. She only looks up because...there's nothing else to look at now. Anyone tried a dog whistle, haha? I'm willing to try anything.

She's ridiculously obedient...except for this ONE thing, and I can't for the life of me figure it out. How can she know 20+ tricks yet act so sporadic on this part of walking? Any advice (and avoiding expensive training classes) would be appreciated! Thanks!
 

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Do you have a solid "watch me" when there isn't a distraction? Is it rock solid in the house? How long can she make eye contact there? How about in the back yard? You have to build up that behavior with no distraction first, then small distraction, before you even attempt it with something that is SUPER distracting for the dog (as in, if they find critters like squirrels the BEST THING EVER you can't expect to start working on it there without having an amazing "watch" behavior in a zero distraction environment first...)
 

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Yeah she's definitely not there yet. She's great in the backyard and in the house. I can get her to stay still and watch me even with dinner right under her nose or my neighbor's kid screaming by the fence. But the moment we're outside on the sidewalk...gone. What's a good in-between transition? Maybe I need to wear her out with a treadmill first?
 

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Hairy Dog, RIP Caesar, Katana, Kip, Capri
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One piece of this puzzle is for you to be proactive.....you keep an eye out for that squirrel so you see it before she does. If you see something you know will catch her interest, ask for her attention and distract her, even walk the opposite direction with her, before she gets a chance to spot it. And keep practicing the "look at me"...go slow and increase the distraction level in baby steps.

Don't set her up to fail--if you aren't sure that she'll be able to maintain her attention on you because the things around her are just too interesting, don't ask her to even try. Work on her controlled walking instead, and drop down to a lower distraction level to work on eye contact again.
 

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I would try an environment that is just slightly more distracting, but not your house. Has she ever been to any classes? A good trainer is often invaluable at helping with stuff like this.
 
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