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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At what age should a pup be giving eye contact? I mean prolonged eye contact?

Reason I say, is that my 15 week old GSD bitch will look at me in the eyes, when I call her name...and will hold that gaze for up to 30 seconds....often more..with a quick glance away...and then back again....

It's certainly helps with obedience training at this young age..... as she's very focussed...

The other day, at the working dog group I attend... she managed eye focus/contact with me despite other dogs doing heel training/work in and out of us...

It sounds a daft question, as I'm aware she sounds a joy...but I can't help but thinking that she's a bit OTT at times..and tries to be overly dominant..... I'm also thinking that her intense behaviour might be a problem later...

Having said all of the above.... I can't believe how well she's coming along... :)

 

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OK, how about you stop bragging and do a search on the subject and see just how many people want to kill you for mentioning this huge non problem.[-X Bad poster, BAD.
We got a gal at club that is frustrated because she can't get her AB to look away from her.
We need an emoticon with someone that's pulling their hair out cause that what comes to mind when she says that. I wanna pull HER hair out! :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Perhaps I was joking and feeling too happy a bit too soon...

I've just got back from exercising/training my pup..and it was a bit of a disappointment today... She wasn't very focused at all...and on several times her recall wasn't there.. she was more interested in smells etc... (not really like her)..

She still had drive for the toy and food...but there was something distinctly lacking..today... and I think I felt negative..and it was a bit of a vicious circle..if you know what I mean..

Every day can't be great, I know..
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Had a great training day today...

Started some tracking training.. just single line.. with cheese...

Xena did well... in the fact that she was very keen and got all the cheese.. She was of course, all over the place..ie: 3-4 feet either side of where my friend had walked..but nevertheless...I was impressed with her enthusiasm...

I also introduced retrieval of various types of articles..in preparation for later search training... So discounting balls/dumbells... I threw wallet, sock etc.. and she fetched them all back..

The best bit was when I threw the bunch of car keys..(metal)..and she fetched them back too..!..

I was a happy man :)
 

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This is a great thread. I heard / read / saw somewhere that this eye contact is a great thing to have and nurture. I have been calling the pup's name randomly and have him come to me and stare at my eyes. If he holds the gaze for a bit, he gets a treat. He stares a lot anyway, so this is an easy deal.

Is this a good course, or is there something better to nurture this focus? No fireworks or whips, I assume? ;)
 

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Hmmm... good point. I can see how this will cause issues really soon. He's 12 weeks and was not actually looking to train commands yet. Although I've heard opinions that the "come" command is one that is good early on just to keep fido from plunging off a cliff.

I'll re-direct to "come" and the dog name simply means look at me. Thanks for that Jeff.
 

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Hi Ted, With my young pups I want them to focus on my face when I give them the "fus" command. The reason is eventually when the dog is older & actually "fusing" it will be totally ingrained in his mind. With really young ones it's sort of a game. I'll have the pup sitting at my left side, say "fus", when he looks up, reward verbally & with food. I don't reward with toy or ball at this stage because it ramps them up too quickly. I like this to be a quiet exercize. It also works to do this when they are very hungry & spit the food. Soon they will automatically look at your mouth when you say "fus". You can slowly stretch out the time from verbal command to spitting food.
Eventually you phase out the food spitting, & just use the ball, tug or jute roll to either reward or bring up drive.

I don't use the dogs name or any other command like "watch me" because I never have to phase out the "fus" command so it's easier for me.
 

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Ditto with Susan! The "fus" command means the dog is at my side, looking at my eyes. That eventually is developed, one step at a time, to mean at my side, sitting or moving but always with eye contact.
There are good articles in the Links forum on teaching eye contact.
 

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Yep I always did the spit the food one too. The dog will normally focus right up to you waiting for the food to drop. That way I didnt have to go holding stuff in my hand. First number of times they will not catch the food at as it falls on the ground will have to search and pick up, but after a while my girl caught it everytime round. It works a treat!
 

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The only problem I see in teaching heal command means look & the position is - if the position is ever wrong (forging/lagging/crowding etc) but the eye contact is very good how do you make the dog understand that it is his position that you are starting over again or correcting for and not the focus? I personally teach the eye contact "watch" seperate from formal heel - no tricks they must look into my eyes....then I teach the "heel" position as I learned in the Obedience without conflict tapes (Ivan Balabanov). I put the two together and am able to verbally correct the dog if he is in an incorrect position but is making very good eye contact by saying No heal - he then knows exactly why he is starting over again. Likewise with the eye contact. It does not take them long to realize the heel means correct position and eye contact, but I always have a word to use to tell them exactly where they messed up.
 

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Yes it is Ted. Obedience without conflict and The Game. I highly recommend the tapes/DVD's....I've had very impressive results with all my dogs using the methods explained on the tapes.
 
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