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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am trying to work on focus with my dog. Every time I try to spit food at him, it falls to the ground and he has to pick it up. Any tricks on teaching a dog to actually try to catch the food? He doesnt even open his mouth to TRY to catch it, he just waits for it to fall.
 

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French it in there. He'll get the hang of it soon enough...and then you add some distance. This will also help your spitting aim. I've just been having an "aim" discussion, so I know what I'm saying here.

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Welcome to the forum!!!
 

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Amanda Layne said:
I am trying to work on focus with my dog. Every time I try to spit food at him, it falls to the ground and he has to pick it up. Any tricks on teaching a dog to actually try to catch the food? He doesnt even open his mouth to TRY to catch it, he just waits for it to fall.
I gave up on this. We were both terrible at it. If my aim was good (rarely), then it would bonk off his nose. If my aim was awful, then he would re-focus on the dropped food. (Of course!)

Welcome! Are you training SchH?
 

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Amanda-
Its very important to not let your dog pick the food up off the ground after a "miss." If you or the dog miss, prevent the dog from picking up the food and try again.

Sometimes it takes a little while for the dog to learn to catch the food. And, as Connie mentioned, you can do focus training without ever having food in your mouth. Just use a marker word for the correct behavior (when the dog looks directly into your eyes) and follow it quickly with the food from your hand. You can wear a vest and put the food in an upper pocket too.

Hope this helps!
 

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While introducing the focus, of course starting out the time limit of his focus will be short, when he focuses tell him good and then instantly give the release command and spit out the treat with alot of praise. This lets him know that what he just did (focus on you) was correct and he was rewarded. He is now released and can get the treat. It will all happen at once: good, okay!, spit treat, dog goes for treat, and alot of praise. He then will put the two together and learn in order to be rewarded he must look at you with the command. He is now doing this for two reasons, the treat and to please you. Therefore if he won't catch the treat; he is released to get it and there is no conflict of him breaking his sit before being released. It really doesn't matter if he won't catch it, this is a good way to get around that. It won't take him long to learn to focus because the excercises are short, remember, repetition. It won't take long and then you can extend the time frame. He might surprise you after all this and start trying to catch the treat in the air. Good luck and happy training.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank You all for your responses. I appreciate it! :D This is something we will be working on for a while.......I can feel it. haha
 
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