Let’s continue with the refresher on good manners series. We have been working on the dog training basics and tried exercises that teach dogs the basic behaviours needed for more advanced training:
– “touch” (also called targeting), which teaches the dog to follow owner’s hand
–“eye contact”, which teaches the dog to focus on the owner instead of a distraction
The last foundation exercise is “Kiss”. It comes handy, when you need to get the dog’s attention quickly and when teaching a dog to walk on a leash without pulling. Essentially, it is a proactive variation of “eye contact”: you don’t wait till the dog looks at you, but rather teach it to turn to you on a cue. The most convenient and universal cue for this is a kiss sound, hence the name of the exercise. As usual, start in a quiet environment and gradually increase the amount of distractions.
1. Have your clicker and treat ready.
2. Wait till the dog looks away.
3. Make a kiss sound once (just once!) and wait for the dog look at you.
4. Click and treat.
At first, your dog can just turn its head in the direction of the sound. Reward this behaviour and, eventually, start rewarding only, when the dog looks you in the eyes. These three exercises (“touch”, “eye contact” and “kiss”) will give you a good foundation for further dog training adventures. Good luck!