~Cue dog to Sit.
~ With a small treat held between thumb and forefinger, swipe food slowly past the dog’s nose and up next to your eye, as if pointing at your eye.
~ When dog looks up and makes eye contact with you, say “Yes!” and quickly feed him the treat. Repeat.
~ Next, form the same hand signal with your thumb and forefinger, but don’t hold the treat in that hand. Sweep your hand in front of dog’s face and up to your eye. When he makes eye contact, say “Yes!” and quickly feed treat from other hand. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Gradually build up to a few seconds’ duration eye contact.
~ Next, say “Watch” then give same hand signal, past dog’s face and pointing to your eye. When dog makes eye contact, hold for a few seconds. Practice, adding a few more seconds duration, and in gradually more distracting environments. Holding eye contact is a difficult behavior for a dog, so keep durations and practice sessions short.
~ Eventually, your dog will sit and hold eye contact with you on just the verbal cue.
~ Begin by rubbing some treats on your hand, so your hand smells appetizing to your dog. Your dog should be standing. Present your flat hand with palm facing toward dog, right beside her nose.
~ When dog’s nose touches hand say “yes!” and quickly feed her a treat from your other hand. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Keep presenting hand close to dog’s face, but begin to vary position- in front, on opposite side, slightly below, slightly above dog’s face. When dog touches hand, mark “Yes!” and quickly give her a treat. You will soon see that the dog knows she must touch the hand, to get the reinforcement.
~Begin adding the cue “Touch” just before you present your hand.
~ Next, very gradually increase distance of hand from dog’s face, first just so she has to stretch her neck a bit to reach it, and then gradually add a couple of inches in distance so that she must take a step. Gradually add distance so that the dog is eventually taking a few steps toward your hand to touch it when you give the cue “Touch”.
~ Stand near your leashed dog in a low-distraction environment. Say Find It! In a happy voice, then quickly toss some treats right past her face and onto the ground. Repeat, repeat, repeat. You will notice the dog begins to look at the ground in front of her when she hears the cue Find It!
~ Practice in gradually more distracting environments, and begin tossing treats a few feet in front of the dog and going with her as she hurries to get them.
~ Start with your dog on leash in a low distraction environment. Say Let’s Go! In a happy voice, and with a small treat in your hand, lure dog with you as you take one step forward. Reward your dog right at your side. Repeat several times, luring dog with treat.
~Next, say Let’s Go and take a step. Don’t lure with a treat, but when your dog follows, quickly reward at your side with a treat concealed in your hand.
~ When your dog is reliably responding to the cue Let’s Go! By moving towards and with you a step in any direction, you are ready to move to a slightly more distracting environment.
~ Practice taking first one, then 2 or 3 steps in gradually more distracting environments. Praise her as she comes with you and always reward her right by your side.
~ Next, When your dog is somewhat distracted and a few feet away, say her name, then give the cue Let’s Go! Reward as she takes a few steps with you, right by your side.
~ Always reward your dog with a tasty treat while she is learning. Later, you can transition to using fewer food rewards and more life rewards by making it fun for your dog by using a happy voice, praise, and moving with her in a playful way.