Getting Your Dog’s Attention

Getting dog’s attention is the basis for any training.

Whatever you intend to do, whatever lessons you wish to instill, it is necessary for a puppy to look at you, hear your voice and observe your commands. Only by accomplishing this first initial step can you start anything else so it’s necessary to do it right.

In the following article I will teach you how to get dog’s attention and keep it!


Teaching discipline


As I mentioned, teaching animal how to listen is the first step.

It is necessary for a dog to keep quiet, sit and listen. This will make any successive process much easier.

Lessons are learned through practical exercises. It is necessary to do positive reinforcement training that will reward a dog after a positive thing has been done.

But there is one question though. How can you tell if the dog is paying attention or not? This is something that new dog owners usually have trouble with and can mistake it with some other behavioral patterns.

It is simple.

If you did everything right, dog’s eyes will be fixed on you and he will be extra focused on your moves. He will especially be concentrated on your hands (if you use them to issue commands) or any other part that is regularly used for this purpose.

The thing with dogs is that they monitor your movement at all times even if you do not realize this. You might think that your pet is not paying attention as his eyes are moving around or is restless but once you issue a command he will be quick to jump.

This is due to various behavioral patterns where dogs may have different gesticulation. Nevertheless, if you done training properly, it will definitely respond to you.


Is getting dog’s attention really that necessary?


            You might think that all this is overrated and that it is easy to manage a dog without this skill.

This is a wrong attitude.

Dog shouldn’t be forced to listen to you or punished if he doesn’t. He needs to develop a consciousness where he is getting a treat or some sort of a positive feedback if he obeys your commands.

Being attentive is not only important for future trainings or obeying commands. It is a basis for your communication as it takes a lot for dog to process information you are giving and he needs to be focused on your cues.

You need to be in the center of dog’s world. You need to be and remain his master at all times. This is crucial for your relationship. Given that you’re different special you need to have at least one channel that allows you to exchange information. Being attentive also help with submissiveness as it keeps you at the top of hierarchy.


Practical exercises


The first thing that a dog needs to learn is to have an eye contact with the owner. He needs to be able to sit quietly and listen to its teacher.


  • Get some treats and sit near the dog
  • Wait for a dog to looks at you
  • Once the dog looks at you, praise him and pet him
  • Reward a dog with a treat
  • Continue repeating the exercise until dog understands there is a treat each time he looks at you


After the initial practice, you can try with hand exercises. The point of this exercise is for a dog to get used to stressful situations and to learn how to react properly.


  • Put a hand in front of the dog
  • Make sure it’s very close to its nose
  • It needs to make him feel uncomfortable
  • Wait until dog touches your palm
  • Praise him for accomplishing the task
  • Dog will learn how to deal with stress and focus in any kind of situation


Lastly, you need to teach your dog how to react when distracted.


  • Put his favorite toy in front of him
  • When the dog goes to grab the toy, cover it with hand or foot
  • Wait for a dog to looks you in the eyes
  • In this case, it is also necessary for a dog to start ignoring the toy and starts focusing on you
  • Give him a treat when the task is accomplished

With these simple exercises you can quickly teach your dog how to hold attention and focus on your commands.


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