Jane writes: “I really enjoyed your Dynamic Movement dog training video and I do the same exercise with my dogs a few times a week. One of my guys “gets it” and he is very focused on me. The other one…not so much. He complies with all of my commands and he’s even right there with me as I do my turns. The problem is that he’s not looking at me most of the time. I noticed that your dog rarely takes his eyes off of you, and it just doesn’t look like that with my guy. It’s like he’s staying focused just enough to avoid a correction, but his mind is also on the cars going by, the birds, every little sound he hears. Any thoughts on how I can get him to keep his eyes on me and forget all the environmental distractions? Someone suggested that I keep a high quality treat in my mouth…but I’ve not been training with treats since he was a puppy (other than tricks), so I kind of hate going back to that.”
Most of my video equipment is still packed away in boxes, so we had to use the iPhone to make these. Please let me know if you still have questions?
Jane continues: “Thanks, Adam. This is very helpful. I think I can see my mistake now. When I trained the “expectation”, I did not include looking at me as part of the command. I definitely will go back to using treats to get him to understand this…and then move to corrections. One more question….I have not had to use an ecollar in any of his training. He was originally trained using a choke collar (that was before I found your site), and it worked well for him. We’re now at the point where unless I’m in very high distraction situations, he does well with just a slip lead, and verbal corrections. Do you think it would be okay for me to use the choke collar (which is what he knows) for this phase of his training? Thanks again for your help.”
Use whatever works for you. However– recognize that reinforcement is forever, and you want to use the most effective tool at your disposal because eventually– you’ll be in a situation where your dog will be tempted and you’ll need to teach him to obey around some freak distraction you’ve never trained around, before. (Ever proof a dog around a pygmy goat?)
But you can certainly use the chain collar, if you’d like. Before pinch collars came on the market, that’s all we used and rarely had a problem.