In this article we shall talking about how to teach your dog to look and to turn.
"Look" is a useful command for helping your dog acclimate to a new situation or environment.
Is your dog easily distracted? Does he spend your entire walk lunging at squirrels and barking at people? Is he unable to to pass a brightly colored umbrella or a playing child without wanting to investigate?
If your dog’s curiosity is slowing down your walks, there’s a solution. Training your dog to “look” on command can help keep him focused on where he’s going without missing any of the excitement that’s happening around him.
Training your dog to look in the direction of something novel, interesting or possibly even slightly unnerving may sound nonsensical. Why draw your dog’s attention to something that may excite or even upset him? When you teach your dog to “look,” you also train him to return his attention to you. This can help to make novel situations more predictable and give your dog a way to focus and avoid overreacting to something that might be scary or stressful — or just super exciting — for him.
Look Over There!
Hold an object your dog will be interested in — like a chew toy or a ball — behind your back, where your dog cannot see it. A toy with a squeaker or rattle can be helpful for catching your dog’s attention. You can also wiggle or wave the toy gently to catch his eye.
Ask your dog to look at you; once he is making eye contact, pull the hidden item out and hold it out to your side, away from where your dog is looking. Immediately mark and reward any glance or movement your dog makes in the direction of the object.
When you reward him, give the treat in such a way that your dog has to turn back toward you (and away from the exciting toy) to get his reward. To do this, hold the treat directly in front of your legs, at the level of the dog’s nose. This helps to reinforce the idea of looking at something and then shifting attention back to you, which is exactly what you’re trying to teach him.
Next, add a verbal cue “look” to the behavior. Say the word just as your dog starts to turn his head in the direction of the item. You can also watch your dog’s body language and note when he’s getting ready to turn toward the object. Eventually, you want to be able to use the “look” cue to point out interesting things before your dog sees them for himself.
Teach your dog to turn around
To teach your dog how to turn on command, start by holding a lure like a treat or a toy near his nose.
It's worthwhile to teach him some practical tricks, like how to turn on command. "Turn" can be useful in a variety of situations everything from changing direction on a walk to steering clear of a dangerous or problematic situation.
Once your dog can heel and has been taught to consistently walk on either your right or left side, you can introduce “turn.”
Teach your dog to turn
To encourage your dog to turn, use a favorite treat or toy as a lure. Hold the lure down low near your dog’s nose on the side the dog’s walking on. If your dog is tall enough, you can hold the lure in your hand. For smaller dogs, a spreadable soft treat on the end of a long serving spoon will enable you to walk upright and still hold the lure near your dog’s nose.
Introduce the idea of the turn by giving a verbal cue “turn” and immediately move the lure in the direction you want the dog to go. Simultaneously, move your own body into the turn to keep the dog in a consistent location next to your side. This teaches your dog to follow your lead and turn in the same direction as you do.
During initial training, treat your dog for each small increment of the turn. As your dog starts to understand what you are asking him to do, increase the distance between treats, eventually rewarding him only when he has made the full turn.
Keep in mind that a left turn, a right turn and a 180-degree turn will need to be practiced separately, as the logistics of each will vary. For instance, if you are turning left with a dog who heels on the left, use the lure to guide your dog to pivot in place as you move around him to make the turn. If you are turning right with a dog who heels left, you will need to reverse this process: While you pivot in place, use the lure to lead your dog through the turn.
Fade the lure, add distractions
As your dog begins to master the turn, work on fading the lure. Give the signal “turn” and reward any sign of the dog moving with you. Once your dog responds to the command and turns, reward him with a treat from your pocket or a treat pouch. The goal is for your dog to synchronize his movement to yours when he hears the verbal cue.
Start by training in a low-distraction area, like your living room. As your dog begins to get the hang of the turn, move to more distraction-filled areas like your yard or the sidewalk in front of your home. Eventually you can start to practice the “turn” command on walks through the neighborhood. Continue to praise your dog and to reinforce occasionally with treats this helps teach your dog to respond reliably to the cue, because he never knows when he may get a treat.
Copyright © 2018–2019 DogTree Operating Company, OU. All Rights Reserved.