When you are trying to train your dog to obey your command like let them sit, stay, etc most of the time they wouldn't listen. Your pet is turning its head away from you, it is keeping its distance. Then when a squirrel, toy, or other animals pass through, you just lost all your pet's attention.
If this happens, then there's nothing else you can do but to stop the training.
Distractions are common particularly at the beginning of the training. Your dog will get too distracted as the training becomes difficult. When your pet gets too distracted, it is best that you stop because your pet wouldn't learn a thing regardless of how hard you try. You will need to get them to focus on you before you can teach your dog to obey you.
Dogs Get Easily Distracted
Dogs get easily distracted by nature. They are curious in just about anything like the smell of the neighbor's pies, squirrels running about, food, people and dog toys. Sitting right in front of you and trying to get their attention whether they like it or not is normal for them.
This is why you need to teach your pet how to pay attention to. The idea here is to make them think that paying attention to you is worth their time. When you've done that, you can start training your pet.
Here's how to get your distracted dog to focus on you:
Set Realistic Expectations
Getting your dog to focus on you while having a lot of distractions around may be impossible. With patience and a lot of hard work. So before you begin to train them for attention, you need to start with realistic expectations to your pet. Why do you want your dog to pay attention to you? What do you expect when your dog has done a great job in not getting distracted?
Drop the Distractions
This is the first thing you need to do to make it easy for your pet to focus on you. Start the training in a quiet room. It should be a room without people, toys, and other things that you think could easily distract your pet. To make your pet focus on you, make sure that you are the most exciting thing in that room.
Discover What Your Dog Likes
Do you know your dog well? What does your dog like or dislikes? When you know this, you'll get to reward your pet according to their tastes; therefore, a more successful training session. To do this, offer your dog several things but do this one at a time. Take note about what your dog gets excited the most.
If your dog loves food for example, then you just got their attention. If your dog loves toys then this will be the key to get their attention. This is your reward for getting them to pay attention to you.
Train for Attention
The key to making your dog pay attention to you is to watch them and wait for their feedback. Make them see to it that you are the fun and exciting one in the room. If your dog gets bored, he'll lose interest.
To get their attention, sit or stand and just wait for them to look at you. Every time your dog does that, give him a reward. This teaches them that paying attention to you will reap the rewards. Build up the duration gradually to increase his length of attention. Add distractions to test their level of attention.
Teach them to heel. This training method will teach your dog to pay attention even while you're moving. This is also a great way to teach your dog how to be leashed properly. Start in a quiet room without distractions. Do not look at your dog nor say his name. Whenever your pet chooses to walk towards you, give him a reward.
To make the task easier, ask for tasks with less duration. Shorter durations will let you reward your dog more frequently; thus pays more attention to you. Your one minute "sit" can be reduced to three to five seconds. Don't forget that you need to make the tasks more challenging for your dog's training to progress.
If your dog has stopped paying attention to you and you see that they are engaged in something, then you may have added too many distractions. Remove or move away from the distractions until your dog finally focuses on you.
Don't add too many distractions quickly. This will cause your dog to lose focus and fail in paying attention to you.
There are things that your dog may get too excited about. For example, when you bring out your dog's favorite toys, your dog forgets about you and all they want is for you to throw away the toy. If this is the case, then use treats as a reward as the toys are already a distraction itself.