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Thread: Eye Contact

  1. #1
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    Default Eye Contact

    Im in the middle of OB with my 7.5 month BLM. He is coming along fairly well, but his attention is always somewhere else or nose on the ground. Ive tried different sounds or holding a bumper to keep his attention, but with very limited success. At heel, which is going great, his nose is on the ground always but he seems to follow me even when I make a sharp turn thinking he's not paying attention, but sure enough he stays right on my hip. I havent gotten to the point of off-leash obedience, especially with his lack of concentration.

    Is he not mature enough, I've had a few tell me that. Ive always tried to foster that eye contact from 8 weeks following Hillmann puppy program. he's always been extremely interested in everything else. He is coming along pretty good, but would be much better, where I need him with the proper attention/eye contact. Thanks in advance.

    FYI....following TRT

  2. #2
    Senior Member BJGatley's Avatar
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    You need to just take charge and let him know that and I don't mean being heavy handed.

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    So his lack of eye contact is a dominance issue ? I need to be more dominant ?

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    Senior Member BJGatley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fax6202 View Post
    So his lack of eye contact is a dominance issue ? I need to be more dominant ?
    Yes, but understand he is just being young.

  5. #5
    Member IdahoLabs's Avatar
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    Try walking faster... and you've got to be more interesting than the grass. Part of it's age/maturity, part of it's the handler.
    ~Your decisions are only as good as the information you base them on~

    Claire DVM
    Lijah UD GO VER RE TDI CGC ASCA-CD (5/10 UDX, 152/200 OM1 pts, 9/100 OTCH pts)
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    http://clairedvm.com

  6. #6
    Senior Member Colonel Blimp's Avatar
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    I don't think it's a dominance issue at all.

    He just doesn't find you nearly as interesting as the nice smells on the ground and all the other fascinating stuff around. Think about it, what's so special about you, so magnetically attractive, that he's supposed to see?

    Heel work is basically boring for dogs, they don't get anything much out of it, and it's usually taught very poorly; some of the professional DVDs are dire IMO. Living as they do in the present, dogs see no advantage in heel work. The concept of "this is a building block Fido, so when we go shooting together we can both have fun and be safe" isn't on his radar because he hasn't got any radar.

    I now use the clicker method for teaching all heel work. Once you get an understanding of it and the underlying principles you'll see that it can address all the issues that have been raised by me and others. A reward for the dog, vastly improved focus, precision in body movement and positioning, and speed of progress all come about. I underlined teaching because once the dogs heel work becomes habituated his reward will change; it becomes the more exciting things you'll ask him to do such as retrieving, swimming, and clearing obstacles.

    You will see a number of posts in RTF decrying the clicker method of teaching as valueless. Inevitably these come from vested interests, the ill informed, and those who have never tried it or lack the intellectual power to do so. I've posted this video of a retriever that has been clicker trained transitioning to a new reward system before, but it may be new to you.



    Up to you!

    Eug
    Last edited by Colonel Blimp; 08-31-2015 at 04:03 AM.
    Thank you, very kind, Mine's a pint.

  7. #7
    Senior Member quackaholic's Avatar
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    Has this similar issue with my pup. Followed the that the colonel gave. I used a snap of my fingers rather than a clicker.Plus I added a tap under the chin with a helping stick ( not a hard rap),every time her head went down. I also followed the advice of someone else about not having her looking at me but straight ahead. Can't remember who that was. Now she heels looking ahead and when we do she sits and looks up to me for her next direction. When casting we used a rope to make her square up before actually going to fetch work. Hope this helps you. It worked for me.

  8. #8
    Senior Member KwickLabs's Avatar
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    "I don't think it's a dominance issue at all.

    He just doesn't find you nearly as interesting as the nice smells on the ground and all the other fascinating stuff around. Think about it, what's so special about you, so magnetically attractive, that he's supposed to see?"


    Keep reminder yourself of this comment. Most early training interactions will be driven by instincts and for a well bred pup, genetic programming can be all consuming. Eye contact is a function of responsiveness. It is often said that "Responsiveness is a two way street."

    If you are not getting "it".......search for ways to become more engaging..........magnetically attractive. It is not a simple thing to just become a different person.
    Jim Boyer KwickLabs (new)

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    Thank you everyone for your responses. I hesitate to deviate from program that I am on, because this is all new to me, at least for me as the handler. I've seen it done, and done well, but much different when you're the one driving. I don't know that clicker training would be a deviation that would make any kind of impact, but I certainly am trying to follow TRT precisely how it is taught. I am also really taking my time as I know I can not hunt him this year anyways. Don't know if it makes a difference with the eye contact, but he is a very well bred dog.

  10. #10
    Senior Member gdgnyc's Avatar
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    You have a hunting dog pup. Of course he is more interested in his environment. But you can train for the attention and focus.
    "I love the rod and gun and where they take me."

    "Do not judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins."

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