Who likes a dog that is confident? When people see Zues and me, they notice that he will look them in the eyes. In my opinion it is important for a dog to be able to look anyone in the eyes. After all, the old saying is, “The eyes are windows to the soul.”
I can tell a lot about a dog by their eyes. What is funny is that the same can be said about us. There are those who don’t like a dog who will look them in the eyes. These are the people who feel challenged if an animal can out stare them.
Eye contact is a key ingredient for communication between a dog and a human. If a dog will not look someone in the eyes, they have a lack of confidence or trust. Sometimes this dog will cower when someone reaches for them. Sometimes it is a case of insecurity and can lead to dog bites. Remember one thing for certain: if the dog is adopted, don’t rush them into accepting their surroundings too quickly. Allow them at least two weeks to acclimate to their new home and warn anyone in the family accordingly.
Now, let’s talk about how we are going to train that canine to be a confident and focused dog. First, watch your dog and observe what it is they really (and I mean REALLY) like. Do they like treats? Do they like toys? Maybe something that squeaks or makes a noise? Do they prefer just playing fetch? Or maybe even an ear scratch? Find the most likely reward, and that will be the tool we will use.
Once we have found the reward the dog really likes, take the reward and say your dog’s name as the reward is moved to your eyes. What we want here is the dog to make eye contact with us. They are going to follow the reward, and the key is to take the reward up to your eye level while looking at them. It has to be right when pupil to pupil eye contact is made. When that happens, give the reward immediately and praise your dog.
Be very patient because this may take many tries. Remember, if you become frustrated the dog will also become frustrated. Regardless of the reward, work with your dog at least twenty minutes a day and I promise you will see a great benefit come out of this.
This method can also help dogs with behavior issues, but it must be applied properly. I know this was something simple to explain, but if anyone has questions come and see us at the Pet Depot on Saturdays around 2:30 pm, and we will gladly answer your questions and show techniques that can help.
“Remember to love your dogs because they love you. Maybe not the way you want them to, like chewing up your favorite shoes or what not, but that is just love chewing. Be thankful for the time you have with them always.”
By: Joel and Zues Allen