Tips to get your dog’s attention through the “watch me” technique

by | Dog Care |

Teaching your dog what “watch me” means is a great way to get their attention. This trick is helpful when you want your dog to focus on you instead of getting distracted. Here are six easy steps on how to teach this to your dog! 

What you’ll need: 
  • Treats and toys your dog likes 
  • A collar and a leash 
  • Remember to make sure to time your click or “yes” the instant the dog makes eye contact. This is the best way to teach your dog that they are doing it right! 

Step 1: 
  • Start in a low distraction environment, such as a quiet room in your house.  
  • Sit in front of your dog while they are on a leash and see if they will offer eye contact naturally. If they do, mark (say) “yes” and reward.  
Step 2: 
  • If they are distracted, show them a treat or toy to gain their attention. Then, slowly bring the object up to your face to encourage eye contact. 
  • Once they look at you, mark “yes” and reward.  
Step 3: 
  • Once your dog is offering eye contact consistently, you can say “watch me” while you bring the treat/toy to your face. Then mark “yes” and reward.  
Step 4: 
  • Practice adding distractions by showing your dog a treat or toy and then holding it out to the side.  
  • Use the “watch me” cue. Once your dog looks back at you, mark “yes” and reward.  
Step 5: 
  • Continue to practice in your home. If your dog is responding to the “watch me” cue majority of the time, then you can slowly move to distracting environments like your backyard.  
Step 6:  
  • If you are finding it hard to get your dog’s attention, move away from the stimulating object until you regain their attention. 
  • If they remain focused on you, then try again. Move slowly and stop before your dog loses focus. We want to end on a positive note 

For more helpful tips and a visual guide, check out our video: