What: Teaching the dog to give eye contact, to engage with people and learn that eye contact is the key to getting what they want.
- Take some tasty food in a closed fist
- Offer fist out to the side of your body
- Say “yes”/click when hound’s face moves toward your face
- Reward with a treat
- Gradually increase your criteria (what the dog has to do to earn a reward). So, to begin your hound must only have to look so far away from your hand as your forearm to get a treat. Then progressing to looking at your bicep, shoulder, face, then finally our end goal is for them to make eye contact and then they get a treat.
Next step: blending eye contact in more real to life situations whist adding in food distraction. Increasing the hound’s ability to disengage from distraction
- You sit down next to a cone/stool/table
- Place food on top of cone/stool/table
- Wait for eye contact, say “yes”/click
- Reward with a separate treat
- Cover the food if hound approaches