Now this seems like a simple place to begin, but is anything in life easy?
Like anything else in training, you need to start in a distraction free area. As with all of our training, we want to teach with positive reinforcement, so be sure to be in a good mood, have lots of great tasting (and smelling treats), and an area that is free from distractions. So, let us begin….
Start by standing close to your dog (but not in front of him). Only say his name once, and as soon as he looks at you reinforce his attention with a treat. One of the things you don’t want to do at any time is that automatic repeating of his name (or a command) over and over if the desired response is not done…SIT SIT SIT SIT SIT SIT SIT only tells him that
this is the complete command, so when you say it once it “doesn’t count” and
that he can respond when it is convenient.
As soon he gives you hit his attention, reinforce his attention with a treat and lots of praise. If you call his name and he does not respond, then make a noise such as a whistle to get his attention, but do not repeat his name. As with all training, the reinforcement should be given as soon as he responds, so there is no question what he is being rewarded for.
When he starts to show progress on this exercise, you can move to an area with more distractions. Like all training you don’t have to schedule training sessions; “teachable moments” can occur at anytime you are together, so be sure to practice practice practice…hmm, should I have only said this once?