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How to get your dog to make eye contact with you

Not all dogs will automatically make contact with you, and whether or not you have a dog that spontaneously makes a lot of eye contact, it can be a good idea to reward this behaviour a lot.

Why should I train eye contact?

If you have a dog that likes to make eye contact with you, you also have a dog that will come to you at different times. Rewarding eye contact is therefore also a way to maintain focus and contact with your dog in different situations. The more often you reward your dog for eye contact, the more often your dog will continue to make contact with you.

Benefits of eye contact

When your dog has a history of receiving many rewards for eye contact, you will see that this also benefits other parts of your training together. Your dog will make more contact with you on leash walks, which will then facilitate your training towards calm and harmonious leash walking. Your dog will also seek you out more when off-leash, which can make it easier for you to reward your dog when it stays close. This means you won't have to call it in as often on walks, and you'll have a dog that wants to hang out with you more.

How do I do this, and where do I start?

Start at home where your dog is safe and there are no distractions. Work your way through the steps in the video, and reward your dog often for sniffing your face at first. Once your dog makes contact with you quickly each time and understands the exercise, you can take the exercise out on your walks. Continue to reward the dog's eye contact throughout their life.

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