Eye Contact Training

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • Author
  • #1815

    I’ve been reading about eye contact training and how it can help with the general training and also how it can help with the relationship between you and your dog.

    Does anyone have any tips or experience to share on this subject?

    I’m trying it with my rough collie and it seems to be more hand contact training because she’s looking for the treat all of the time even though I’m trying to place the treat between my hand, my eyes and her eyes!!


    Dr. Jeff Feinman

    Does anyone have any tips or experience to share on this subject?

    Hopefully Mike will see your post and comment further as he is a professional trainer (right Mike?).

    The basis of any effective training starts by your dog looking to you for guidance. A good way to achieve this quickly is by using the method to which you refer (promoting eye contact by holding a treat up between your eyes so that your dog makes eye contact when you say her name).

    In addition, if your dog views you as the alpha in the pack (which you can achieve by modifying a few of *your* behaviors as written in the Nothing In Life is Free document) she will automatically look at you for direction (as any submissive wolf looks to the pack leader).

    Read the excellent How Dog’s Think article in my library ([url]https://www.homevet.com/petcare/dogthink.html[/url]) which was written by a professional dog trainer. In addition I have many other articles and links and there are many books which will prove invaluable in helping you train your dog.

    Good luck, and have FUN while you train


    Sorry I missed this until now… China Mark. What breed of dog do you have?

    I teach all my clients dogs the “WATCH” command using very small food treats like hot dogs or cooked chicken.

    This must first be taught in a distraction free area. In the house at feeding time may work to start. I hold the food treat up to my eye and say the dogs name and Watch. The moment they look I give the treat. Repeating several times. Each session I hold the food longer and make the dog watch longer by seconds. It is very benificial to use praise words too like Good Boy or Girl before you give the treat.

    When the dog turns away just move you hand with the treat back to the dogs nose, capture attention again and say Watch while you bring the food up to your eye. Give the food quickly. As the dog learns to watch longer you can reduce the food gradually.

    Over time and your dog can learn to hold the Watch for up to a minute. You can praise and not always give the food then use Watch with out food and the finger to the eye “cue” and always praise. It takes some dog longer but I use the food for a long time until the Watch is longer than a minute. When your dog is good inside, take out side and work with little distractions, using food all the time then taper off over time. Continue to increase SLOWLY the distractions in different area while using Watch.

    Lots of practice and you will be amazed how fast your dog will progress.


    First of all before I reply – I would like to let you know that I’m a brand new member of the group. Unfortunately, although I show up as mollyanddeb – my dog Molly passed away just a couple of days ago. I read Dr. Jeff’s article about coping with the loss of a pet and found it helpful. I hope by contributing to the forums here I can still keep my toe in the doggie-owning pool. So here goes.

    I never heard it called eye contact training – however it is the method I used with Molly. The only difference was that Molly was a mature dog when I got her and I did not use the food to get her to look into my eyes. I think the entire concept is a good one… as Mike said eye contact i(or lack of it) s important in the “pack” communication. I even used eye contact in our daily “talks” and was a useful form of “discipline” when minor transgressions occurred. For instance if she were getting too pushy (and a 125lb dog can’t be allowed to get too pushy) a quick hard look and then turning my head away from her to look the other way. Molly would quickly back down and I would look at her again acknowledge her presence by patting her one or twice on the head and turning away again for a minute or so and then when she submitted we got on with whatever we were doing. The benefit… no loud voices, no physical restraint necessary and I had a dog who paid attention and obeyed without little or no hesitation. Let me know how it works for you.


    It is most commonly called “Attention Training”.

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • The forum ‘New Pets and Training’ is closed to new topics and replies.
Do you have a sick animal?

If so take a moment and head over to Holistic Actions where you will:

Feel more confident making HOLISTIC MEDICAL DECISIONS

Focus on PREVENTION and avoid un-needed and expensive diagnostics and treatments

Enhance your pets QUALITY OF LIFE and HAPPINESS

You can now find Dr. Jeff at Holistic Actions!