Virginia Simpson and Chance

You Want Me to Stay Focused

by Virginia Simpson, Unleashed Canine Obedience

How do I keep my dog focused on me even with heavy distractions around?  This is a common question and one I ask myself every day!  “How do I help this dog stay focused on me so I can teach these new commands?”

There are a number things we can do to help our dogs focus better, and there are a lot of contributing factors that determine how well a dog is willing and able to focus on you.  For example, the physical well-being of your dog can have a huge impact on your dog’s ability to focus.  It can be difficult to focus on something specific when you don’t feel well or you are riding high on sugary foods and you are under exercised.  If you are using food to help a dog focus and your dog isn’t hungry, you may have a tough time using it to get your dog’s attention.

Being more interesting than everything around you is important.  And that is relational to a certain extent.  When I am with friends and family in a very busy and crowded restaurant, I am much more focused on them than all the distractions around me.  Conversely, same restaurant, same crowd and a lame first date, much more likely gonna be focusing on the distractions around me to pass the time.  Be someone your dog looks up to!

Duration of training time is an important consideration as well.  Dogs have different temperaments, are at different developmental levels and so on.  One dog may be able to concentrate and train hard for an hour straight.  Another dog may need four 15 minutes lessons sprinkled throughout the day.  My daughter is a terrible speller unless she can create a song with the word. 

The better socialized your dog is and the better your dog is able to manage stress, the easier it will be for you dog to focus on you around high level distractions.  So, you see the element of self-control and impulse control needed for strong focus.  This is built behavior.

Please feel free to contact us for more information!

Virginia L. Simpson
Certified Dog Trainer
Unleashed Canine Obedience, LLC
IACP Member #3141
Phone:  513.317.7484