By teaching your German Shepherd the Look Command, you can help him or her focus during training. Teaching this command also helps establish your role as the leader and encourages your German Shepherd to ignore distractions.
Teaching your German Shepherd the Look Command is important, especially for training for shows, sports, and working titles. While calling your German Shepherd’s name should get his attention quickly, it might not work well to keep his or her attention. By using the Look Command and positive reinforcement, you are telling your German Shepherd to focus and be more serious about what he is going to do next.
In teaching your German Shepherd the Look Command, you will need treats and a clicker. It is best to train in a quiet area, away from any distractions.
Teaching Your German Shepherd the Look Command
Teaching your German Shepherd the Look Command is easier if he or she knows his name. Check out the following steps:
- Call your German Shepherd’s name and say “Look”.
- As soon as your German Shepherd looks at you and gives you eye contact, click the clicker, and give him or her a treat.
- Repeat the steps until your German Shepherd gets it and until you are finally able to omit his name in the command.
If your German Shepherd is still young and does not respond yet to the name you gave him or her, then he or she will need more encouragement. When teaching your German Shepherd the Look Command when he or she still does not know his name, please do the following:
- Hold a treat in front of your German Shepherd.
- Bring the treat a few inches away from your face to lure him to look at you.
- When your German Shepherd looks at your face and stares, say “Look”.
- Reward your German Shepherd with a treat and click.
- Repeat every few hours until your German Shepherd learns the command.
After more practices, your German Shepherd should easily learn the Look Command. If you are already confident with your German Shepherd’s knowledge of the command, you may make the command more challenging by practicing it in a place where there is more distraction – like the park, pet store, or the yard.
Do note that dogs, especially young puppies can get pretty uncomfortable with prolonged eye contact. Just start with only a few seconds of staring – gradually increasing the time of eye contact in each session. You can also teach him to break off the eye contact by telling him “Okay”, then looking away. Do not forget to reward him after that.