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The Importance Of AttentionĀ 

Attention Is The Foundation Of All Exercises

Without attention you will be unable to teach anything.

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In any learning environment it is important that certain understandings be clear before any communication can take place. Of course, the most important ingredient is to have attention. When we think of attention, we think of maintaining eye contact. Once we have eye contact we can, through body gestures, vocal noise, and body contact, begin to communicate with our dog.

For instance, have you ever been to a concert with loud amplified music where the noise is so loud you can feel it? If I wanted to communicate with you, typically I would tap you on your shoulder a few times until I got your attention, Once we have eye contact we can begin to block out the background noise and with the assistance of body gestures, pointing toward the door saying in an animated way, "Let's get out of here!"



Distractions are like noise to your dog.

To our dog, the outside world is like a concert. Who can deny that when we're on a walk with our pets that they are so distracted with noise in their heads that they can't hear us?

Our first goal is to teach our dog to maintain eye contact. Eye contact in terms of animal communication tends to mean something of a threat.

Shy Fox.


Eye contact is a threat to the untrained dog.

Two Cats Facing Off

When two dogs come face to face it won't be long if one of them doesn't turn away before a fight breaks out. Before an attack, the predator maintains a very fixed gaze at its prey, watching its every move; it's waiting for the moment of weakness and prepares for a strike. When a submissive dog shows respect, they tend to break eye contact. When we correct our dog, they tend to show their respect for us looking away.

If we can't correct for breaking eye contact, because the more we correct the more the dog looks away, how can we teach this exercise? Until we lay the foundation for learning we can't even teach eye contact.


Foundation training is literally the basics.

Then what is foundational training anyway?

Foundational training refers to a basic understanding of a positive situation and a negative situation. These are the two basic elements for learning. They are either "yes, this is a good situation," or "NO!, this is not a good situation!" It is that simple. In training we want the dog to respond to these commands from us.

Remember to smile and have fun!

Piramind With All Seeing Eye.