I am curious what sounds people use to get their dogs' attention. I understand clickers are very useful, but what if you don't have one handy? Cesar Millan (yes… I know, but I do watch his show and balance out what I see there with other ideas) uses a "chhht" sound, done fast and sharp. It seems to be very successful for him. What sounds/movements do you use?
I whisper and often start with a "psst".. Tillo is so curious he turns his ears to hear me, but he can't hear me if he walks too far away.. haha.. so he will come to me to find out what I'm talking about Who knows.. maybe I'm offering him a treat :eek:
If Tillo is too far away to hear me whisper, I use a high "prrrrrrrrrrrr" if I want him to come. I also use a sort of 'chht chht chht' sound, but I use it for agility when Tillo takes the weave poles.
During the training I want a lot of eye contact. I use Tillo's name, a 'psst' or a 'chht' and often walk a step backwards. As soon as we have eye contact I use my hands to keep Tillo focused.
Our first year of training was all about keeping contact with your dog. As soon as your dog is focused, you can make him do anything. I've never really understood people who keep yelling 'sit' at a dog that's looking in a totally different direction
Edit: about the clicker.. This is not to get the dogs attention, but to reward good behaviour.. Like a 'yes' or 'Good dog'
I use "chk, chk" for lack of a better word…if they are doing something they aren't supposed to I say "ahn, ahn" long distance, I have a whistle that I use for the dogs and the kids (and sometimes the hubby) ...I can't think how to describe it...kind of like a titmouse "hooo-hoo"
I use a tongue "click click" sound, like people do to horses, when I am trying to get him to snap out of something. Like when on a walk, and he is instead watching birds…
I use a soft "Ahh-ahh!" when I see him about to do something bad.
And will use a single harsh, sort of snapped, "AH!!" when he is doing a bad deed.
I also use a loud "HEY!". When the "HEY!" comes out, he knows I am serious.
I am doing my best to stop using "NO" because I noticed he reacted to the work even during normal conversation between people. Poor guy keeps thinking he is doing something wrong.
I guess it sort of depends on what you are getting their attention for. If it is to just interupt a bad behavior and redirect I usually use "ack, ack". For getting their attention for training there are three basics I work on with my puppies, Name Response, Attention, and Zen.
Name Response: When I say their name they come and look at me. To start, I say their name and any click any sign that they recognized their name, ear twitch, head turn, etc. With puppies, pretty quickly, they start racing toward you for their treat when they hear their name. So as they get better at responding I start clicking for faster and faster responses.
Attention: At some point in doing name response it seems inevitable that my puppy starts thinking, "Hey, I know the second I turn away from you, you say my name and I have to come back here so I'm just going to stay put and wait for my treat." That moment is the beginning of Attention. I start just clicking every time they make eye contact while they are waiting. When they are consistently making eye contact I use 300 peck method to increase the time. As they make eye contact click/treat, if they hold it to the count of 1 click/treat, if they hold to the count of 1, 2 click/treat etc.
Zen: To get what you want, make eye contact with me. There are so many life rewards that people tend to give away for free to their dogs. Zen is a way for the dogs to earn those rewards. It is simply waiting for eye contact before releasing the dog to what it wants. We practice in class with treats. We hold a treat out but in order to earn the treat the dog has to make eye contact with us instead of staring at the treat. But this works so well at home with walks, going outside, getting their dinner bowl, etc. If they want to go out the door they have to make eye contact first. If they go to the dog park, they have to make eye contact before the leash is unclipped. These everyday and really powerful reinforcers start to work for you to help with attention.
So when I need to get my dog's attention, I use it's name because it is conditioned to respond to it and has a good history of reinforcement for just providing me with its attention.