Learning the Basics: Advanced Concentration

In this video, we are stepping it up a bit to show what consistency will do for your dog. If you are still in basic dog obedience training, don’t worry, you can apply these skills once your dog follows through on all basic commands and exercises. Don’t rush this step, spend as much time as you need, every dog learns at a different pace. The goal is for them to learn not to be distracted by anything around them and can fully concentrate on you, the handler.

Josh demonstrates with Ted and Sandy, German Shepherds, the basics of advanced concentration. During basic obedience, you have given your dog command words for different actions like sit, down and stay. Let’s add hand signals along with looking and engagement.

We all know a dog’s hearing is superior but they actual hear sounds rather than words so it would be helpful to add hand signals as a secondary form of communication. What type of hand signals to use is up to you but once you pick a hand signal for a command, stick with it otherwise your pet will not understand what you are asking of them.

Engagement or eye contact with your dog during training is crucial. There are several reasons why this is so important to teach your dog:

1.) Constant eye contact is calming for those dogs that are a little more nervous in nature.

2.) Good eye contact will reinforce that you are the leader if you are working with a more dominant dog.

3.) Eye contact will require your dog to focus on you which in turn will allow your dog not to be so distracted by background noise.

Once you have incorporated these tips, you can now start working on new exercises. Dogs love learning something new (great for their mental health) so this will be exciting for both you and your dog. Make sure to have a treat that is easy to give and eat so you can reward them during training.

Down or Sit on Recall (forward come): Call your dog to come to you. When they have reached the distance you want them to be at, give the command sit or down.

Finish Command: Recall your dog. Have them come straight to you and sit at as close as possible in fount of you. Give the command Finish and have them walk around behind you and sit at your heeling side.

Keep consistent with your training. This will not be something they get right away so like anything it takes practice and lots of encouragement.