09-13-2018, 06:48 PM
Join Date: Nov 2014
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
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Having a dog be able to maintain eye focus, or being able to allow human staring, is great for many reasons.
I teach my dogs to watch me by saying "focus'' and pointing to my eye at the same time, and then delivering a nice food reward and praise for compliance.
I started this early on with my shy cautious fearful Gracie to teach her that people staring at her were not a threat, but instead could be a happy reward source. She goes to work with me, so she meets tons of strangers daily-- and she is very pretty and has beautiful soulful eyes, so people always stare directly at her!
So now she has now problem if anyone stares at her. Now if a strange dog stares at her... ok, ok, we are making great progress on this one, finally!!
I actually started part of our reactivity training by taking her out to see fields of deer in our neighborhood and practicing counterconditioning and eventually making a game of "where's the special big doggies?" (deer).
Deer are fantastic in helping dog reactivity since they will stare at our dogs, but not bark or growl or lunge, provided you keep a nice respectful safe distance! Gracie loves seeing deer now--big reward payouts for being chill around them!
I am glad to hear that the OP's dog loves to look into people's eyes and not be worried about it!