I know I keep forgetting. I know I need to be reminded so I thought that some of you may need to be reminded.
Get and keep your dogs eye.
A dog will look at you for a number of reasons, they want something, they respect you or they fear you.
It is best to have a dog look at you out of respect.
How many times when disiplining or telling a dog off will they look away from you.
You should be training to keep a dogs eye.
If a dog will not look at you, he will not listen to you at a distance and will not obey. The eyes are the window to the soul.
The best way I know how to train a dog to give you the eye is.
Get a rope, the stiffest you can find, make a lasoo, tie a hondo knot or a bowline, Wet it, dry it, put it in mud, make it stiffer. Have you dog sit a 3-4 feet in front of you.
This is thier teaching zone. Any closer and you are in thier personal space further away (usually 10ft) and you do not have thier attention.
Start by learing these zones. They are eliptical.
When you and the dog are calm the dog will pay close attention, when you are standing in thier personal space. Further out, in thier teaching zone they will pay attention but will look away when bored or interested in something, or under pressure.
Walk back in and stand far enough away that you can not touch the dog, but with the stiff rope you can loop it around its nose. Place the lasoo, around the dogs neck, with the loop and length of that you hold onto under his chin.
Choose a "look here command" I use "hey" because it comes naturally, whatever you use naturally to get your dogs attention is best.
Ask your dog to look at you "hey", stare at him in a friendly manner. He will look but will become intimidated and look away. Move the rope into his field of vision away from you.
If he looks to the left hold the rope further away than where he is looking.
he will probably look to the right, move the rope. He will go back left. place the rope further out left. If he is not responding by moving his head back the other way loop the rope around his nose and pull it back to you. Sooner or later the dog will turn his head around. This is good, pull it back to you.
He will try everything he can not too look at you, down at the ground, up high, all of a sudden he will be interested in things, persist, firmly but gently, you will get his eye, he will know you want him to look at you.
When he does hold the rope under his chin, but not with a lot of tension.
Now here is the why. Why is it important that a dog look at you, because he is listening, "minding" you. The is a teachable response.
As the dog learns to mind you. He will get better and better, he will respect you, be more considerate, listen better at a distance and become more attentive, relaxed when he needs to be, focused when hunting. It is called being "hooked up"
Start every outing, hunt, training session firstly, by basic obedience, sit,, stay, heel, and get his eye.
Release him, let him get 30 yards away, call his name, if he looks back sharply, quickly, you are "hooked up" let him roll, and air out. If not get him back, do a little more obedience, untill you get hooked up.
Then begin you session, hunting, training, a free walk.
Also do this at the end of the session, the last thing before he is loaded up.
Over time, he will get better and better, to get him hooked up or his eye will take less and less work. He will also change remarkably in his obedience.
Your thoughts and input are welcomed, we are all here to learn