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'look At That' Training,

Guest sweetpea

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Guest sweetpea

Yeah, I know, Sweetpea's practically perfect in every way. :wub:


This is for Sebastian. He's very reactive to other dogs and outdoor cats when we're out on walks.

Now that it's staying lighter later, I'll take him and Sweetpea out separately and work on

some things with each of them.


I want to start 'Look at That' or more specifically 'Look at me' training with him, but I want to make sure

I've got the gist of it.


So the point for me is to get him to understand 'look at me' and to look at me when I ask him to.

It's also to keep him below his "wigged" out threshold, with any luck. He's a smart dog, very treat motivated,

I don't doubt I'll be able to teach him the command. So my question is how to use it once I've taught it.


When it counts, is the point for him to look at me the whole time, until the trigger has passed out of sight?

Do I keep him moving while looking at me? (because some of those outdoor cats are not too bright, and some of those other

dog owners are not too bright either.)


Basically, tell me about how you use LAT training, and what mistakes I should try to avoid.


Here's the little terrorist.



Thanks for any help.



tired of just reacting to Sebby's reacting

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Guest KiKi_Girl

I had whippets that were reactive to other dogs. I taught them "watch me" and I would make them either sit or just look up at me; when they did they got a treat. If there was a dog in the area, before they could react or even notice the dog at first, I would make them sit and use the "watch me" command. I would practice holding their attention for longer periods at a time. If they looked away at the other dog, but still remained calm, I would say "watch me" again - good dog and treat. I would keep treating while the dog was in the vicinity. Later, the treat went away and I would use the command as we walked, but they would look up at me.


It is a good idea, when saying the command, to hold the treat next to your eye/temple region, that way they "know" where to look.


good luck!

Edited by KiKi_Girl
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Search for Giselle's posts on "Look at that" -- she even has some videos!

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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You can teach the behavior you want without teaching a command - personally I think that's a lot easier for people, but the key is to use a clicker. The click indicates the exact behavior you are rewarding, the treat follows immediately as the reward. The treat is always something of HIGH value that the dog doesn't get any other time.


Here's how it goes:


1. Dog sees stimulus object, click treat, repeat many times

2. Dog sees stimulus object - wait - dog looks at you, click, treat, repeat many times


In between one and two, you are clicking and treating any time your dog is looking at the stimulus but displaying calm behavior, even if its only calmer than normal and only for a second. So let's say his normal reaction is to pull and bark, but for a moment he relaxes enough to stop barking, click and treat. Gradually the calm behaviors you click and treat for become more and more calm, if that makes sense, until in the end you are clicking and treating for a totally calm dog whose focus is on you.


The idea is for the dog to learn that crazy exciting dogs and cats mean food is coming and that in order to get the food he has to look at you. Once that association is made, his focus should be on you, not the cat or dog. Because he's looking at you, you will be able to continue walking or if you need to, move aside and ask for another behavior like a sit stay until the stimulus dog has passed. Not sure if that is clear enough?


The other way is to teach the look at me command with limited distraction and gradually increase the level of distraction until it works in these types of situations, but I just think the concept is so much easier to grasp the first way I described and I also think it's a better way to actually teach the dog that being calm on his own is what's desired, especially if you're talking about a dog who is reacting out of fear.

Edited by NeylasMom


Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Guest sweetpea

Thanks guys!


I was going to search for Giselle's old posts, but I wasn't sure they had made it through the 'great server migration'.


This is exactly what I needed, some play-by-play instructions.


I'll let you know how we progress.



armed and ready for bear (or Sebby as the case may be)

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