Basic Command – Watch Me
When you give your dog the “Watch Me” command, you want him to look at your face, preferably into your eyes. When you first start this training, your puppy may only be able to “Watch Me’ for a few seconds at a
time. With practice and encouragement, however, you should be
able to extend this to minutes at a time.
The “Watch Me” command is a great command to learn
as it can help you train your dog. The reason for this is that your dog has to watch you if
he is going to learn anything at all. The problem though is that when you are in
public, your dog’s instincts will be to look at everything else besides you. Another positive
aspect of learning the “Watch Me” command is that it can help your dog learn how to walk properly while on a leash. If he is looking at you, he won’t be running ahead of you, behind you, etc.
The first method to teach the “Watch Me” command is to have your dog sit in front of you while you hold some treats in one
hand. Give the command “Grover, Watch Me” while at the same time holding a treat in front of
his nose. Let him sniff it so that he knows it’s a treat he likes, then move it up to your
chin. Your dog’s eyes should follow it to your chin. Praise him at this point, “Good boy to Watch Me”, then give him the treat. If he happens to get distracted by something while you’re moving the treat from his nose to your chin,
you’ll need to start again. Put the treat in front of nose in order to get his attention back,
then start to move it back to your chin (hopefully, he’ll pay attention for the whole way this time).
The second method is similar to the first, except you will make use of the leash.
Hold the leash in one hand, and the treat in the other. Give the command “Grover, Watch Me”
while you start to move the treat from his nose to your chin. The difference, though, is that
if he gets distracted, give a quick snap and release with the leash while making a negative noise like “Accckk!” As soon as your dog looks back at you, praise him. “Good boy
to Watch Me!”
As your dog or puppy starts to get better at this command, you can make it more challenging for him. Give the command, then back away. Try changing speed, zig
zag a bit, etc. If your dog remains focused on your face, praise him and maybe give him a
Once your dog has mastered the “Watch Me” command, it makes training in the future that much easier. Good Luck!
PS - If you feel like you need more information on how to train your dog, you should check out
the dog training program that Dove Cresswell has put together. Dove is a professional dog trainer, training dogs for film
and television in Hollywood North (Vancouver). Her program uses online videos, so it is very easy to follow. To learn more, click here or on the picture to the right.