How to Teach Your Dog to Watch You (Step-by-Step)

By 22nd September 2017Dog Training
how to teach your dog to watch you

In this post, we’re going to show you how to teach your dog to watch you.

Once you’ve taught your dog how to walk on a loose leash, teaching him to watch you is actually pretty important. However, it’s something that so many people don’t even know to teach their dog.

Apart from being useful when heel training, the ‘watch me’ cue is designed to get your dogs attention while you’re out and about. This is good when encountering certain distractions or things going on that makes your dog nervous, for example.

Having him watch you can in these situations can offer reassurance and prevent him from freaking out.

And fortunately, it’s pretty easy to teach!

How to Stop a Dog Pulling on the LeadOK, OK we admit it,

The training methods we write about here at Pet Checkers aren’t our own.

They are the positive re-enforcement methods of world renowned dog trainer, Victoria Stilwell.

You can find out about her on her website at or if you like her training methods like we do, you can buy her book from

How to Teach Your Dog to Watch You, Step-by-Step

Like with many kinds of dog training, it’s best to start this exercise indoors where there are fewer distractions before taking it outside.

Take a treat (or toy if your dog isn’t food motivated) and hold it out in front of your dogs face between your thumb and index finger.
Move the treat from his nose up to your eye so he follows the treat and makes eye contact with you. This is the hand signal.
Maintain eye contact for a few seconds and then reward him with the treat.
Keep repeating this step until he responds consistently, with or without the treat.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Holding your dogs’ gaze for a few seconds is fine but don’t ever stare at him for long periods of time. He could find this threatening.

Frequently Asked Questions

Training your dog watch you should be a simple process and shouldn’t take long to master. However, some dogs to take longer than others to get it right.

If you’re struggling here are some commonly asked questions and answers;

“My Dog Won’t Look at Me at All When We’re Outside, What Am I Doing Wrong?”

If your dog is overly excited or really anxious, looking at you can be really difficult as they try to process everything that’s going on.

If this is the case, remove him from the situation and go somewhere quieter and get him to focus on you.

Always pay attention to the surroundings you’re in and be mindful of the potential situations you might be walking into. Don’t overstimulate your dog too quickly as he will struggle to focus on you.

“My Dog Only Looks at Me For a Split Second and Turns Away Again, What Should I Do?”

This is OK as you should stare at him. All you’re doing is diverting his attention from something else.

Try rewarding him after a second of eye contact, then two seconds and build it up to five seconds, this should be more than enough.

Leave a Comment Below!

So, we’ve shown you how to teach your dog to watch you and now it’s your turn.

Have a go and leave a comment below to let us know how you get, or to ask a question.

We love hearing from our readers and we’ll respond to every comment.

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