Why do some dog trainers say that you should encourage your dog to make direct eye contact with you?
Other experts say that making direct eye contact is a alpha behavior, and we certainly don't want to encourage that.
You have more control over a dog that you have eye contact with. If a dog is looking at you it will also see your hand movements for different commands.
I remember in obedience training with my dogs, we did a watch command where we held a treat in front of our noses, and used the command watch. The dog became totally focused on the treat and had eye contact with us. There is a fantastic hub about this by Julie-Ann Amos. If you would like to read it here is the link...http://julieannamos.hubpages.com/hub/Dog-Training-And-Eye-Contact
There is actually a much better way to teach eye contact these days using clicker training - see my hub: http://dubuquedogtrainer.hubpages.com/h … -bad-thing
Dog's are social creatures. You want to establish yourself as the Alpha male of the 'pack' (even if you're a woman) so that your dog shows unquestioned loyalty and follows your ever order. Direct eye contact helps achieve this.
Alpha stuff is outdated information...see my hub: http://dubuquedogtrainer.hubpages.com/h … -bad-thing
unquestioned loyalty and follows your ever order. exactly .Regardless what people may think if alpha theory is outdated it works and has worked for years.Just because its old doesnt mean it doesnt work
it is not a good idea to make eye contact with a strange dog, it might provoke it to attack you. if dealing with your own dog that you know and knows you, then establishing eye contact shows the dog youre the alpha in your pack. you should maintain eye contact til the dog looks away. if you look away first then you are telling the dog it is the boss. if you let the dog be boss you will never be able to control or even train it. the dog will not have respect for you. also, dogs, like children, look to the authority figure to tell them what to do, to teach them acceptable and non acceptable behaviour. they look to their owners for guidance as they would look to the alpha member of a dog pack.
Oh no, no, no....this alpha stuff is incorrect. See my hub: http://dubuquedogtrainer.hubpages.com/h … -bad-thing
I have never heard of dog trainers encouraging eye contact with dogs. I do not believe that is a good thing to train a dog. A dog needs to be trained that their owner is the master, the one in command. It is a dog's natural instinct to break eye contact away from the "leader of the pack", in which case, this would be the owner. If a dog breaks eye contact, that is a good sign that the dog understands who the boss is. I have played the eye contact game with dogs for years, and I do not believe most of them can be trained to maintain eye contact. That defies the natural instinct of the dog and encourages the dog to maintain a leadership role, which is not a good idea if you want a family pet.
After reading your answers, and a hub by Julie-Ann Amos, and another hub by alexadry, the basic concept is beginning to penetrate my thick skull. Here's my new understanding.
Although dogs are more straightforward than most human adults, it's not 100%. If you give your beloved pet a familiar command that he's not in the mood to obey, he may pretend that he hasn't heard you, notwithstanding his superior auditory sense. But when he gives you full eye contact, he won't have that excuse anymore.
Second, in the Dog-ese body language, eye contact is more nuanced than we once thought; it not just about jockeying for alpha status. Thanks everyone.
Absolutely nothing wrong with eye contact.How is a dog supposed to know what you are going to do if he doesnt look at you and most if not all when they do look at you where do they look? at your face ..so are you supposed to turn away?
When the dog understands that the only way that he'll ever know what you are going to do is by looking at you ,you now have a foundation for a responsible dog.
"Other experts say that making direct eye contact is a alpha behavior, and we certainly don't want to encourage that."
I have never and will never back away from a dog staring at me.I will wait till he turns away which they will UNLESS of course he is a bit arky and is filled with contention,but contention can be fixed.Other times they will look at you with that "what do you want me to do? i dont understand im confused look. Theyll look at you with that puppy dog look "come play with me....
So all in all i think there is a lot more going for a dog looking at you than not
I thought that since dogs are pack animals, you have to show him , that you are the leader of the pack. By using this eye contact, you have his attention. You have to be the Alpha dog.
Dogs are not "pack animals" and you do not need to establish your "alpha" status - this is misinformation.
actually dubuque, dogs ARE pack animals. if they were not then dogs that have gone feral would not form packs, but they do. if you do not believe in being alpha you will be owned by your dogs.
tlmcgaa - you are wildly misinformed! Please get informed for the sake of any dogs you may encounter!
dubuque. i am not misinformed. i live in an area where dogs are allowed to roam free. both those who remain pets and those who go feral run in packs. i have never had a problem with training my dogs. being alpha does not mean being abusive.
You are misinformed. Period. Please see some of my hubs - I will be writing more.
i checked your hubs out. and your facebook page. you train your way i will train my way. my dogs are happy, well adjusted, free thinking animals, and that is because they have the security and authority they need from a pack leader.
Why do you insist in persisting in outdated and erroneous thinking? The idea of being an "alpha" is so wrong and so hazardous, but it gives some people like yourself a sense of control and authority I guess that they need.
perhaps this will clarify things for you...http://tlmcgaa70.hubpages.com/_lw12gm772ov/hub/Using-The-Alpha-Method-To-Train-Your-Dog?done
Dubuquedogtrainer and tlmcgaa70, we've reached the point where it's necessary to agree to disagree. I encourage both of you to write hubs on positive reinforcement, "alpha-ness" and "pack animals," including clear definitions of these terms. Thanks.
I am a professional dog trainer. tlmcgaa is a pet owner who thinks she knows something about dogs, but is very misinformed. I'm opting out of this discussion but not because of your suggestion, Larry - btw, have you read any of my hubs or my bio?
I am also a dog trainer (I hold two certifications) and have to agree with Dubuquedogtrainer. Here are two articles that explain it all: http://lifeasahuman.com/2010/pets/dogs/ … lpha-dogs/
Dubuquedogtrainer and alexadry, I respect your expert knowledge on dog training. However the dialog here is rapidly approaching the tomato-throwing stage. As a non-expert, I'll write a hub on some of the issues raised here. Thanks again.
Larry, I am sorry this turned into an argument. I have said all I needed to in the hub I wrote in response to this conversation. the link is in my last post above. i encourage dubuque to read it, since she insists everyone read hers. good day.
I wrote a hub on this subject just today in response to your question.
As a dog trainer I find that eye contact is the core of building a relationship with a dog. I use it extensively in many occasions and is one of the first things I teach in classes. For instance, you need a dog's attention to give your dog a command and most dogs will make eye contact in anticipation for the command. Eye contact also encourages self-control; a dog cannot be actively lunging and getting all revved up at the sight of another dog if it is asked to look at you. 'I use the 'Watch me'' command extensively in behavior modification programs involving classical conditioning where the dog learns to automatically look at you upon noticing a stimuli it once reacted to.
While 'watch me' works great to create a bond of trust and encourages self-control, it is also true that direct eye contact may be intimidating for fearful dogs and even a sign of challenge for a few others; therefore people should avoid doing this with unknown dogs or dogs they are not too familiar with.
The ''alpha myth'', is unfortunately a hard concept to debunk and I have written extensively on the subject.
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