Any relationship does better when built with trust and respect. A dog and his/her person are not any different. This exercise involves having a dog “pay attention” to where you are and your positive reinforcement to those efforts. This is a wonderful exercise that builds your dog’s interest and willingness to pay attention to where you are.
Begin in a safe, secured environment. There should be little or no fear of your dog running away or getting hurt. Start by asking your dog to sit, reward him generously with praise. Turn and walk away from him and say “Let’s Go”. Keep walking – no looking back to “check” – the trick is in your confident body posture, and belief that your dog will follow. When/if your dog comes up to you (not a run by) stop and really praise him and again and generously give several treats in a row. They don’t have to be big bites, in fact several smaller rewards are better then one big one. (this is important – don’t be stingy – use good stuff!) then repeat “Let’s Go” and leave again.
Repeat this exercise only four or five times. Stop! Don’t wait for your dog to lose interest in the game. In as little as 5-7 minutes or as long as a couple of hours – repeat the game.
*If your dog ignores where you are – try bending down and acting like you’ve found something really exciting. Mark your find with dramatic verbal and physical gestures. If/when he comes to investigate – PRAISE HIM! Then take off again.
*Always end the session with some good body rubbing and genuine affection. In turn, you must take note of your dogs needs, fears and state of being.