Eye Contact = Cued Bite
You might be wondering how attention can compete with disc while on the field with a raging frizbeast. It’s quite simple. Attention = a cued bite.
When working attention in bitework, Unsolicited eye contact or Attention is a great way to hook up with a dog. If you have something the dog wants he should give eye contact in order to get access to it. This quickly becomes akin to asking permission for things that the dog wants. If your dog offers Attention when they see something they want, most dog... is the behavior that leads to the opportunity of a bite cue. After a bunch of successful repetitions attention becomes a secondary reinforcer because it has been paired frequently with a cued bite; attention = freedom to bite.
Once attention is a secondary reinforcer the handler can cement attention as a default behavior and leverage it. Attention can be required to make next happen. Everything starts with attention. Nothing happens without it.
If your dog believes that unsolicited eye contact makes the bite or next happen, how long do you think it will be before she starts to offer eye contact before anything else?
The Give is a retrieve to the hand. A cued Give is a foundational skill that is not super useful in the actual performance of disc dog freestyle, and has huge applications for training and skills development . A Give is distinctly different from a Drop because of the localized nature of the skill. Give only happens in the hand,... it a shot and find out.