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 as a default behavior leads to an immediate, automagic Waiting on cue and situationally is extremely important for disc dog freestyle training. The competition field might not see too much waiting going on as everything is supposed to be happening in flow, behavior. Attention can be marked and the Trigger for a behavior employed to keep the dog in position for a significant amount of time. Just a few reps of this can lead to a strong Wait behavior.
Eye contact or Attention is often a question that the dog is asking the handler. Dog touches something and looks up at you? That is a question as to whether you appreciated the touching of the thing. Answer that question and the dog should respond.
Dog is walking around, sees something and looks to you? That is a question. Dog is bored and looks to you while hanging out? Also a question.
Knowing that Attention is often a question and responding to that question or the dog’s needs that underly that question is key in dog training.
The dog looking to you can also be thought of as the Answer to the question.
It’s the answer when the dog touches the thing and proudly looks at you as if to say, “Right! Got it!”
And it’s also the first answer to any question or any situation that the dog encounters. “Ooo! This is new… What do I do?” Dog looks to the handler.
Dialogue and Q n A
Understanding and cultivating this dialogue is important. Dog and handler passing questions and answers back and forth to each other with Attention and 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 is a big part of successful cooperative work with a dog.
This dialogue and resolution of questions and answers is what creates a thoughtful dog who is content to wait for the appropriate trigger in this situation or is apt to look first to the handler when there is a distraction.