Find it! – Disengage from the Trigger

Find it! is a great way to help your dog visually disengage from something or someone. It’s especially helpful for dogs who stare at other dogs (Boxers, Shepherds, Huskies, etc, to name a few). While eye contact is another great cue to do this, if a dog is really visually locked on, they are often more likely to disengage to the ground than to us especially in emotional situations. This behaviour tends to replace having to pull a dog back to us – instead, we say this cue and the dog comes back to orient to our feet. 

How to train:

Step 1: Say “find it” in a cheerful tone

Step 2: Scatter 5-8 small treats on the floor (away from the trigger)

Step 3: Point out any treats they’ve missed

Step 4: Repeat as needed

Start in a very low distraction environment (like home) and then try it on the walk when there are no major distractions (people or dogs) and lastly, try it when your dog is distracted. If it doesn’t work (your dog doesn’t orient to the ground), drop the food anyway and keep pointing it out! The food is NOT contingent on the behaviour! If it still doesn’t get your dog’s attention, do a u-turn and move away from the distraction – don’t repeat yourself. 

You can also create a “treat trail” away from the trigger rather than keeping their nose on the ground in just one spot!

​Body Block oncoming people

If you need to, use a “find it” behind you and body block the oncoming person who wants to say “hi” to your dog. Be sure to have one eye on your dog and both hands on the leash in case your dog finishes those treats quickly and whips around to give the person a piece of their mind.

Lessons in this Course: