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 your dog’s name or “look” 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:
- Say “find it” in a cheerful tone
- Scatter 5-8 small treats on the floor (away from the trigger)
- Point out any treats they’ve missed
- 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, you’ll have to safely move your dog away from the distraction or trigger – don’t repeat yourself.