View Full Version : She doesn't see me as 'valuable' - She doesn't respect me

19th February 2007, 04:25 AM
It's REALLY hard to get Bella's attention. Even harder to keep it. Yesterday I was attempting to teach heel because she pulls like a trojan and I could only hold her attention for about 5 seconds. We were in the lounge room and had no distractions.

Any suggestions on making her want to watch what I'm doing?

19th February 2007, 07:41 AM
Food is a wonderful motivator. Get a little treat that you know she loves. Call "Bella look" and hold the piece of treat just under your own chin. She will look at the food that is right near your face and she will make eye contact with you to see if you are going to give her the treat. When she does give it to her with lots of praise. Once this is established, occasionally pretend you have the food when you haven't but still do the motion like you are holding food under your chin. Praise her for giving you the attention. This is a start.

19th February 2007, 09:28 AM
Thank you Caraline, I do this already with the "watch me" command. Works sometimes, but she can't hold it.

19th February 2007, 10:22 AM
i have the same problem with lady she will pay attention to jason and to me. Our trainer suggested that it's because i do a lot more for her feeding and spending more time with her in the day she doesn't respect me. Not sure how much truth there is in that though! I think that lady pays more attention to jason because he has a stronger toned voice and since i started to do raise my voice a little lounder she does the commands for me as well. Also try using her fav food we use little bits of chicken in training when we want her to work hard and normal treats through the day in training sessions. i also praise her like crazy when she listens to me everyone in our puppy class thinks that i am crazy when i jump around because she listened to me. Hope that helps.

19th February 2007, 10:55 AM
Thanks Natalie, that may just work...I'll keep you updated. Maybe I need to change the food also...she doesn't seem to want to work for the treats I've got at the moment.

19th February 2007, 12:21 PM
Bella is still pretty young too and life is just so full of exciting things.... even a bare room can be exciting for a young pup :lol:

Maybe just focus on getting and holding Bella's attention for longer & longer periods would help, rather than moving on to heel & stuff like that. I can understand that you are really keen to teach her these things. I would be the same. But I am just thinking that if Bella is having trouble staying focused, maybe work on that first, before moving on. So the exercise of holding a treat & getting her to pay attention to you... perhaps keep extending the time that you expect her to remain focused before you give her the treat?

Just a thought.

19th February 2007, 01:29 PM
The secret of the game to loose leash walking is to be more interesting than whatever you're walking around. Heel may be too complex of a command right now if Bella is still young and not great with loose leash walking. ;)

If she pulls, STOP the walk! Eventually she'll stop pulling and either relax or acknowledge you. Then you can say "good girl, lets go!" and start walking again. The objective of this exercise is to teach bella that she doesn't get rewarded for pulling on the leash. The reward of this for her is to be able to continue her walk.

Im currently teaching my 13 wk old to loose leash walk and as someone else said, FOOD does the trick! :lol: I hold a piece of food in front of her nose and start walking and then I'll gradually stand up but still talk to her. It's a slow process but I have one that's leash trained very well and it's well worth it!!! :)

Hope this helps! :flwr:

19th February 2007, 08:45 PM
hi tessa---sorry i can feel your frustration reading your post and belive me i've been there (still am a lot of the time :roll: )

yes food is definately the way to go and you might have to experiment with different kinds---if bits of kibble isn't exciting enough you could go with tiny pieces of cheese for example. this is what we had to do with indy during his training class to keep him from flipping out constantly at all the excitement of other dogs and people.

also if treats don't seem to work, does bella have a favourite toy? you could try that as a reward as every dog is different....

good luck!


19th February 2007, 10:49 PM
ok. I see where you are all coming from, but I've seriously tried all of this. I started leash training her from the time I got her (9 weeks). Since then I've tried to keep her attention by: calling her name, using food (cheese, mince, dried liver, yoghurt drops etc) which have all worked for a VERY short time. I've also tried using her favourite toy which didn't work at all. I tried a squeaky toy, which just scared her and a ball with a bell in it. Same result. The only thing that got her attention from a distance was a whistle. However a few of my neighbours complained about the constant whistling...

Please help.

19th February 2007, 11:32 PM
Okay here is another option. Care less!

Seriously, it might sound dumb, but maybe Bella is picking up on your frustration & a bit of tension. How about just backing off the formal exercises for a bit & just having fun, without any particular goal in mind. Sometimes the battle of will & wits can get into a vicious circle and you need to break it.

20th February 2007, 04:28 AM
Tessa, I hear you and understand what you are going through. My Riley is/was difficult too when it comes to getting and keeping his attention. I posted a few threads in the "Showing and Training" section concerning this.
I have to say what has been working lately for me is what has been said by others, "relax and try not to be too tense or try to get things too perfect". I did the opposite for months and it was just a disaster for me and Riley. Now that I have tried relaxing and enjoying our walks, he actually pulls a lot less and is not so intense. It's going to take a while, but I can see improvement now where there wasn't any before, regardless of the treats I was using. Some dogs are just different and require a different way of training than others. Hang in there and try the relaxed method. It really helped me. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. :flwr:

20th February 2007, 06:10 AM
Caraline and LauraD - I just took Bella for a walk and before I'd even seen your posts, I decided that it was just going to be a fun time. She improved IMMENSELY. She does understand what "heel" means and obeys wonderfully. She also started to pay attention to the "watch me" command...even when dogs were barking at her through the fence.
I'm so proud of her.

20th February 2007, 06:36 AM
cl*p Woohoo cl*p

20th February 2007, 03:24 PM
YAY!! :rah: Wasn't that a great feeling? Keep up the positive attitude, it helps a lot. Congrats!! :thmbsup: cl*p

Cathy T
20th February 2007, 03:52 PM
Hooray....things are coming along!

20th February 2007, 04:26 PM
Bella is a bit young for teaching or expecting her to heel. This is usually not something that is focused on until a dog is older (just starting around six months -- but it needs to be trained, incrementally. Just a few sessions won't be enough for her to manage a whole walk, and if she learned when younger, it won't really have held -- she was likely just too young for something that precise :) ) -- instead focus on having her walk on a loose lead, which is more natural anyway (heel is kind of hard for a small breed and is the most boring possible way to walk for any dog -- no sniffing, no exploring, and people walk so SLOW to a dog! -- she is young and more interested in exploring so heel is going to be an extra challenge for her anyway). If you want you could order something like the Sense-ible harness which clips at the front -- this stops pulling immediately as they have nothing to pull against. If they try to pull, they just turn themselves around so they quickly stop completely. At this age it is too hard for them to concentrate on strict and precise commands like heel, or long downstays -- anything that takes huge amounts of self control. Instead do what you are doing --- have fun, relax, focus on a loose lead walk, and consider the special walkign harness. They are really great for pullers. :)

22nd February 2007, 10:11 PM
Sometimes you just need to sit in the park with your puppy on a long lead and reward for checking in and slack on the lead. No words, no movement of the lead or collar, no calling the name ... just simply reward for for your puppy CHOOSING to be with you. Timing is important, rewards should be rated based on the external stimulus and the effect it has on puppy.

I belive when a puppy chooses to be with you and is rewarded for that good choice, then that behaviour will reoccur giving you more and more opportunity to reward. Once you have repetition of a behavour then you can add the cue.

We see many puppy cavaliers who are excited, lunging etc and simply standing still and doing as per above makes a huge difference.

Good Luck.

23rd February 2007, 03:44 AM
Thanks TKC, that was really helpful. I'll give it a go on our walk tomorrow and let you know how we went... :flwr: