How to teach an attention sound and boost your dog’s responsiveness!
Do you sometimes have a hard time getting your dog’s attention? Maybe you’re even starting to wonder if your dog has “selective hearing”? If so, check out this simple game that’s going to help get communication with your dog back on track.
I think we can all agree that easy, two-way communication is maybe the most important element of teaching and happily coexisting with our dogs. But chances are, there are some contexts in which your dog has a hard time giving you their attention. And taking a few moments to respond to you is completely normal, because dogs are dogs, and not robots.
But the good news is that there are some simple ways to grow your dog’s responsiveness so that they are able to respond to your communication more often and more quickly.
One tip is that many dog guardians will often use their dog’s name when they want to get their attention. But we also tend to use our dog’s names in a ton of other contexts, including when expressing frustration or anger. So can you really blame our dogs for eventually tuning out their names?
This is why I recommend also teaching your dog an attention sound, which is a specific sound that you make when you’d like your dog to turn their focus towards you and be ready to listen to your communication. I like to use a kissy sound, but you can also use other sounds like a whistle, a tongue click, or whatever comes naturally to you.
The Kissy Game is a great way to introduce an attention sound to your dog and to teach them that it is rewarding to react to the sound. Here's how to play:
Keep practicing, keep reinforcing those behaviors that you like, and of course, keep having fun with your pup. :)