Among the most important things we should focus on in dog training is getting our dog to connect with us, that is best achieved when our dogs look into our eyes. Eye contact with dogs connects us on a basic level that can promote a healthy training bond as well as a good overall relationship. Many dogs don’t ever look at their human’s face, let along into their eyes. There are several tricks to achieve this, one that I’ll be posting a video of shortly, but in the meantime there is a simple thing that blocks this from happening.
All too often I see people training their dogs wearing sunglasses. I should make myself clear, the people are wearing sunglasses while training their dogs 🙂 This might not appear to be a big deal to the average person, but it is a huge deal to your dog. If your dog can’t make eye contact with you, he will be unlikely to look at your face at all. This is important particularly early on in training when we try to “connect” with our dogs.
See: online dog training
There have been studies that prove dogs are the only animals that make eye contact and actually look at the whites of our eyes when they connect with us, even apes don’t do that. This “connection” is pivotal in our relationship and can be squashed if you are wearing sunglasses; you end up looking like a giant FLY to your dog! Some dogs may even become spooked by people wearing sunglasses if they stare at the dog for a while.
I’m not sure if you are like me, but when I talk to someone I like to look into their eyes, well dogs feel the same way. It drives me nuts when I talk to someone and they won’t take off their sunglasses. Maybe it’s just me, and maybe I’m like your dog 🙂
The point I want to address here is that when training a dog do not wear sunglasses. You are placing a huge barrier between you and your dog and you are not giving him a fair chance to connect and succeed. If it’s a sunny day, you’ll have to bear it, you can opt for a visor or a hat. This is not to say that you can’t wear sunglasses if you’re walking your dog or playing with him. This rule only holds fast if you are training him, teaching him and engaging him, especially when you first begin training (then it is paramount). Giving your dog the target of your eyes gives him the ability to connect with you on a much higher level and allows him to succeed!