Capturing and rewarding focus and calmness.

Engagement Game to condition calmness and focus.



Treat pouch filled with their meal or high value treats

Method – What gets rewarded gets done.

If your dog is too stimulated pause and wait, don’t nag! No saying sit, sit!, sit!!!!

If you present something that your dog sees and becomes excited. Stop and take it away. Only pick it up or present it if the dog is calm and providing the desired behavior that you would like to see.

Be prepared to Wait, be calm and patient and take your time.

Be prepared to give multiple rewards in a row – rapid rewards.

Goal – capture and reward calmness.

Time – 20 minutes maximum


Leash your dog – pick up your leash if your dog is excited. Put the leash back down and wait until your dog presents the behavior that you want - Sitting calmly. When training or leaving your house or car never leash your dog if they are over excited (unless you are trying to leave the dog park or a dangerous situation)

Once your dog has displayed the calm behavior that you are waiting for present the leash again and attempt to leash. If the dog becomes over excited remove it and wait. Repeat this repeatedly until your dog is calm.

STEP TWO – May need to be done in multiple sessions before your dog offers continuous eye contact.

Sit somewhere quiet in your home and shorten the leash and wait patiently without prompting your dog until your dog has made eye contact. Your dog may instantly go back to sniffing or pulling on leash or being hyper alert. Keep waiting and rewarding eye contact Once they have made eye contact and sit and start to make continuous eye contact start rapid rewards keep feeding and praising your dog to encourage long gages. Remember this engagement game may take a few attempts before your dog offers continuous eye contact

STEP THREE – repeat step two inside but lengthen your leash and stand.

STEP FOUR – repeat step two but sit with a short leash outside stand with a long leash.

Suggested locations

Back yard/Front yard


Bus Stop

Construction site

Recycle depot

Outside tennis/basketball courts, soccer, football games

Skateboard Parks

Outside children play grounds

Outside fenced in dog parks

Gordon getting rewarded for eye contact