"Look at That" (LAT) Game and Barking at Traffic

When I've learned about the "Look at That" (LAT) game, I immediately incorporated it into our training games with Cookie. It seemed like a great way to regain her attention as well as change the way she feels about things that bother her.

I used it to introduce her to her GPS collar, to ear cleaner and a number of other situations. We used it in her class. It worked wonderfully when she decided to get mad at plants moving in the breeze of a ceiling fan.

Now I am using it to desensitize her to traffic.

Up here, there isn't much of it but the house we're staying in is quite close to the road. Naturally, Cookie gets upset at the intruders, particularly because they don't stop to say hi.

At first, working at good distance, I started to utilize this game. When a vehicle is approaching, I ask her to "look at that", wait for her to look, then immediately say yes and produce a treat.

Using the LAT game on the deck to desensitize Cookie to traffic.
The deck is about 20 feet from the road. In other words, it's pretty darn close.

It's been working very well.

There are times now, when she notices traffic approaching, instead of having barking on her mind, she turns to me, looking for her treat. I can get her to do this successfully at a distance of about 20 feet or further. Given the fact that the opportunities to practice are scarce, I think we're progressing quite well.

The needed distance also depends on the type of traffic. Regular cars, trucks and vans are much less of a problem than ATVs, fourwheelers, large trucks or more than one vehicle at the time.

The main thing is to remember to never get outside without treats in my pocket.

And understand the importance of a threshold.

The LAT game is an awesome tool to have under my belt. 

I keep finding new ways of using that all the time.

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  1. We use the Look command too - it is good to get them to turn their attention away from something. THe key is the treats in the pocket.


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