Making eye contact with your dog is an important part of most basic obedience measures; eye contact tells you the dog's paying attention to you and ready for a command. Meanwhile, making eye contact with some dogs can trigger naughty and unwanted behaviors.
Regular eye contact enables you to better train and have more control over your pup. If she's not looking at you when you issue commands or call her name, there's a greater chance she'll become distracted, miss a hand signal or otherwise fail to obey a command. To teach your girl that eye contact is a good thing, make it rewarding. The VetStreet website suggests standing still with a few treats in your hand or holding a treat in front of your face. The moment her eyes move to meet yours, pop a tasty snack in her mouth.
Some canines react poorly to eye contact, typically because of negative experiences or poor socialization. If your pup turns aggressive, reacts with fear or becomes noticeably stressed when you two make eye contact, talk with your vet or a certified dog trainer. On the same note, avoid locking eyes with strange dogs. A quick glance on your part is a natural reaction, but avoid staring down a pooch.
By Chris Miksen