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Universal Commands - Watch

The "Watch" command. A key command for deaf dogs that should be taught early in training.

In Border Collie Rescue all verbal commands used are accompanied by hand signals which serve to emphasise and compliment the instruction.
This is of great benefit when training deaf dogs, dogs with learning difficulties and dogs with short attentions spans.

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Point to your eyes using one or both hands until the dog makes eye contact.
Only when the dog looks straight back at you do you praise it for eye contact.

Useful for both hearing and deaf dogs this is particularly important for a deaf dog to understand and comply with.
In order to give a deaf dog more freedom it should be trained to keep looking back to its handler as frequently as possible in order to see new hand signal commands as issued. Without this habit fully ingrained a deaf dog could not be let off the lead in anywhere but a fully secure place.

Use 'watch' to get attention focused on you in order to give further commands or distract the dog from something he should not be involved in.
This is a useful command for BC's with obsessive staring tendencies due to strong 'eye'.

In BCR, this command has also been taught to blind dogs, using a well positioned clicker to get the dog's attention focused on the handler.
Even blind dogs can have instinctive 'eye' predisposition, backed up by very sensitive hearing that can pinpoint the source of a noise with extreme accuracy and focus the dogs attention on it.
With any Border Collie, blind, deaf or normal, too much 'eye' can be an issue distracting the dog from commands and even freezing it on the spot, staring at whatever has triggered this instinctive response.
The command can be used to break their attention if focused on a sound or sight a collie finds stimulating.
This may well prevent them from wandering off and blundering into - or creating - a dangerous situation.
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 If you are interested in adopting a Border Collie from us, please phone 0845 604 4941 during office hours.
(2 pm to 5 pm Tuesdays to Thursdays)
Please do not write to us or email us about adoption - we want to speak to you before we start the process.