Using your Belgian Malinois’ natural instincts while training can come in handy. The first goal is getting your Malinois to focus on you. Having your Mal’s attention is the first step to getting it to follow through with further commands.
Food and Treats Helps Train Your Malinois Dog To Focus On You
A rich treat can be enticing to a K9 and make it eager to follow your commands. Adding words and actions to the enticement can help the Malinois connect the idea of what you’re wanting it to do. An example could be “look at me” spoken while holding the treat. If the Malinois makes eye contact with you reward it with the treat. You want to extend the time between saying the command and giving the actual treat. This helps the Malinois gain focus on you in expectation of the treat.
Sound Gets Malinois’ Attention On You
Because Malinois have a keen sense of hearing it can be used to get their attention and make it focus on you. There are props that can be used to gain attention like a whistle, snap, clap or other verbal noises. Combining sound and treats emphasizes what you are trying to accomplish. Saying a command while using a treat can strengthen your Malinois’ focus on you. With a patient trainer, Malinois dogs can even learn to differentiate one sound from another. Meaning if using clickers the Malinois can learn 1 click means something different than 2 clicks. It takes patience and practice to accomplish this. Stay determined and eventually the Malinois will learn to focus on you and follow the commands.
Motion Is One of the Greatest Distractions To Your Malinois
We know that Malinois dogs are food and sound motivated. Did you also know that motion can be a great distraction to getting a Malinois’ attention? When trying to make your Malinois focus on you it’s best to do so in an environment that doesn’t have a lot of motion happening around it. Mixed with noise, like kids playing, your Malinois will have a hard time concentrating on you. Training your K9 to focus on you should be done in an isolated area free from noise and motion. When you finally have its attention on command then you can move to different environments that do have distractions and try to get the Malinois to maintain focus.
Remain Firm, Patient and Positive
Keeping these 3 ways to make your Malinois focus on you at the forefront of your training will have your K9 following your lead in no time. Remember to be patient with your Malinois and keep a firm but calm manner with it while training. Loud, unfamiliar noises can startle a young Malinois dog and make it apprehensive to sounds. Keep things positive and your Mal will respond positively. There is no need to get mean or forceful with a Malinois to get it to do what you want. It’s more about persuasion, patience and positive rewards.