Pet Expressway for Dogs

Basic Dog Training Command – Watch Me

Basic Dog Training Command – Watch Me

When teaching your dog any type of training it’s naturally best to start off at Beginner’s level dog obedience commands. The Watch Me Dog training command is the rock that all other training commands are built from. If your dog is not paying attention to you and not watching then how can your dog learn other training commands?


The “Watch Me” Training Command

The “Watch Me” Dog Training Command is a basic obedience command with a multitude of uses. It is an attention training exercise based on the notion that if your dog is not paying attention to you, then you cannot teach him/her very much.

Let’s describe how it is taught, then we can review its other uses. First, some quick terminology for not only this command but future commands taught on this site. We call the hand you use to give obedience commands your “Command Hand”.

When teaching a command, we bring our Command Hand ‘ to and level with your dog’s nose. Thereby giving your dog no reason to jump or lunge for the treat. We call this “Dog Nose Level”

In order to teach “Watch Me”, it is best to place your dog in a sitting position. However, you can teach this command with him/her lying down or standing.


Steps to Teach Your Dog The Watch Me Command

  1. First, place your dog in the desired position. Put a treat in your  “Command Hand” and bring your hand down to “Doggie nose level” to get his/her attention.
  2. Thrust your command hand to your chin as you tap it 2 or 3 times, while saying “Watch Me” . This should cause your dog to quickly lift his head toward you and make eye contact.
  3. The tapping of the chin with your finger helps sustain that eye contact for those brief seconds.
  4. You then immediately and simultaneously praise the dog in that high pitched voice we talked about and give him/her the treat.

Try this sequence again, this time increasing from tapping your chin from 2 or 3 times to 4 or 5 times. Once again, if successful, simultaneously praise your dog and give him/her a treat. Continue on this track, slowly increasing the amount of time you attempt to get your dog to watch you (10, 20 30 seconds) Try this as your Evening Exercise.


Uses of the Dog Training Command Watch Me

As mentioned earlier, this basic obedience command has many uses.

Attention-Grabbing Exercise

It is an attention exercise that will help your dog focus on you instead of outside distractions. This command can also be used to enhance leash walking and can be applied as a behavior problem-solving method.

Increases Bonding with your Dog

The “Watch Me” Command is also extremely helpful in the bonding process for you and your pet. It is a positive eye contact exercise that teaches your dog to look at you in a happy, positive, and loving way. As we build upon this command, over time the dog will be looking to you more and more for direction, attention, and approval.

Helps You Understand & Practice Voice Pitch

One final use for “Watch Me” is as a way to further help you understand & practice using a high-pitched voice as approval and a low-pitched voice as disapproval.

As stated previously, when you give the “Watch Me’ Command, you praise your dog in a high voice after he successfully focuses on you. But what should you do if the dog looks away suddenly in the process of performing ‘Watch Me”?

You should drop your voice low and say “No”, bring the voice back to a more monotone command voice and then say “Watch Me”. If he/she looks at you again successfully, then praise in a high voice is in order along with a treat.

Remember, if your pooch looks away in the middle of the “Watch Me” command, you need to scold in a low voice, or else you would be rewarding him/her for looking away. This technique is actually true of any obedience command. There are so many uses for teaching your dog something as simple as looking at you!



If you are eager to start some dog training then one excellent resource for dog training is Secrets to Dog Training: the ultimate training and knowledge database for dog owners. With a focus on preventing and dealing with problem behaviors, as well as obedience work and ‘tricks’, Secrets to Dog Training covers a vast variety of topics in minute detail – an invaluable manual for all dog owners everywhere.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Keith Byrne

Keith Byrne

From an early age Keith has been around dogs. He has been involved in dog grooming, dog walking, dog sitting and dog showing as well as voluntary work in animal shelters. His aim is to help all dog owners especially newbies learn about dogs and care for them in a loving, caring and fun way.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Small white dog with hands hovering above him performing Reiki

9 Ways Reiki Can Help Your Dog

Many dog owners are looking at alternative treatments and therapies for their dogs that can be utilized in conjunction with conventional therapies without adversely affecting

Read More »
Photo of a Dog Barking directly to camera with his mouth wide open and eyes closed

5 Main Reasons Dogs Bark

Dog domestication can be traced back to the end of the last Ice Age, 11,000 years ago where dogs were present across the northern hemisphere.

Read More »