Trainer reveals the fun cue that will get your dog to pay attention to you instantly

Young woman rewarding her beagle with treats in the park
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sometimes, you need your dog to pay attention to you straight away. This might be to help keep them out of danger, or simply because you need them to go somewhere or do something. 

But, how can you get them to do so? We’ve all been in the position where it seems as though our pup is just choosing not to listen to us, or they’re just too engrossed in or distracted by something else – like one of the best dog toys

Well, certified dog trainer Juliana DeWillems of JW Dog Training has got a useful tip — in a new Instagram post, she explains how one cue can help you get attention from your pooch instantly. Let’s take a closer look here!

The cue DeWillems discusses in the post is called ‘Ready? Get it!’ and she explains that it helps her with almost every dog she trains — after all, training dogs with treats can be a great tactic. “I simply show the dog a treat and then I toss the treat a few feet for the dog to chase after and eat,” she says. “I introduce the cue by simply saying ‘Ready?’ and putting the treat down to the dog’s nose, and then saying ‘Get it!’ before tossing it bowling ball-style across the floor.”

You don’t need your dog to be doing anything specific when you begin the cue — you can practice regardless of the scenario. And, as DeWillems says, you get a “strong, snappy attention behavior directing the dog’s focus to me almost instantly.”

Often, it doesn’t take long for dogs to love hearing “Ready?”, so they instantly pay attention to you and stay focused until they get to chase the treat, something that DeWillems describes as an “extra-fun reward.”

She continues, “Without much official training, it develops into a strong attention cue where I then have control over which direction I send the dog with the treat toss.”

Toss the treat so that it’s easy for your pup to track and chase — you don’t want them to get frustrated if they can’t find it!

DeWillems explains that you can use this cue to get them past a trigger — on a walk, for example — or if you want your dog to go in a different direction to the one they seem to want to go in. It can also boost your pup’s energy and speed during training sessions, encourage movement to help your dog relieve stress, and even bring a more nervous or anxious dog out of their shell. So, it’s a pretty versatile cue to teach!

And if you've decided not to hire a professional trainer for the time being, here's 25 practical tips for training your dog on your own that you might find helpful. 

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Adam England
Freelance Writer

Adam is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle, health, culture, and pets, and he has five years' experience in journalism. He's also spent the last few years studying towards undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in journalism. While a cat person at heart, he's often visiting his parents' Golden Retriever, and when he's not writing about everything pets he's probably drinking coffee, visiting a cat cafe, or listening to live music.