Hound Training Tip #2: Building focus and attention span

Hound Training Tip #2: Building focus and attention span

In order to follow a command, your dog must first learn how to pay attention. This fun game helps dogs focus long enough to listen to a command. 

What’s better than one treat, from a doggy perspective? Two treats of course. The Two-Treat Game is a great way to train a dog to pay attention when you give commands because it teaches them to check in with you often. 

How to play? First put a leash on Lassie and place your foot over the leash so she stays close. Put a treat in each hand and hold your hands out straight, without leaning over her.

Now, with his nose on high alert, Boston is bound to start showing some interest in your hands. He might start trying to snuffle them open or paw at them, or even jump up. Don’t say or do anything – just wait.

When Fido looks at your face, respond by saying his name, smiling and praising him verbally. Then open your hand and present one of the treats. Do this three or four times, alternating hands to keep it interesting. 

Doing this a few times each day will help Luna learn to look at you for praise and treats - and will help with teaching her other commands, as you will have her full attention. It also teaches Teddy to associate his name with positive reinforcement, meaning that if you need to call him from a distance, you won’t be left watching a wagging tail taking off across the park or down the beach.

Once Poppy has perfected this game and is looking at you more often, you can step it up a bit by increasing the length of time she has to look at you before the reward is given. Start by counting to five in your head before offering praise and presenting the treat, then slowly start increasing this time until she is watching you eagerly for 30 seconds.

If Buddy bolts or looks away: no praise, and no treat. If he waits it out, the treat and kind words are given.


It’s best not to play too often, or Otto may become uninterested – and too full of treats. Try three or four times in one sitting, for around four times per day until Nacho has nailed it. The best treats to use for the Two Treat Game are low calorie and high protein raw treats. Otherwise you might end up with a sluggish Scout or a chunky Coco. 

Check out our full range of New Zealand-raised raw meat treats here.

Back to blog