Training A Puppy To 'Watch Me'!

Do you want your puppy to hang on your every word? Training a puppy to do that is easy with the 'watch me' command. Teach him this and you'll soon discover that when you speak, he listens!

Training A Puppy To Hang On Your Every Word

If your puppy is in training, the 'Watch Me!' command should, ideally, be the first lesson you teach your Cocker Spaniel.


Black cocker spaniel puppy in training, paying attention.I'm listening Mom!

Because this command teaches your Cocker Spaniel to look at you, and pay attention to you, ignoring everything and everyone else around him. At least, that's the plan!

This command helps to make all other training easier because you will have your puppy's full attention before starting another exercise.

Consistency is Key!

Before you begin teaching your puppy to listen, decide which words you'd like to use for this command.

I use 'Watch', but you can choose whatever you like, for example, 'Listen'.

Once you've decided on a word or a phrase, you and your family must use it consistently otherwise it won't work. You will be setting your dog up to fail.

Training a Puppy to Listen

Here's how:

  1. Begin by sitting in front of your puppy. Have a few tasty morsels of chicken or some of his favourite treats in your closed hand.  

    Be sure to keep them out of sight otherwise your puppy will be looking at your hand (holding the treats) and not you.

  2. If you just sit there and say nothing, he'll probably look at you 'questioningly' (is that even a word?).  If your puppy looks directly at you, quickly say the word, 'Watch' or 'Listen' (whatever floats your boat) and give him a treat. Praise him with the words, 'Watch, good boy watch' or 'Listen, good boy listen'!

  3. Repeat this puppy training exercise (steps 1 & 2) several times each day until your puppy has completely mastered this command.

  4. When you get to that stage, and he responds instantly each time, the next step is to try holding his gaze for 10 seconds before offering him a treat.

Practice, Practice, Practice!

Continue practicing this exercise, increasing the time you can hold your puppy's attention. Add a few seconds each time, gradually working up to 60 seconds or more.

If your puppy doesn't look at you, or if he looks at you but won't hold your gaze, try holding a treat up to eye level. This should keep his attention on the treat and by default, on you.

Remove the use of the treat from the exercise as soon as you feel it's practical to do so. The aim is to reward your puppy for paying attention to you and not to the treat.

Use the watch command before giving your dog any other command. This way, your Cocker Spaniel is more likely to respond well to your next command because he's already giving you his full attention.

Now that's a result, isn't it?

Now You Can Teach Your Puppy To 'Sit'!

When your puppy has mastered the 'Watch Me!' command, and he's holding your gaze for up to 60 seconds, (without being bribed with the promise of a treat) he's ready to move on to his next obedience lesson. 

The 'Sit'! command.

Training a puppy to 'Sit' on command is easy, simply follow these instructions.

Beautiful blue roan Cocker Spaniel puppy sitting in a field.I'm sitting mum, so where's my treat?

Enjoyed this page? Click 'Like'!

If you enjoyed this page, please click on the 'Like' button below and tell your friends about us. Thank you.

Like To Ask A Question or Leave A Comment?

If you have a comment or you'd like to ask a question about what you've just read, please have your say below. Looking forward to hearing from you soon!