Getting your dog’s attention in all circumstances is the first, and possibly the most important, thing to teach your dog. Learning to immediately look at you when called could well save her life, so let’s make paying attention worthwhile for her.
Begin at home. Each morning, fill a small bag or your pocket with some love’em beef liver treats (or puppy rewards for a new addition to the household). Randomly, during the day (preferably when your dog is close at hand and not distracted by something else) call your dog’s name in an excited voice. When she looks at you, smile and say ‘good’ to mark the behaviour you want and reward with a treat immediately. It is so important that you reward immediately (within 1 second) so that your dog learns to associate the right behaviour with the reward. Remember , behaviour that gets rewarded gets repeated.
Once your dog has mastered this in the house and consistently looks at you when you call his name, move your dog outside to a more challenging environment such as the yard, the car and finally the park with all those interesting distractions around. It’s important to build up in this way to slowly increase the distractions to make it easier for your dog to learn.