Try a different sound, like a whistle or clap of hands to get their attention. Sometimes a squeaker out of a toy or a dog whistle is a good attention getter. Maybe you could say a trigger word, like "bye-bye" or something like that. Just don't use the word too often, these doodles are smart and will catch on in a hurry!
These are some lessons I posted awhile back that might work for you.
These exercises are dual purpose:
1.Teach your dog to control his/her desire to "take" anything that is not "offered" to them by YOU. Since we cannot possibly ALWAYS be with/supervising our dogs, they must learn to control their natural desire to "go for it."
2.Bonding. The ultimate goal of these exercises is to reinforce eye-to-eye communication between you and your dog.
-Put a treat in each hand and make fists. Hold fists, palm up, at eye level to your dog. Your dog will sniff, paw, etc, etc to get to the treat. DO NOT CORRECT THE BEHAVIOR, VERBALLY OR PHYSICALLY. This part is really hard for me because in obedience, we were taught to always use "ahh--ahh" or "no".
-When your dog exhibits "losing interest" in the treat by looking away (OR BETTER YET, LOOKING AT YOU) open your fist and tell your dog to "take it."
-As your dog begins to develop self-control over the treat, begin lowering the treat below his/her eyes.
-In one of the last steps, the treat is lowered to the floor. At this point, most dogs will lie down to be near the treat. Ultimately, the treat is placed on the paws of the laying-down dog, and will remain on the paws until he dog breaks its attention from the treat and looks, hopefully, at your eyes for permission to take the treat.
-Same concept as above, but have dog in a sit and hold treat over their head.
Place several small dishes around a 15' x 15' area. Place a treat in each dish. With your dog on short lead (I actually held Dakota's collar because he is tall), let him explore the area but DO NOT allow him to take a treat until he loses interest in it; then offer it. Again, DO NOT correct if he/she tries to get the treat, just gently restrain.
THE PALM GAME
Move your open hand around, side front, etc. and when your dog touches his/her nose to your palm (not fingers) offer a treat BUT offer the treat at the point you want him/her to touch. (In other words, touch the treat to your palm and offer it there.) Do this repeatedly but unpredictably and it becomes a game. The goal is to get your dog constantly watching you for that palm to come out.
WORKING IN A CIRCLE
Walk you dog on a loose lead but restrain him/her to walk within the length of your arm in any direction: front, back or side of you.
Thank you for posting those Diane! I have worked extensively with making them wait before taking food (I have Kirby up to waiting with a treat on the floor and not taking it until I tell him to). I need to work on the last few you listed. Those exercises really work well!
I think I read somewhere about someone doing training where they would call the dog and as soon as the dog made eye contact you praise and treat. Gradually you build up so that the eye contact lasts longer than a few seconds.
we did this in obedience school: "watch." i use it when she's sitting at a busy street corner or when i need her attention. i'll say "shaia, watch!" and then give a treat. to teach it, just get them sitting, hold the treat and say dog's name and "watch!" then give a treat. do over and over. she got it in about 10 minutes. has been VERY useful, esp when there are distractions. but she'll do ANYTHING for food
I use the word "focus" and move my hand with a treat from Charlie's face up to eye level. He automatically follows the treat and then makes eye contact. This is one of the earliest "tricks" we used with him.
Hmmm... Ozzie made eye contact from day one, he didn't have to be trained. It's one of the reasons I chose him. Unfortunately, now he's trying to hypnotize me... and sometimes daggers come flying out of those diabolical eyes.