L2 Exercise 6: Video Examples, Details and Judging Criteria

Exercise 6:   Attention to handler followed by a formal “mark”
The handler must demonstrate that the dog can (A) offer one to two seconds of eye contact in the presence of a food bowl, target object or toy, and (B) “mark” (focus forward) towards the same distraction or target for an additional one to two seconds.  The exercise may also be done in reverse order.

Purpose:   Demonstrate ability to shift focus from handler to a point forward even with distractions.

Equipment:  Food bowl, target object or toy.

Exercise set-up: Handler leaves the dog in a “stay” in any position and places the bowl, target or toy 6 feet away,  subsequently returning to the dog’s side. The exercise begins when the handler cues the dog to look up at his/her face for one to two seconds.  The handler cannot hold a sustained hand signal (if used) for the dog to maintain eye contact – the count starts when the hand cue is removed.  The dog must hold this attention for one to two seconds, after which the handler cues the dog with a verbal and/or hand signal to look towards the target for an additional one to two seconds.  The handler cannot “hold” the cue to look forwards. The count starts when the hand cue is removed (if used) and the handler stands up straight. The exercise ends when the handler releases the dog. At that point the dog may either go forward to the target, or simply end the exercise, and the handler may choose to give the reinforcement to the dog.  The exercise may also be done using focus forward first and then focus to handler.

Scoring: Pass/Not yet!

Non-qualifiers: Dog fails to make or sustain eye contact with the handler for one to two seconds on cue. Dog fails to make or sustain a “mark” for one to two seconds. Dog leaves position without being cued to do so. Handler “holds” the eye contact or “mark” cue continuously.  Video does not permit the exercise to be adequately judged.

Ensure that you are not holding your “mark” cue – your dog must demonstrate the ability to hold the mark once the hand cue is removed, while the handler stands upright.

Video Example:

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