Avert eyes, Divert attention
A dog trainer gives the following advice:
If you pass a barking dog or other distraction, keep moving forward. If your dog averts its attention to the distraction, give a tug on the lead to avert the attention back to the walk at hand.
The uses of the word avert in this passage strike me as odd because, although avert has the sense of “turning,” avert suggests a turning away from something, not towards it.
avert: 1 : to turn away or aside (one’s face, eyes, thoughts) especially in order to escape something dangerous, unpleasant, or disconcerting
The dog trainer may have been reaching for the word divert:
divert: 1. trans. To turn aside (a thing, as a stream, etc.) from its (proper) direction or course; to deflect (the course of something); to turn from one destination or object to another. –OED
The word avert suggests a turning away in the sense of moving one’s body:
She averted her face from the stranger.
or preventing something bad from happening:
With courage and skill the pilot averted a fatal crash.
Traffic is diverted. Disaster is averted.
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