Luring a behaviour is something that is often criticised by balanced trainers.
It’s often seen as a bad thing, and I think that’s unfair.
Its actually an effective way to teach new behaviour.
And the way in which most pet owners teach their dog their basic commands
Luring is simply teaching your dog to follow the food in a way that gets him to do what you want.
When teaching a dog to sit, you might hold the treat on the dogs nose and move it upwards until the dogs rear is on the floor.
Thats because the only way the dog can keep his eye on the treat is to put his bottom on the floor. Then he gets his treat. This is luring!
Most dogs are food motivated.
That’s why luring works really well.
Food makes the dog feel good.
And when dogs feel good while doing a behaviour, the more they will do it!
When your dog knows what to do quickly, you can move on to adding the cue word.
Then when your dog knows the cue, begin to fade the visual cues.
Luring is a good way to teach the basics
But if you really want to up the ante and get awesome behaviours, luring is not the choice for you.
Luring rely’s heavily on using the handlers body language.
Which often means the dog needs to see BIG hand gestures before choosing to do the behaviour.
When you use big gestures, it takes time to fade them away and teach the dog to rely on voice command only.
Luring creates a dog who is always looking, or needs to be told what to do.
If you are going down a dog sport route (agility, flyball, obedience etc) then you will want a dog who is a little more independent and able to think for themselves.
Shaping or capturing may be for you.
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