Sunday, 14 March 2010

Dog training methods - 2. Luring

The next step for most trainers to a more hands off type of training is to lure the dog into the behaviour using some food or a toy.

Examples of this


Hold a treat in front of the dogs nose then slowly raise it above his head. As the dogs head goes up its bum should go down


Take the treat from the dogs nose slowly down between the dogs paws then sweeping forwards along the floor


Hold treat or ball out for the dog to see.

This methods is fantastic to motivate the dog, it knows what it is going to get if it does the right thing.

Some people dont like the idea of bribing their dog to work, but sometimes we need a little boost to know what the point is

When you are at a job interview do you ask what the pay is going to be or do you just do the job in the hope the pay will be worth it??

The problems with this methods can be

The dog dosent work if he dosent see the food - this is usually a trainer error, if you ONLY give the dog a treat when you lure him and then dont ever give a treat when you dont lure him then they learn pretty quick there is no point unless you have a treat

The video above explains how to prevent that happening, getting the behaviour then quickly fading out having the lure in your hand, then fading out the hand signal.

If it is already a problem then the best thing to do is for a short while always have treats on you, then if your dog does something amazing for you you can immediately whip out a fantastic reward (no point running to the kitchen - he needs to have the reward right away) then he learns that there is always a chance of a treat and so he tries harder to get that magical treat.

People also complain that the dog learns to look to you too much with this method. This does not have to be the case. With Ben teaching the weaves I lured him, but I noticed at the end of the weave he was always looking to me for his treat

Easily sorted. As he passed the last pole I chuck the treat, then after a short while I hold back with the treat, he naturally drives ahead out of the weave looking for his treat, and I chuck it. He learns to run ahead coming out of the weave

Simples :D

This is a foundation method many trainers use, often along with other methods. It is pretty fast, it makes sense to both the human and the dog, and it makes for a happy focused dog who enjoys training times.


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