Building New Behaviour




There are several ways we can build new behaviour. These include luring, targeting, shaping and capturing.

When training your dog you will likely use a combination of methods. It’s a great idea to practice each technique and see what works best for you and your dog. You’ll probably find different methods will get you quicker results depending on the exercise you’re training.

Luring involves getting your dog to do a behaviour by following a treat. It’s quick for showing your dog what to do, but runs into problems if your dog is so focused on the food they don’t fully realise what they did to get rewarded. Targeting involves getting your dog to follow your empty hand or an object instead and can help your dog understand their actions better, but they may still rely on being shown what to do. Shaping involves rewarding your dog for small steps in behaviour and is great for getting them to think for themselves but can be frustrating if the steps are too big or they are used to being shown what to do. Capturing is perfect for rewarding complete behaviours your dog naturally offers, but success relies on it being offered frequently in order to be effective.

As you train new behaviours with your dog, think about which method will be best in each situation. Practice using each of the methods so that you and your dog have multiple options when it comes to building new skills.

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