Introduction to Luring




There are many ways we can teach a dog new behaviours. One option is to use luring. Luring is where your dog follows something they would like – usually a small treat between your fingers – in order to complete a desired action. They are given the treat as a reward. This is a simple but effective way to build behaviour quickly and if fun for your dog.

Start by holding a treat between your thumb and fingers. Show your dog and move it slowly away from their nose so that they follow it by moving their body. Be sure to keep it close to your dog’s nose – if the gap widens at any point, bring the food close again and move more slowly.

You will want to mark and reward your dog every step to begin with before lengthening the distance that your dog will happily follow the lure before you reward them.

You can move the lure in different directions to get your dog to change direction or at different heights to encourage your dog to shift position. Movin the food in an upward arc will prompt your dog to sit, and moving it low will get them to lie down.

It’s important to note that when luring your dog can become really fixated on the food. THis can sometimes overshadow the behaviour you are trying to teach.If you want your dog to eventually do the behaviour without food in your hand, it is important to fade out the food lure as soon as possible when teaching.

After a couple of repetitions of luring the behaviour with food, repeat the action without food in your hand. Your dog will follow as before and you can mark and reward them with food from your pocket or treat pouch instead. This will teach your dog that even though they can’t see the food, they will still be rewarded for their efforts.

This builds trust and helps keep your dog’s motivation to work with you high.

If your dog is struggling at any point, you can absolutely drop back to an easier stage or reintroduce the lure for a few repetitions as needed.

It’s also important to keep training sessions short and fun. If your dog gets tired, they won’t be able to learn as effectively and might get frustrated.

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