Luring a dog behaviour is a positive dog training technique used to teach your GSD basic commands. This method is fast and does not involve any pushing around.
Dogs are opportunists!
By using food to your advantage, you teach your GSD many things simply by following your hand/treat.
Note that even though you are using a treat as both a lure and a reward, a lure is used to produce a behaviour whereas the reward is used to reinforce the behaviour. A reward is given AFTER the behaviour is done!
Now you can move your hand around and make your pet do different things. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Move the treat very slowly towards your GSD’s eyes. You will notice that he/she will sit as his/her head goes up (and his/her bottom goes down). As soon as he/she does this – mark and treat!
Start with your GSD in a sitting position. Move the treat down to the floor, slowly. Your GSD will follow the treat down and might just plop down all the way – mark and treat!
Start with your GSD in a down position, move the treat to the side of his head slowly until he turns all around – mark and treat!
Instead of pushing your GSD off the furniture, screaming, yelling, or getting upset, use a treat to lure your GSD off the furniture – mark and treat as soon as he/she is off!
Luring a dog behaviour is a basic method to start training your pet.
Luring a dog behaviour should only be used the first 3-5 repetitions when you start training a new command after this, you need to “fade the lure”; this means to teach your GSD to follow your empty hand. In time, your -empty- hand movement will become a hand signal. After that, switch to capturing or use a hand signal or verbal cue to elicit the behaviour.
You can use luring to train many dog commands and tricks. Anything that can be elicited with your dog following a treat can become a cue.
For example:: You are walking your GSD who spots/sees a running cat or rabbit, instead of yelling and pulling on the leash to prevent your GSD from reacting, use a lure. As chasing small critters is an extremely fun thing to do, you need to ensure that the treat is something your GSD finds hard to resist, placing it directly under the GSD’s nose and to distract him/her.
Important: ONLY release that treat once your GSD is focusing on you and not its prey! DO NOT release to treat while he/she is still focused on the prey as this would only reinforce the unwanted behaviour by rewarding him/her for the opposite of what you intended!
Caution: When you overuse a lure to get your GSD’s attention he/she will learn that no matter what you say, he/she can wait until you come and put a treat under his/her nose. Using a lure to get your GSD’s attention should only be used sporadically and in critical situations.
Luring a dog behaviour is a great way to move your GSD around without physical interventions. Here are a few examples of when to use luring:
Using treats is really bribing – Not really. You are simply rewarding desired behaviour.
I will always need treats to get my GSD to do what is asked of it – This is NOT true. Your GSD can and will respond even if you don’t use treats Read how to use food treatsHow to use food treats and non food treat for rewards for GSDs for more information.