Lure and Reward

Lure and Reward techniques are a fast and easy way of training your dog basic behaviours.
The technique shares some common ground with clicker training, and visa versa, luring can be used in clicker sessions.
The basic rules of this technique is that the dog is
LURED into performing the behaviour that we want - for example, a sit - by initially getting the dog to follow a food treat.
When he has achieved that bit of behaviour he is
REWARDED, by receiving the treat.

An Important part of treat giving, in any form of training, is that the treats are moved from the hand to the pocket, or bum bag, or dish on the chair, as soon as possible.
If this is not done, the dog will just be following the food, and not learning the behaviour. more on this further on.
Another important requirement is that the dog can take treats, given by hand, in a good mannered fashion, that is without lunging for them, or biting your fingers etc, and also preferably on command.
This is easily taught, and contains many lessons for the dog, in terms of training, and also good manners, so this little exersize is a very useful one.

Here's how its' done:

We take a tasty treat - why do treats have to be tasty? motivation - the treats used must be very appealing to the dog, try cheese, or liver, or check out these recipes HERE. - OK we take a tasty treat and hold it tightly in the fist with our knuckles pointed at the floor.
The dog knows that we have it, because he's had a sniff at our hand.

We offer the closed fist to the dog, he will lick and nibble the fingers to try and get the treat, however our fist remains tight shut.
IF you dog bites hard enough to really hurt, eg break the skin, then you have another problem, check out bite inhibition in the BEHAVIOUR Section.

If that does happen, you must let the dog know, by sayin OUCH (This will be a communication), and put the treats away immediately, turn your back on the dog, walk off, and the 'game' does not resume until at least tomorrow - the dog must know that real biting is unacceptable and will result in ending all the fun and food and good things including your attention.

Make this count - don't just do it and then resume again a little time later, this consequence has to be a major one.

OK assuming your fingers are intact, you ignore the little nibbles etc. the dog will give up trying to get it and back off slightly, at this point, you open your hand and say 'Take it', as the dog comes forward for the treat.

Now repeat, after a few times the dog will get the idea, and will know that the way to get the treat is to back off from the hand. - See the video clip below

Usually you will get a sit also, so the dog learns some manners, to sit for food, and also to Take it on Cue (command) - see below

This is shaped from the original exercise, after the dog has got the idea, use the same method, except while he is sitting, waiting for you to open your hand, just uncurl your fingers slightly, if he comes forward, tighten back up again, he will back off, so again uncurl the fingers slightly, when he's learned to wait again, then open up, say 'Take it' - Dog gets the treat.


We then do it some more with the fingers uncurling a little bit more, and gradually we have an open hand and the dog waits until we say 'Take it' before reaching for his treat


Training Treats your Dog will Love

Teaching Hugo to leave and take - Freds Way

OK, So we have a Dog that can take treats nicely from the hand, maybe even on Cue (command), now we can do some Lure & Reward Training.
To Train the Sit :-
With the dog standing, hold a treat above his nose, move it backwards over his head as he starts to move for it, the dog will naturally sit, as his bum touches the floor say 'Sit' and feed the dog the treat - sounds easy - should be no problem, however if you have a dog that jumps up for the treat - see the section above, he should be doing it automatically.
Do this a few times, and then again with a treat in each hand, the dog follows the treat above his nose, but is rewarded with the treat in the other hand.
Then the 'Training Hand' is used without a treat in it, and with a little perseverance the dog will be following the hand not the treat.
Next - the hand signal should be phased out, little by little reduce the amount of hand movement, but keep the Verbal Cue (command) 'Sit'

Lure & Reward training the Down :-
Same principal, From the sit, lure the dog with a treat under his nose, which is brought down to the floor and forward, the dog will follow this, and as he contacts the ground say 'Down' and feed the treat.
Then the treat is replaced by feeding from the other hand, and removed as soon as possible so the dog follows the hand signal, then the verbal Cue only.
And Similarly the Stand.
From the down position, hold a treat in front of the dogs nose, move it forward and up, the dog should go into the stand.
The usual problem here is that the dog sits, if so, try moving the treat further forward, he will have to stand eventually to walk to it, as soon as the dog is on all fours, say 'Stand' and treat. We then reduce the treat lure and hand signal as before.

When the dog knows all of the positions we can then get him to learn all of the transitions, ie from any position to any position.
If the dog has learned them all on cue, this should be no real problem, but if needed give some help with the luring as before.
To get all the positions, train the dog to :- From the standing position :- Sit - Down - Sit - Stand - Down - Stand.
Note: Once a behaviour has been learned, and can be reliably done on cue, the treats should then be phased out, they can be replaced with physical praise, a pat and a stroke, then replaced with verbal praise 'Good Dog' - However to keep the learned behaviour alive - throw in a treat for it now and again, throw in some fun stuff now and again, like a tuggie game, or big huggies - whatever.
Start to treat after several bits of behaviour, so you get for example a nice sit to start off, then forward, about turn, sit - then treat.
When you are starting to reduce the amount of treating, throw in a Jackpot, at random, for nothing at all - this will keep the dogs motivation going, knowing that a big payoff is pretty likely to happen - but when??


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