Using a food lure is a basic component of any positive reinforcement training plan. It gives us a valuable tool to help teach our dog behaviors and cues, and even modify behavioral problems. By teaching our dogs to follow a food lure, we can achieve our training goals more efficiently and keep training time fun for us and our pups!
What you need
A hungry dog
Food Treats (pea-sized, a whole lot)
Plenty of patience!
The Food Lure Exercise
This exercise should be taught in an area where your dog is comfortable, and there are no distractions. Your dog should be standing close to you.
- Put a treat in the palm of your hand and close your fist around it.
- Put your closed fist, containing the treat, on your dog’s nose and let him have a good sniff.
- When your dog has noticed the treat and shown interest, slowly move your hand away from the dog’s nose just enough to get him to step forward to follow your hand.
- The moment your dog’s nose touches your moving hand, give your reward word (“Yes!”) and open your hand to give the treat.
- If your dog doesn’t follow the treat, give the no-reward sound (“eh-eh”). Turn your back to your dog for a few seconds, then try again. If your dog still isn’t interested enough to follow your baited hand, you need to choose a tastier treat!
Using this exercise, gradually ask your dog to keep his nose on your hand for longer amounts of time and more movements before offering the reward word and food treat. The Food Lure will be the tool we use to guide your dog into positions like Sit, Down, and Focus.