We are going to do this with a concept of training called “lure training”. If you have a new dog or puppy, this is especially valuable to you because it’s the fastest, most humane and effective way to teach your dog how to do these basic things.
Lure training is where we encourage our dog to get into a certain position by encouraging them to move into that position with like a treat or a toy or something that they are willing to voluntarily follow.
Contrary to what almost people think, you can actually teach your dog how to do lots of things at the same time. In fact, I encourage it to keep their brain active and it’s really good to keep our dog really happy and enthusiastic about what they are learning.
The reason that lure training is fantastic is because it teaches our dogs to think rather than making them do something. And, when our dogs are thinking about how to do something, that is real dog training! Making them physically do something, that’s not training.
However, understand that when working on lure training, it’s not just about the dog, but the relationship with our dogs. One of my biggest mistakes in dog training that I’ve watched is that people just throw the treat at their dog rather than acknowledging that bond and relationship. You can do both!
How to carry out lure training
First thing first, you need to find out the lure. It should be something that your dog really likes and readily to follow it. Besides, the lure will play its best part if your dog is a little bit hungry, or at least, not when he/she has just had his/her meal.
To make him/her sit, place the lure in his/her nose.
To make him/her lie down, again, nice and slowly low down the lure, your dog will follow it and bend down their body and finally, when they lie down entirely, reward her.
Now, why do you think we should reward him/her there? Because he/she is on the right track! If our dog is on the right track, let them know that you like it. Don’t insist in a 100% success right of the top. I mean to accomplish anything great, it’s accomplished in steps, lots of baby steps.
Aside from rewarding your dog, don’t forget to give him/her compliments and show off your expressions on how you like him/her to do that, like petting and kissing.
Another important thing is when your dog already follows your demand, say it out. For example, when you want your dog to lie down and after he/she already does it, say “Lie Down” and then reward them.
I’m not saying that you have to say “Lie Down” continuously when your dogs is on his/her way to do that, but just after they already carry out that command successfully, say “Lie Down” and reward.
The action of saying continuously is really not making sense. Let them know what they are doing as they are doing it when teaching anything new, does that make sense?
Remember that! This is the key. Just call out the command when your dog really succeeds in doing it. And if he/she doesn’t do it perfectly, just say “Almost” and wait until he/she completes it to reward.
That’s it! They are not in trouble, you are not being harsh but you still let them know what you want.
Now, with a roll over, after making your dog lie down, slowly and gently move the lure over their head, to their back and move to the other side. It’s a circle and they will follow it to roll over. Say out the command and reward them.
What to do if your dog is unfocused?
Most people don’t realize it but there is a single thing that you can do dramatically increase the odds that your dog will listen to you, especially around distractions. Higher energy dogs are typically more challenging to teach the concepts we are going over.
Three principles that you need to keep in mind to start teaching your dog to listen to you when they are distracted.
Now, the training will be better if you take them inside because it’s more likely to be a little bit more familiar to him than outside where there is so much smell and many distractions. Remember that when we are introducing a new concept to our dog, we want to do it in a less distracting environment.
The very first thing I would like to teach any dog is how to look at me in the eye as if you can get your dog’s eyes, you can communicate with them much easier. This is really simple, take a lure and let they know about it.
Feed them a small piece of lure to get them a little motivated. Now, hold another piece of lure near your eyes until you catch your dog’s eyes, simply say “Yes” and reward them to let them know that lure coming to him, does it make sense? Repeat it a few times. Now, try it with nothing in your hand, place your finger near your eyes to catch your dog attention, when you catch their eyes, say “Yes” and reward them.
Again, repeat it a few times until your dog gets acquainted to this command.
Now, I would like to show you how to teach our dog to leave the lure alone on the ground when we drop it in front of them.
This is called “Inside-Out Dog Training” which helps to motivate your dog to listen from within rather than physically manipulating them. Whenever you teach your dog something new, it’s so important to not ask for the moon.
Now, you need to place the lure in your palm. When your dog comes and try to eat it, close your palm. They will try their best to have it but you also have to patiently close your palm until they give up already.
Once he can do that, say “Yes” and open your palm, feed the dog and sincerely encourage them to let them how much you love and appreciate them.
Repeat this first step for a couple of times to get your dog familiar to it. Next, the second step – leave the lure alone on the ground. Now, drop the lure on the ground and quickly cover it by your palm because you know that he/she will surely go for it.
Don’t give them the benefit of the doubts, keep covering it up again and again until your dog backs off it, you will need to pick up the treat, say “Yes” and give it to him. By this way, your dog will understand that when he gets a reward, it’s from you, not from the one on the ground.
This step is much harder so, you have to patiently wait for them to stop being so persistent, show some restraint and then, say “Yes”, pick up the lure and I’m going to give it to him.
Now, repeat this step. Drop the lure on the ground, wait for about a half of second, if he shows restraint, say “Yes” while pick up the lure and give it to him. In the next few times, wait for a little bit longer time and repeat such these steps.
Besides, if you’re dog is too energetic to run around, to keep him in your area, take advantage of a leash and while bending your knee to train your dog, use one foot to keep the leash.
You can make it more challenging by dropping two pieces of lure on the ground. If he can’t wait, repeat the process until he’s sure to keep restraint.
At the end of each concept of training, don’t forget to encourage him sincerely to show your love.
Combine the challenges
I have just shown you how to make him look at you and how to make him leave the lure alone on the ground. But now, it’s the real magic happened as we are going to combine the two – leave it alone and look at me.
Take note that you will need to come back to this exercise again and again in one form or another to help your dog remember it to the bottom of their heart.
Why is this such a powerful important combo?
Well, when you drop of a piece of real meat in front of your dog and not only expect them to leave it alone but to then, take their eyes off the meat and look at you instead, that is how you set them up for future distraction training. See? The meat is a minor distraction, if you want them to listen to you around a barking dog or a squirrel running across the road, you have to make sure that you can get her eyes on you in this situation first. Does it make sense?
The first few times, practice the eye contact training and then, “Don’t touch” training – place the lure near your eyes until you catch his eyes, then, drop it on the ground, and then reward them.
Next, expand the exercise by catching his eye contact, drop the lure on the ground, wait a little bit, pick it up and make him look at you, then reward him.
Once your dog carries out these exercises pretty well, it’s time to take him outside where there are a lot of distractions. Repeat the process and also, remember the process:
- Leash the dog and keep him in your area
- Start with eye contact training
- Move to the “Don’t touch” training when he’s already done the first exercise.
- Combine the challenges
You need to understand that your dog is really high in energy and the outside is really attractive for them where there are a lot of smells, subjects and distractions. So, what you need to equip yourself is high patience. Don’t show off any signs of tiring, or giving it up too early or punish/yell at your dog. This will ruin the whole training process.
Besides, keep training him day by day if possible to make him learn it by heart and become one of his instinct.
These are 6 of the most basic and easiest things every dog owner should learn to train theirs at home. In the next article, I’m going to guide you how to teach your furry to walk in front of your house back and forth and rewarding your dog. Besides, don’t forget to go through my playlist to follow more useful and easy instruction to teach your dog to be a good boy/good girl. Thanks for spending time with me!