I use shaping rather than luring with food in my dog training. In the 80s, I was taught to food lure and correct, learned to do it well, and luring brought me a lot of success in obedience and agility. Luring can have benefits, but I decided to change. When I say I don't lure, it always gets a lot of comments and questions on social media, so in this episode, I'm covering the top ten reasons I prefer shaping.

In the episode you'll hear:

  • The advantages of luring, how it can be easy to teach people, and its popularity.
  • What I heard from my mentors Bob and Marian Bailey about luring.
  • How my dog Shelby gave me my first “ah ha” about luring.
  • About a class I took at University and what I learned about backwards conditioning.
  • A review of Pavlov’s experiment with bells, food, and dogs.
  • What happens in dog agility and other sports with luring and dogs who love to chase.
  • How luring can turn into bribing the dog, and that dopamine kicks in at choice points.
  • What I noticed about motivation and treat bags when I was teaching dog trainers in Japan.
  • About pattern training and its relation to luring dogs.
  • How the value dogs have for the food can override everything.
  • The reason to know what you are reinforcing when your dog sees the cookie.
  • That shaping gives us layers to create complex behaviors.
  • Why I think shaping can become part of our whole life.