Luring is an easy dog training method! You simply place food in the dog’s face and lead the dog to make the choices that you want the dog to make. Luring has its drawbacks though. Luring puts the teacher in the position that the cue is the body motion of the lure. Putting a behavior on a verbal cue is a really slow process when we lure while we say the verbal cue. The dog has all the information that they need with the lure! They have no reason to listen to the verbal cue being spoken. If you are training your dog to sit and you say sit while you give a hand signal, then your hand signal will overshadow your verbal cue. To dogs our movements are much more evident than our voice. When we give a hand signal while we give a verbal cue, the hand signal overshadows or hides the verbal cue. Some dogs can see the pairing of the verbal cue with the hand signal for years and still not understand the verbal cue alone. Try this. Try to separate the verbal cue from the hand signal. Say the verbal cue (new cue) followed by the hand signal (old cue). When we plan on doing 2 behaviors one after the other, then our body will want to do them at the same time. When we say a cue while we move, the movement is overshadowing the verbal cue which prevents the dog from learning the verbal cue quickly. It isn’t easy but it is really important that we say the verbal cue without moving. Then immediately do the hand signal. Give it a try! Your dog will thank you for the cue clarity! If you want more cue clarity and fluency games, check out our online class “Simon says Just cue it!” enrolling now for the April 2017 term.
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