Training Methods Explained
Luring is a type of hands-off method where you guide your dog through a certain behavior. For instance, a food lure may be used for guiding a dog from going from sitting into a down. It is a common method of obtaining more complex behaviors. Typically lures are food. However, they can also be a target, tugs, toys, or anything else that your dog is willing to follow. It isn’t very hard to understand how to use and introduce a lure to your dog. However, knowing how to properly phase the lure out is quite important and is the hard part of learning how to lure.
Shaping is a powerful tool that will enable you to build up a new behavior in a step by step fashion that reinforces small approximations of the desired behavior until your final goal is achieved. Every step represents part of the behavior and once your dog has achieved the fist step, we will then increase the difficulty gradually until the ultimate goal has been reached.
Capturing the behavior of a dog is a highly effective method to use when you are training a dog. The animal is required to “think” about the specific situation. This method only uses behaviors that your dog freely offers. You basically will have to wait until your dog performs the desired behavior and then reward him instantly. The key is being very consistent, having great timing and repeating it numerous times. After we have captured a behavior successfully, we then pair it with a hand or verbal command. It is a fun and amazing process and one of our favorite training styles.
Molding involves guiding a dog physically or otherwise compelling him to perform a certain behavior. Pushing down on a dog’s rear while pulling on his collar is a molding method to teach him to sit. Using physical props is also included in molding, like placing a tap on your dog’s face to get him to put his paw over his nose (for a trick) or working your dog against a wall in order to teach them how to walk in a straight heel.
We do not utilize molding as a primary teaching method. However, we do make use of this tool as necessary when other methods are not successful. It is very important not to close yourself and using just one kind of training method, especially since we know that not all behavior cases or dogs are identical.