If you’re clients of mine, you’ve heard me say “baiting is bad” and you’ve probably heard me say “luring is bad.” You also hear me say a lot “get your hand out of the pouch.” I do believe that baiting and luring your dog to obey, as long-term techniques, is a bad idea. Baiting and Luring are bad long-term techniques at communicating to your dog what you want them to do. However, baiting and luring as long-term techniques to proof your dogs trained behaviors and make them better and more resilient to distractions is a fantastic long-term technique.
Let me explain, a lot of times when I’m training a dog, I like to keep things as simple as possible. I like using place training as a start for dogs because it is a simple exercise. Any time I set up this exercise, here’s what I’m trying to set up. First, I like to tell the dog “when you’re on the bed and laying down, you get a lot of reward for getting and maintaining that.” However, I also want to contrast that by telling the dog “when you come off, all of those rewards you were enjoying on the bed go away.” As I’ve been doing this over the years, one thing I’ve started to do in the beginning is to use those rewards to show the dog how amazing it is. Then, I will bait and lure the dog to make a mistake to come off the bed, because when they do, I deny them the ability to get that reward. I then will use the leash to guide them back so they understand what the leash actually means. As I do this in a variety of circumstances, baiting and luring them with what they want, the dog learns how to trust me to get the rewards.
As part of that process, one of the things I do, once the dog has kind of figured out not to come off the bed to get the food, is the moment they look at me I’ll say “good dog” then grab a piece of food and give it to them while on the bed. I continue to reinforce that by saying “good dog” then reach for food and give it to them and I keep repeating the praising, reaching, feeding, then petting. As I do that, within just a few moments, from most dogs, I’ll get amazing eye contact because the dog realizes “every time this guy talks, and I’m staying, I get a reward.”
Baiting and luring can really help to show your dog what their mistake is, that they won’t be able to get the reward, and it can also help them focus on you more in the face of a distraction. It will help them understand that paying attention to you is a great way to get the reward.
If you have questions about what that looks like, I do have a YouTube channel, and I’m also on Facebook and Instagram. If you want to see some of these things, you should go check those out. My YouTube Channel is “Longoriahaus Dog Training” and my Instagram handle is @althedogtrainer, and Facebook is Longoriahaus Dog Training. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me by text if you have any questions or need help finding a particular piece of content (832)734-5189.