Reversed Luring – Our Favorite Training Aid

Self-control through reversed luring

One of the foundations of the clicker philosophy is to that the dog should learn to think by itself, especially in the learning phase. We want the dog to figure out how to do different things, solve different problems our figure out how to do a certain behavior by trial and error. (That’s what we call offered or voluntary behavior). We then reward the dog for each step in the right direction – and all of a sudden we’ve got a behavior that the dog often does and does with great confidence. But we don’t have to shape every behavior the dog needs to learn like this. We can for example use different kinds of training aids when we find that to be more helpful. Some training aids can be difficult to get rid off though, so we think it through carefully before using an aid. But there are some aids that are almost brilliant and one of those are reversed luring.

In the gun dog work self-control is everything. It’s impossible to do any hunting if the dog cannot control itself. She has to be able to endure a lot of distractions, like watching birds fall, guns fired and other dogs working.

Reversed luring is a mixture of training aid and “think for yourself”-exercise. The goal is that the dog should do the opposite of being lured – that is control herself and be still (or continue doing whatever it was she was doing when the reversed luring was presented)

Here’s a short video of Elsa teaching Hamlet reversed luring for the first time:

Earlier I’ve written about how I combine the fast sits (stop whistle) and steadiness by using reversed luring. You can read about that in the post “Stop whistle and steadiness – from full speed to full stop” and there you can also so a video of how I’ve trained with Tassla. In that video I also show how you can transfer this way of thinking to a toy.

Just remember to be quite when you do this exercise. Reward with your voice as well, but NEVER say no or give any other stop cue. The whole point is that the dog should think for herself and make the choice to control herself.

In the end we also want the dog to actively disregard distractions when it’s working at full speed, a sort of self-control while moving. Reversed luring is just the beginning of this journey. Here Diesel shows how she actively disregards the distracting hamburger to take the dummy:Diesel

Use your imagination when training self-control! Just remember not to make it to difficult i the beginning and start with the distraction far away from the dog. We want man successful repetitions here as well. By the end of this training session Diesel got to eat the hamburger since she had been doing so well not eating it before. By controlling herself she got what she wanted!

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