Shaping vs. Luring

Shaping vs. Luring

Training a dog is a about finding the best way to communicate with them and shaping and luring offer us two paths.

Shaping: The handler waits for the animal to do any approximation of a behavior and rewards these attempts. This method is self-directed and the handler moves through a progression of steps, each step being closer to the final goal.

Luring: The handler uses a piece of food to guide the animal through the motions of the behavior. During this method, the animal is highly dependent on the handler for guidance and direction. After the initial training, the lure is gradually removed.

Luring is typically used for the foundational behaviors, like sit, down, and stand. However, as the behaviors become more sophisticated, shaping becomes the preferred method, especially in dog sports.

Take a look at the video below and the following article about using the shaping method to teach your dog new behaviors: