#30daysofcaninescience *Day 2*

Our second mission is the low arousal lure. It means that the dog is supposed to focus on a treat (that is removed later on). I have often used this way of attaining a behaviour. But it is all in the details and I normally make my dogs follow the treat very closely to get precision. This time it’s supposed to be a few centimeters between the lure and the dogs nose. 

I have used the tight lure because I found it easier to be exact in catching very small movements of the head (which can in turn make the dog turn the whole body). However, I realise that this precision can also be attained even with the gap by being very consistent in the dogs movement towards the treat. It has to always look exactly at it, and if it looks away slightly, I will restart the trial. 

I think that this might be hard for trainers that are not used to being very consistent. I have found that most people accept that the dog looks away, gets ahead or just focus on the side. So it might be a challenge to make my students do this. 

I find it interesting that the details are important for the continuation of building a behaviour chain. 

Here is a video of my normal lure, that I now call the ”Tight lure”.


Underneath you will find a list of pros and cons that I can think of with the different techniques. 

  • Pros

    This icon will be used to indicate Pros

  • Cons

    This symbol will be used to indicate Cons

Low Arousal Lure

  • Target removal

    I can see that it's easier to remove something that's not as visible.

  • Avoiding pain

    This way is better for dogs that has a tendency to nibble or bite with a closer lure.

  • Control

    Since you spend more time on the criteria I think that you will become more in control of the behaviour.

  • Consistency

    I find it hard to teach people to be very consistent in the way they teach things. This lure is working for precision only if it's well within the criteria: "focus and stability".

  • Heelwalking

    I like having a specific focus point in my heelwalks and there would be too much distance between me and the focus point if there was a distance between the nose and the treat.

  • Inverse luring

    My dogs are used to "Inverse Luring" (to focus on not taking the treat). This becomes very similar and I think that's why my dogs find it a bit difficult. The only difference would be the way I hold my hand.

Tight Lure

  • Easier to teach

    I find it easier to show and teach a tight lure since the goal is very obvious. It's easier to keep the criteria the same at all times.

  • Control

    It's easier to control small head movements without spending so much time on teaching the precision in the lure.

  • Target removal

    The target is very obvious to the dog and a clear plan is needed to remove it.

  • Nibbling

    It's a lot of dogs that are very prone to nibbling. This might interfere with the training since the owner gets frustrated.

  • Awareness

    The lure is very close and the dog might not be very aware of what it's doing as when there is a distance.


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