Anonymous asked in PetsDogs · 9 years ago

How can you train your dog using shaping?

2 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    It's pretty easy, actually, if you have a good sense of timing. I will use examples from training a formal obedience retrieve to explain.

    Basically, before each session you determine the criteria for a "hit" and slowly increase the requirements towards the actual desired behavior.

    In the first session, it should be something that the dog will do fairly naturally, that is related to the desired task. For our example, I place an obedience dumbbell on the floor and sit looking at it. When the dog sniffs it (as most dogs will do when a new thing appears on the floor), I use my marker and give a treat. I repeat until the dog has learned "the game" and is sniffing it then looking to me for their marker and treat.

    Next session, I reward for the sniff until I have that back pretty fast (usually doesn't take more than a few reps) then, I ignore the sniff. The dog will get frustrated, and so will exaggerate their behavior - my criteria for a "hit" is that their mouth has to touch it. Again, work just a few reps past when you see it "click" in their brain what they have to do.

    Next session, similarly, the new criteria is to mouth it or pick it up (depending on the dog's progress to this point).

    Next session is to come towards me with it.

    The following sessions work at the pace that the dog can handle getting them to go out, pick it up, and bring it back sitting in front of you. Since you ONLY reward the sitting in front of me holding it and the rest MUST be done to get to the rewarded behavior, you quickly have a very good retrieve.

  • 9 years ago

    A great book that utilizes shaoping (and one that I used to train my English Mastiff with great success) is Train Your Dog Like A Pro by Jean Donaldson.

    Happy shaping! :)

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