Monday, April 9, 2012

Training Tips: Part 2 of Clicker Training

Part 2 of Clicker Training

To refresh your memory, or start at part 1, head on over to Clicker Training

Capturing takes patience and sometimes can take a long time. Ryker will scratch himself on cue. Raygen will sneeze on cue. Rylie will kick her rear legs on cue. Ryddick will bow on cue. All behaviors that I have are captured. The dog does the behavior on its own and you c/t. If you don't have a clicker handy use a marker word and treat. I pretty much don't use the clicker to long and add a verbal cue very early on.

Shaping is for dogs and handlers that are a bit more clicker savvy. It is also called the Thorndike Method. Wait for a behavior to happen, reward the behavior, add a cue while the behavior is happening.
Start by making a plan (in your head). Visualize how the end behavior looks like and break it down into many smaller steps. For example... End behavior is a nose touch to your hand... present the hand near the dogs nose and even the tiniest movement (ear, nose, eyes, muscle) gets a click and a treat (c/t). Sooner or later the dog will figure out that you want his nose to touch the hand.
Some trainers have been rushing Shaping and the steps in training are to big. Kay Laurence, master clicker trainer, started to give it a new name.... micro-shaping. That way nobody can say they didn't understand how small the steps were supposed to be.

Here is a video Astrid has done with her dog Ryker, using shaping to get him to hold a dumbbell. 

 See some of the fun stuff she has taught her dogs! 

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