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Shaping a dog behavior

By Essential IT

Luring (showing the dog what to do such as follow a food hand around the cone) is quicker and easier to teach but shaping (where the dog believes he caused the reward to come from his action) is more strongly retained once the dog learns the desired behavior.

In this video I’m shaping Kaboom to go around the cone without any verbal command or hand signal. He is rewarded for going to the cone and each approximate intention to go closer and closer to eventually around the cone. Later once he understands the end result, I will name it “around” just as he completes the turn and later just before he goes around so it is then on verbal cue. To tell Kaboom he’s correct in doing a desired behavior, I normally would use a clicker (clicker training) to mark and release the approximations but it was too much to hold the camera, ball and food treats. So I substituted a tongue click for the clicker.


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