Thursday, December 17, 2009

Shaping Tricks

We are working tricks for the holiday season. First up, I'm working on a left turn. I have a right turn and what you might notice in the videos is that one of the first behaviors she offers me is the right turn. I had shaped that about a month ago, put a cue on it and do not reward it unless I cue it. However, since it is one of the last things we worked on, she still offers it.

I wanted a strong right before starting the left.

In this first session, you can see how amazing this stuff is. Even though I have terrible timing, my food delivery is somewhat chaotic, she still is excited to work and eventually figures out what I want!

When she gets frustrated you can hear her growly voice. In the beginning I do my talking with the clicker. When she starts offering the behavior over and over, I also reward with my voice (last video).

Often I get frustrated in shaping behaviors when I haven't thought out what I'm going to do. For example I really want to work on more tricks, but Fin needs them broken down. She will not continue to offer if I am not clear on what I want. She will bark, lie down, back up, lie down, and bark some more. I believe what I need is more of a written plan. This is why I'm working on right turn right now. It is a relatively easy one for her to do as she naturally has these moving behaviors.

Each of the sessions today lasted between 1-3 minutes. In between the sessions, we played tug and retrieve for 2-5 minutes. I went into these sessions with a plan to break down the turn into just a look, then a turn of the shoulder, with feet movement, then more turn, then finally all the way around.

We did get there after 3 session today. No cue yet, I think I'll work this a few more times and in multiple places before adding a cue. After adding the cue "right" then I'll start to ask for multiple behaviors so that she learns the difference between them.

This last video, I get a little too enthusiastic. I generally like to keep quiet during shaping sessions, but I couldn't help myself. I was so excited that we got "behavior" in 3 sessions today that I was "good girly" a little too much.

Other things that I am working on right now are retrieve, backup, situp, and my recall.

1 comment:

Elf said...

It's not just "the most recent" thing that the dogs will start out doing by default. In my experience, it's usually the *first* thing they learned! So for example Jake always offered the paw for Shake. Tika tends to do lefts and rights. First tricks they learned.

Keep at it!