I have no skills at....

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by LostAndConfused, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. LostAndConfused

    LostAndConfused Active Member

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    I can't shape. Cannot do it. I don't know where the communication break down is, but Hudson would much rather be lured into a behavior. Anyone else? Were you able to teach your dog to shape? Any hints, tips, suggestions?
     
  2. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    Start with just clicking whatever. And then when he starts doing a particular behavior, and it could really be anything like looking to the left or right, start clicking that more heavily. It does take a while for a dog that's been lured exclusively to grasp the fact that they're controlling the click, but when they do understand that, it becomes much easier.

    It took Indy a very very long time to understand what shaping was. She'd been lured or yanked into compliance before I got her, and had no idea what the click meant. She's still not as good as Enzo who I started clicker training at 9 months, but she's slowly getting there.

    I really apologize if this is no help at all, I really shouldn't be on the internet right now lol.
     
  3. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    I agree completely with CharlieDog.

    It's hard the first few times you do it, for you and the dog. The dog doesn't understand what you want and your patience only goes so far. It's SO hard not to just tap something, or move your hand a little bit this way. You just KNOW that if you lure you can get him to follow your hand in seconds.

    I get it. Completely.

    But, let me tell you, it's so worth it. Once you make that break through, once your able to not help or guide him and he figures out that his actions are solely responsible for getting the reward all these possibilities open up. But, you gotta muscle through the first few times. You gotta grit your teeth when you click and he's like "Huh?" and when you so bad want to just shift to get his attention back.

    I really like with mine to start with something that they can interact with that they haven't seen before or that often. A box, a book on the ground, a frisbee, a stool etc. Something that they will want to interact with because it's new. And like Charliedog said, click for any interaction with it. I mean, an ear flick at it if you must. A lot of things I shape start with a shift of their weight.

    Keep it short. Especially when you first start. Don't fall for the "Just one more time getting it right". End before the attention wanes, especially with a puppy (a boy at that :p ) Don't jump to new criteria too fast and don't be afraid to go back if they are getting frustrated and not rewarded. You want them attempting things and having fun.

    And if you start getting frustrated? Stop. Walk away. I like to also have music on when I'm training, it helps keep me focused and upbeat (Will also help for those long stretches of not moving when you first are starting)

    Just remember, training is supposed to be fun for both of you guys, don't go in it with a "We are going to do THIS" in mind or you'll come out disappointed.
     
  4. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    It does take a long time for dogs to "get" shaping, and it has to be approached the right way. It's not an easy thing to get the swing of, but once you do, it's totally worth it.
     
  5. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    I agree with starting with some sort of prop, that way you and the dog both have very obvious criteria, not teeny tiny changes in the dog's body.
     
  6. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    Merlin is about Hudson's age and with us, it was hard at first, but using a prop SERIOUSLY helped. (that said, Merlin has never been good at luring. He doesn't know what his body is doing when he is following food, with shaping, HE GETS IT)

    I started with him standing on a book. Once he "got" that every time his paw hit the book, it went from there. At first I clicked for him licking the book, biting it, JACKPOT for when he put his paw on it (to chew on it lol) then SUPER JACKPOT for just the paw. Then two paws. Then he was standing on it lol
    It gets so much easier once they realize that what they are doing can make the click.
    From 2 paws on the book.. we started working on body movements (/down) and now his down is solid :)

    and short sessions helped with both our patience. He gets half his lunch and works for the other half in handfuls every 15 minutes or so for like 5 minutes.

    We use "touch" to reset him when things get frustrating. It's something he knows.. and gets his body in a neutral position.
     
  7. Babyblue5290

    Babyblue5290 Happy Meal. Yum.

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    I feel your pain! I suck at shaping with Art especially, but even with Talon. Art's always been lured so he had no idea what to do except sit there and stare at me, and then bark, and stare, and bark, and over and over again. I honestly gave up! >_< With Talon I'm trying and it's starting to work, but it's really hard learning a new technique! All I have is good luck and don't give up! :)
     
  8. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    We've practically shaped everything with Rosey... before shaping was "cool" ;) it just was what was natural to us, though :lol-sign:
     
  9. meepitsmeagan

    meepitsmeagan Meagan & The Cattle Dog Crew

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    I have to pretty much tie my hands behind my back so that I don't point at things. It is terrible. I can't wait to start fresh with a puppy. Hopefully I will actually stick to my guns instead of doing the "this one time won't hurt anything" deal.
     
  10. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    I think everybody fumbles a bit when they first start shaping. Just keep at it! It will be worth it!!
     
  11. skittledoo

    skittledoo Crazy naked dog lady

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    I keep my hands behind my back and even click behind my back because otherwise I'll catch myself luring. Luring is what comes naturally to me though, but Cricket is starting to get the hang of free shaping. Bamm still doesn't get it and will get frustrated so I'm taking the shaping thing slow with him. Joey doesn't understand luring that well OR shaping really so he's a tough cookie to work with, but he'll catch on eventually I'm sure of it.

    Right now when it comes to learning to free shape, I'm really really focusing on Cricket. She has a lot more patience with me than the boys and she is so eager to make that clicker click which is why I think she is catching on to the shaping so much faster than the boys.

    This is a fun learning experience for me honestly. I've always lured most of my stuff so the shaping thing is still a bit foreign to me and a super test on my patience. I really feel like shaping will advance myself as a trainer though so I'm pushing through it even though I do get frustrated at times.

    As was mentioned, if you get frustrated just walk away for a bit. If I get frustrated I just ask for a behavior my dog knows already to end that session positively and then come back to work on the behavior that was frustrating me after I've had a chance to recollect myself. I like the idea of playing music in the background too. Haven't tried that, but since I tend to get frustrated easily when I'm training I might have to give that a shot.
     
  12. meepitsmeagan

    meepitsmeagan Meagan & The Cattle Dog Crew

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    Rider seems to have issues when a new object is thrown into the mix. It's almost like he gets stuck and can't get past that our "usual" tool isn't there. I normally use a plate, but will switch it up to a small metal bowl and he just lays down and doesn't know what to do.

    Any tips on how to get him to generalize shaping?
     
  13. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    Do what works!!!

    I shape and I lure depending on what i want.


    For eg. Bodhi does "bad dog!" Where she buries her nose under her paw. We spent fooooooorever trying to shape the initial behaviour to build on. Eventually I drew her nose down with a treat to her leg, and clicked when she followed it. Did that 2 or 3 times the ditched the treat. She got it.


    My problem is I am very easily bored of things, and lose creativity! Tend to never finish things!!! Must work on new stuff with freddo....

    To start shaping though, you literally just do as people say. An object does help. You can just click them for noticing it, or sniffing it to start off. And so it begins... Lol
     

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