Fun with shaping

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Fun with shaping

Postby Lisa » Sun Jan 06, 2008 11:47 pm

I'll be going to a Kay Laurence (clicker trainer from the UK) seminar in two weeks, and Buster is going with me, so I figured we'd better brush up on our clicker skills.

I decided to teach Buster to pick up an item...figure that could be useful, and I kinda want to get in to Rally, and maybe even Obedience, so he'll need a retrieve. I really haven't done a whole lot of shaping...last thing I did was teach him to get in the wading pool, and that quite a few months ago.

It took me 15 minutes with a clicker to get Buster to reliably pick up an empty water bottle!! I still don't have the behavior named or on cue, and he'll probably need a refresher tomorrow, but still, he did it! I started with him just looking at the water bottle I had tossed on the ground...then he started touching it with his nose. He tried batting it around with his paws, and when that didn't earn a click, he tried picking it up. This is sooo cool, and Buster is so smart! I've always wanted a dog that would pick stuff up on command, so I figured I'd just teach Buster to do it. I'll start with easy stuff...empty water bottles, Nylabones, balls, etc, then work up to everyday stuff like a phone, keys, etc.

Madi really wanted to get in on the fun, so I just did some sits for click/treats with her, but I think she'd be really fun to do something with as well, she's a smart old girl.
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Postby Cindy » Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:14 am

That little Buster sure is a smart guy!!! But personally, I'd be working on teaching him how to bring me a glass of wine, or maybe a sandwich. I'm sure he could do that too!!! :wink: :)
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Postby Canned Ice » Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:44 am

I'm sure Buster would pick up a sandwich for you. I don't know if I'd want what would be left (if anything). :D

He's a smart boy. I've been working on "find it" with Buckley. I need to change what the "it" is though so he doesn't think the rubber fish is the only thing to find.
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Postby Lisa » Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:06 pm

But personally, I'd be working on teaching him how to bring me a glass of wine, or maybe a sandwich. I'm sure he could do that too


I'm sure he'd be more than happy to bring me a glass of wine or a sandwich. Problem is, by the time it got to me, I'd end up with an empty, slobber covered wine glass and an empty, slobber covered sandwich plate. :lol: :o
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Postby Barb Wright » Mon Jan 07, 2008 1:26 pm

Canned Ice wrote:...I've been working on "find it" with Buckley. I need to change what the "it" is though so he doesn't think the rubber fish is the only thing to find.


I play a game of find with Cassie, in fact that is how she gets her breakfast :D I hide small hunks of meat (raw frozen or cooked) throughout the house. I have her do a sit/stay for one of the treats while I go about the house hiding the goodies. When I return she gets a treat for a "good stay" and then I say "FIND" and she hunts down the rest. The first treat gives her a clue to what "flavor" she is looking for....and sometimes I use a couple different flavors just to keep her on her toes...or should I say, on her nose :lol: :lol:

I might add here that I really do not need to actually hide the items....she uses just her nose not her eyes, will sometimes go right by the piece if she doesn't get a whiff of it. So, with her I can actually "hide" them in plain sight 8)

We also do "Find" with named items.....so you can drop the "it" and start slowly using names for items. They catch on quick, especially when food is the find item :P :P
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Postby Catharina » Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:48 am

Wow, Buster, that IS smart! :!:

Kibo and I are clicker training duds. :( :oops: I tried a similar training approach with him a while back, with NO success whatsoever. Part of it is, of course, that I haven't enough experience clicker training. But I suspect the other, huge, part is a side effect of all the work we have done to keep him calm around scary people and dogs: His first "guess" as to what I want him to do for a click is always: "Well, of course, it's the 15 minute down-stay with eye-contact!". :roll: You can imagine that that idea slows down our training progress to approximately zero immediately.
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Postby adele » Fri Jan 11, 2008 1:01 pm

Okay Lisa, You've convinced me to buy a clicker. I haven't had any trouble teaching Lola party tricks but I think just for fun I'm gonna give the clicker a try. I wanna try some of this shaping stuff.

Lola and I play "search" too. She does a down stay in the hall and I hide kibble in the living room. It always amazes me that she never cheats on that stay. I've never tried search with non-food items, well, except for DH. Lola loves to play "Where's Dave".
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Postby Lisa » Fri Jan 11, 2008 3:25 pm

adele wrote:You've convinced me to buy a clicker. I haven't had any trouble teaching Lola party tricks but I think just for fun I'm gonna give the clicker a try. I wanna try some of this shaping stuff.


:lol: Glad I've inspired you to give it a try. It really is a fun "game" for the dogs! You'll probably have to introduce her to the clicker, but since she's used to learning, it'll be pretty quick. I'd just do a couple reps of say Lola's name, and click/treat when she looks at you, so that she realizes the click is a good thing.
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Postby Lisa » Fri Jan 11, 2008 3:30 pm

Catharina wrote:Kibo and I are clicker training duds. I tried a similar training approach with him a while back, with NO success whatsoever. Part of it is, of course, that I haven't enough experience clicker training. But I suspect the other, huge, part is a side effect of all the work we have done to keep him calm around scary people and dogs: His first "guess" as to what I want him to do for a click is always: "Well, of course, it's the 15 minute down-stay with eye-contact!".


:lol: Poor Kibo! Well, at least you know what is default behavior is!

What if you tried some simple games like saying his name then click/treat or having him touch his nose to your hand then click/treat. Maybe that would get him engaged in the clicker game. Or, what if you accept that down-stay, tell him he's a good doggie (but no click), and release him, does he try to offer other behaviors after that? Idunno, just tossing ideas out...I'm by no means an expert with a clicker, I just think it's fun.
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Re: Fun with shaping

Postby mlynn27634 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:04 pm

Question-doing clicker and touch. Which hand holds the treat? I can't click and hold the treat in the same hand. But if I put it in the other hand he goes for the treat. I don't quite have the knack for the clicker. Rocco was so afraid of it he would run and cower. No matter how soft I made the sound he would cower. He is starting to not be afraid of the sound. So now I have to learn how to click and treat and not just treat. He is only 15 weeks old today. We still have some time.
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Re: Fun with shaping

Postby gagesbarb » Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:50 am

Just saw this post...I do clicker training as well and I find it helps many dogs learn. You can "free shape" (what Lisa described with picking up the bottle) or use it to "mark" behavior in response to a cue. Since the "rule" is "always give a treat when you click--it is a promise," dogs usually quickly pick up that the clicker is good to pay attention to; it becomes the reinforcer. It "marks" the behavior you are trying to teach (sit-click then treat when dog's but hits the floor; responsive attention- say the dog's name and click when he looks; offered attention- watch the dog and click/treat when he spontaneously looks at you; touch-click then treat when the dog's nose touches your fingers. Lisa described "charging up" the clicker by saying dog's name adn then click/treat. The click allows you to reinforce more quickly and precisely, making the communication between you and your dog clearer. When the dog does what you are looking for, you click to tell the dog--"That's it!" For touch, you don't have to be holding the treat in a hand...leave it in your treat bag or even on a table next to you...once the dog understands that the click promises a treat, he will wait a few seconds for you to get the treat. Peggy Tillman's book, Clicking with your Dog is an easy, step by step guide you might enjoy
Let us know how it goes!
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Re: Fun with shaping

Postby gagesbarb » Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:52 am

Forgot to say--my first dog was very noise sensitive and took a while to get used to the clicker...I used an i-click, which is softer than a box clicker and put it in my pocket to muffle the sound...
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Re: Fun with shaping

Postby Cindy » Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:26 pm

My niece was here this past weekend with a boxer she recently rescued. Freddie is about 2-3 years old, weighs 60lbs, and is incredibly athletic. My niece had her pockets stuffed with treats all weekend long and was doing a little clicker training with him at one point. Pippa did not like the noise but Layla was totally focused on the click then treat exercise and acted like she totally understood the process. It makes me think that I could teach her something "useful" (like picking up dogs toys and putting them back in the basket) using a clicker. The only problem I see is that I may lack the attention span to do this :lol: :lol: :lol:
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