Let’s learn more about “shaping” from videos

This blog post has additional information on “shaping”.

In previous blog post, I recommended to use “shaping” method as much as possible in training bind dogs because it can encourage their creativity and imagination and enhance their life.

The word “shaping” is hardly used in daily life. Many of you might haven’t heard it before. I described it briefly and added some links to references but it would be difficult for people who haven’t taken positive reinforcement training lessons to imagine it. So following training example videos will promote your better understanding of “shaping”.

Shaping is to produce purpose behavior by choosing and rewarding a closer and more similar behavior to the purpose from an animal’s (a learner’s) spontaneous behaviors and repeating it. A trainer (teacher) creates the environment to make purpose behavior easier for an animal (a learner) to get the idea and do, but doesn’t provide direct clues like a lure.

First great example video is a demo of shaping by my friend Sena Huang the head instructor and president of D.I.N.G.O. TAIWAN. She is teaching her student’s dog (full-vision dog) to pick up a dumbbell toy using shaping.

Next great example video is a rat training by my friend Mary Hunter the graduate student of behavior analysis at University of North Texas. She is teaching her rat Georgie to go through a tunnel using shaping.

For details of this training, see Mary’s blog post.

Sena and Mary have excellent skills! They are great! You should choose dog/animal training professional like them if you’d like to learn about clicker training.

Last video is an example of training blind dogs using shaping. In this video, I explain how and why I taught my blind Doxie Nono to get on the lap.

Doesn’t shaping look interesting? Positive reinforcement training including clicker training can teach new thing and encourage creativity and imagination regardless of an animal’s age, breed, size, species and physical handicap. How about taking clicker training lessons?

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2 Responses to Let’s learn more about “shaping” from videos

  1. Sharon January 30, 2013 at 18:16 #

    I can’t believe how fast Nono learned to sit in the lap. And she knows to get off when you tap on the floor. We started clicker lessons with Irith. So far, slow progress (maybe because our rescue dog was not really trained before he started losing his sight.) This video is encouraging to me. Thank you.

    • Miki Saito January 30, 2013 at 21:01 #

      Thank you Sharon for watching our video and leaving comment!
      Absolutely, Nono is used to clicker training and loves to try something new. But I cut out the big progress parts for the video. I gave several sessions so that she got the idea of the behavior “Getting on the lap” by herself. And 6 years ago, when I taught the first trick “head down” to her using shaping, it took 1 week to produce purpose behavior! You got great teacher Irith. She’ll help you two. You just have fun! 🙂

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