Sunday, January 17, 2010

Inspired To Try Free-Shaping

After watching the video I was inspired to try my hand at free-shaping. Without giving a command, though I did try throwing in luring with Kota.

With Daisy my goal was to get her to pick up her toy and bring it back. We got her to bite the toy but didn't make any further progress.

With Kota I wanted to see if I could get him to sit on a box lid. I had to throw pieces of cheese to get him to start moving in the right direction. He never really caught on. I'm starting to think that Kota learns the best when he is moving. He seems to respond better when we are walking than if I sit still.

With Tanner I tried the same thing as with Kota. I wanted to see if he would catch on quicker. I started with clicking when he turned his head towards the box. I think I was successful in shaping a head turning but we never got any farther towards the lid.

On Dr. Yin's website she has an article that responds to reader's question about free-shaping when a dog gets impatient and starts throwing previously rewarded behaviors or barking from frustration. My dogs all tried sitting and laying down for a reward. To get them to progress we had to use luring many times. Dr. Yin gives some advice at the end of her article about not teaching your dog to sit or lie down right away that you should work with shaping first to get the dog use to thinking to get you to reward. They learn to think before they learn to respond to commands. It something I had never given any thought to before.

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