Trick Tuesday: Shaping Introduction

Welcome back to Trick Tuesday!  Every Tuesday, another trick tutorial.

This week, we are going to start the process of shaping by teaching our dogs how to get into a box.  The traditional definition of “shaping” is asking our dogs to offer successive approximations on a skill or behaviour.  Shaping is so much fun and can be used to teach limitless skills.

What we are doing is asking our dogs to offer or “shape” a behaviour.  Essentially, we are teaching them to think and problem solve.  To start shaping, you’ll need an easy behaviour, like getting into a large box.  Initially, click any step, motion or even just slight attention towards the box.  Then, wait for a little further commitment each time until you’ve reached your desired behaviour.

We’ll be using shaping to build many more behaviours in future Trick Tuesday videos!  You won’t want to miss it.

Method: Shaping
Skill Level: Advanced
What you’ll need: Food, dog, conditioned reinforcer (clicker), box

Happy training!!!

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Trick Tuesday: Frisbee Juggling

Welcome back to Trick Tuesday!  Every Tuesday, another trick tutorial.

This week, we’ll be teaching our dogs Frisbee Juggling!  This trick is a simple and fun way to build your dogs catching and dropping skills.  Make sure you have a solid understanding of Frisbee basics.  If you missed our Trick Tuesday video on Frisbee foundation, you can view the video here:

Method: Retrieving
Skill Level: Advanced
What you’ll need: Dog, multiple frisbees

Happy training!!!

4 Dog Training Resolutions To Keep for 2015

new-years-dogA New Year is upon us and with that comes the tradition of the Resolution!  I will lose 10 pounds.  I will clean my house more often.  I will remember to tell my loved ones how important they are to me…  We wanted to include our dog training.  Thinking about the most important things we could, we came up with a list of 4 resolutions that will make the time and dedication you give to your dogs a success.

1 – I will Listen to My Dog – If you remember our post on The Yellow Dog Project, then you’ll remember how important it is to listen to what your dog is telling you.  Keep an open mind and an open ear when it comes to your dog’s needs and making them a wonderful, easy to manage companion will be a piece of cake.

2 – I Will React Fairly – All too often, as humans, we let our emotions dictate our reactions.  The unfair part of this is that it doesn’t help the dog and often hurts your relationship.  When things aren’t going as you’d like, it’s important to take a deep breath and think about how you are going to proceed.  Reacting with frustration or anger will do nothing to help your dog learn.

3 – I Will Adjust – Being fluid in your training is important.  Dogs are all different.  Just because a method worked well with a previous dog, that doesn’t mean it will work with the one you are currently training.  Be open to trying new methods and new ideas until you hit on the one that works for the dog you are training.

4 –  I Will Not Give Up – When things aren’t coming together as you’d like, try, try again!  Keep working until your dog gets the idea.  Be persistent, kind and fair and help your dog understand what you are looking for.  You won’t regret putting in the extra effort when things come together.

As you work through your New Years Resolutions, remember that your dog will give you honest feedback on how well you are keeping them.  Take that information to heart and let it be your guide as you build and learn about your beloved companion.  They will definitely return the favour!