Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Blog Updates & More Shaping Stuff

Just a few maintenance things to point out ... well one really.  I added Disqus to my blog for commenting purposes.  It really bothered me that if I replied to the comments the people on the other end never got notification that I did.  They would just have to come back and check the blog again.  I'll be honest ... I don't do that when I leave a comment on other blogs so I knew other people probably didn't either.  So I did some research and saw that several of the blogs that I read regularly and comment on had this program on their blogs and it was compatible with Blogger.

When you go to comment now you'll have to log into Disqus if you already have an account, and if you don't you'll have to sign up.  Its easy to do and once you're registered its as simple as clicking a button when you go to comment.   For those that don't know with this program when you leave a comment I can reply back and you'll know it.  You'll get an email stating that I have.  Good news!  Now I don't have an excuse for not replying back.

Now ... onto shaping.  Since Teach was little I've wanted him to learn the "Bang" trick.  I knew how to do it the "old school" way of pushing them over onto their sides as you say Bang.  Well he doesn't respond well to that kind of training I've found out.  He really seems to grasp it if he can figure it out on his own with me giving him the click/treat when he does something I want.

At this point I did some research and talked it over with a friend and figured out what needed done.

I started him out on his dog bed because I needed him to have a place to go (a target).  When he got on the dog bed I clicked/treat (c/t) so he knew that is where I wanted him.  Next I wanted him to sit or lay down.  He started by sitting so that worked ... c/t.  We did this a few times with him getting on and off trying to figure out what I wanted with some c/ts to keep him going.  I have to say that I love watching this part ... his tail never stops wagging so I know he is enjoying the game.  After a few times of sitting and not getting a c/t (I upped the criteria and wanted him to down) he did offer a down, c/t.  He said "wow this is what she wants".  As he was down I did do several c/t's in a row so he knew for sure that's what I want.  So now that I had him down ... now what?  I want him on his side.  I started to click for little movements.  First a shift of his hips so he laying on them and not having his legs tucked under.  Then I was click his head movement to inside to try and encourage him to lay over.  I admit that at this point I was a little stuck on how to get him over without pushing him.  So I used the treat to lure him over on his side and then c/t that position.  We did this a few times.  And I ended the session for the day.  I always tried to keep these sessions around 2 minutes.  I didn't want to wear him out and quit the game.

Here's a video to watch of the second day of shaping this behavior. You'll note the bed is there but he isn't laying on it.  That is fine.  It was just used it as a starting point for him.  And anyone that knows Teach he has always been a very slow downer ... well not now!  Randy was shocked at how fast he would down.  I'm also clicking little movements and shifts in his body at the start.  Then at the end you can tell the way his body is he wants to go over but isn't sure.  That is where the lure came in to get him on over.

Here is a video from the 4th day of doing this.  We had a day in between where I wasn't videoing that he offered the behavior on his own without me luring.  So the day before when I did lure him over and c/t that position he got the idea of what I wanted.  I've removed the bed all together because he does know what I want now without a target object.  Each time I want him up from on his side I just toss a treat.  You'll also note that I don't say anything during these session.  I let the clicker do the talking.

So that is where we are at right now with it.  A few more days of just getting him to offer the behavior a little faster and then we will add the cue to it.  

Hope all that made sense up there and wasn't to jumbled around.  If you have any questions just ask ... I can reply back!!


  1. I didn't realize Disqus notified you of responses to comments, I have been ignoring those notifications! lol

  2. I did some experimenting with a friend of mine to make sure that notifications were sent after replying. I had her comment on a post and replied and she got notification in her email that I had replied. It was easy to add and seems easy to use.

  3. Very impressive! When it comes to shaping, I am the one with the problem. I don't have the patience for the tiny steps it should be. Jimmy is a bit wary of the clicker, but I imagine enough treats would fix that.

  4. Thanks!! I admit that the problem with shaping does lie with me rather than Teach. Its trying to pick up on the small stuff that I have a problem with and I think he gets stuck, but its really me. I'm a very impatient person, and this has taught me the value of patience and that the end result will come ... just make take longer. I did load the clicker with Teach before I even started shaping so he knew when there was a click there was a treat to soon follow. If Jimmy is anything like my old Corgis he will quickly follow his stomach!