Monday, October 6, 2014

Positive Pet Training Blog Hop: 101 Things With a Box

This month for the positive pet training blog hop we were given the task of doing a post about 101 things to do with a box.  

For those that aren't sure about this ... there is lots of examples on YouTube and a Google search.  In short its a shaping exercise where you get behaviors/interactions with a box.  It teaches the dog to think and the human to be patient.

I tried this with both of my guys.  I did go longer than I should have for my videos and in normal training (when I'm not vidoeing) I do try and keep it at 2-5 minutes.

Tucker went first.  And you can tell he hasn't had as much experience with shaping.  I got a lot of staring so in his defense this was kinda unfair to him.  I should have been a better trainer and worked him up to this.  But he seemed to enjoy it anyways.  You can check his video out below.

I didn't get as much interaction as I would have liked.  But I tried to click when he would look at the box or touch it.  I eventually got him dipping his head in it (by cheating with throwing treats in there). 

Next I tried it with Teach.  What a difference!  Teach knew what I wanted.  I loved seeing him work because he was constantly moving his feet trying to figure things out.  Didn't take him long to start dipping his head in.  I wanted any kind of interaction with the box, not just one particular behavior.  Here's his video:

I need to remember this exercise for cold winter nights when they are bouncing off the walls.  After 5 minutes of this they were sleepy!  

Thanks to the hosts of this Blog Hop, Cascadian NomadsDachshund Nola, and Tenacious Little Terrier.


  1. Thanks for joining the hop this month. Shaping can be so difficult depending on the dog and the humans personality but 101 Things To Do With A Box is a great start so I don't think you were bad for starting Tucker off with it. What I have learned about shaping is that if the dog doesn't get what you want, you have to want less. Click for a head turn towards the box or even for eyes moving towards the box. This is how Amelia and I ended our staring session the first time we played. It only took three head turn clicks for her to touch her nose to the box and get a jackpot. Sometimes our pets are smarter than we give them credit for!

  2. Tenacious Little TerrierOctober 6, 2014 at 2:38 PM

    Dogs new to shaping take a little while to get used to it. When I first started, Mr. N would just stare at me and whine. He'd be like tell me what to do!

  3. This is how I'm feeling with my two. Pike is just like Tucker, and Nola's much more responsive, like Teach. It can be a little frustrating!