Please Explain The Different Training Methods.

Discussion in 'Dog Tricks' started by Husky heaven, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. Husky heaven Well-Known Member

    I have been spending far to many hours looking at you tube training videos and all the speil on different training methods is getting confusing. I know what clicker training is and the lure method (I use that) but free shaping? I am sure there are other methods I have heard of too but my brain is too addled to remeber the terms. Can anyone explain them all?
    Tâmara Vaz and tigerlily46514 like this.

  2. sara Moderator

    The best thing for you to do to get the info sorted out is to read "Reaching the Animal Mind" by Karen Pryor... but other than that here are the 4 types of clicker training:

    Basically, you wait until the dog does the behaviour in everyday life. Example "sit" you are watching tv, and your dog comes over and sits beside you, you click and treat (c/t). after a few more captures, your dog should start offering the behaviour, hoping to get a c/t.

    Using a treat, or some other object or body part your dog will follow, you lure the dog into the desired behaviour. Using sit again for an example: You show the dog the treat and slowly move it above his head, until his butt hits the floor, c/t the instant the butt goes down.

    You will c/t for small increments towards the desired behaviour, with little to no interference from you. Sit as an example. While standing in front of your dog, you wait until he crouches a little, or maybe even just moves a back foot towards his front feet. then c/t. Slowly add criteria. Next time he has to crouch a little more, then be halfway down, then 3/4, then all the way. This may seem like a long drawn out process (especially when you can lure a dog into the desired behaviour) but you will never have to fade the lure, and for complex tricks this is often the best or only way to go. Your dog will be offering behaviours and thinking up ways to make you click the clicker!

    Free Shaping:
    This is alot of fun. Basically it's a thinking game for your dog. You can put an object on the floor, or nothing. and wait for your dog to offer a behaviour. it might be a lip lick, or a head turn, or a nose touch... whatever the dog offers you, you click, then wait. You have no goal in mind, you're basically letting your dog train you (what can I do to make Mom click the clicker???) you can get alot of cool tricks this way. Mouse taught herself to pray. it was just something she offered up herself, and I liked it, so I turned the free shaping session into a shaping session and refined the behaviour. But there's times a shaping session (where I have a specific goal in mind) turns into free shaping as my dog offers something I like better, and we change directions, then start shaping that behaviour! 101 things to do with a box is a fantastic example of free shaping!

    Now capturing and luring can be done without clicker training, just with everyday reward based training, but shaping/free-shaping need markers (either a clicker or a marker word, or what have you.

    Then there's force training. That's not always as bad as it sounds. it can be as simple as gently pusing the dog's butt on the ground to teach sit, it can be done with treats as a reward, or lack of pain as a reward... either or. Alot of trainers who call themselves positive trainers, still use force training, they just give treats at the end, instead of negative reinforcement.
    Tâmara Vaz, Dlilly, Anneke and 4 others like this.
  3. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Re: offering behaviors, your dog *might* be like mine, and only offer behaviors if he SEES i have the clicker.

    My sitting down or standing next to him,
    does not elicit Buddy to begin offering behaviors, but, seeing the clicker, and being given no other cue/command, he will begin to offer behaviors,
    but only if he SEES the clicker.
    Tâmara Vaz and Dogster like this.
  4. Husky heaven Well-Known Member

    Wow! Excellent explanation thank you. I now feel educated. I don't think I have the patience for shaping behaviour though, it might be fun to try though. Knowing Grace it will be sit pretty her default move.

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