question on shaping


Experienced Member
Hi, this is Debby and Belle. Belle is a lab/shepherd mix who is 3 yrs. old. She is a reactive dog but loves to learn and do tricks. I am trying to teach her to push a soccer ball and also am teaching her to ride a skateboard. She can already put one foot on the board and ride for a30 seconds but I can't get her to go longer even though I withhold the treat for more riding. I have the same problem with her pushing the ball. How do I get her to ride longer on the board and push the ball longer? Thank you. Debby and Belle

Jean Cote

Staff member
How long is she staying up on the skateboard presently? If you increase by 1 seconds every day before you give your treat, eventually you will end up to 30 seconds. ;)

Gotta take things gradually... HeHe


Experienced Member
I would recommend the "300 peck" method! There's a great article by Alex Kurland here:

I highly recommend reading the whole article, but very very briefly I'll explain:

The method is based on trying to train chickens to peck something 300 times!
Basically, you start by rewarding 1 peck (1 sec skateboard ridign in your case). Then you go for 2 sec, then 3 sec, and so forth building 1 second at a time.


Experienced Member
Thank you for the replies. I will be more patient with Belle. This afternoon I tried putting a treat ball down on the floor and waiting for behaviors with it. She didn't offer any. All she did was look at me and sit there. I was trying to teach her to push the ball with her nose. Sure, she will do it if I give her a lot of direction but I just want her to explore things on her own. How do I accomplish this?
Debby and Belle


New Member
Are you putting REALLY high value treats in it?

Maybe make her breakfast smaller on a day when you are going to do this?