The best doggie mental workout!
Free Shaping is a great doggie mental workout - they have to do all the work, your job is to sit quietly, watch carefully and click the behaviour you want to encourage. Slowly and progressively asking for a closer approximation to the end product you have in mind before you click.
Keep shaping sessions short, 4-5 mins is plenty and very mentally tiring if your dog isn't used to it (which is why it's fantastic for adolescent dogs!).
The reward rate also needs to be very high with shaping as you're going at the dog's pace which is a lot quicker than ours usually especially once the dog gets the idea after a couple of sessions. Be thinking along the lines of 15 clicks a minute which means your dog is getting positive feedback about every 4 seconds.
Use your dogs normal food ration for shaping as you need lots of rewards, a five minute session could use up to 75 rewards.
The Ten Laws of Shaping
By Karen Pryor
Taken from Chapter 2 of Don't Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor