Training Videos - Free Shaping Go Around An Object

Here is a video of a beginner shaping exercise to get your dog to learn to walk around a cone using trial and error learning.


Shaping, if you've not done any before 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 surely 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. This video is unedited so you can see the whole session.

Beginner Shaping Exercise - Go Around A Cone/Object



The Ten Laws of Shaping

By Karen Pryor

  • Raise criteria in increments small enough so that the subject always has a realistic chance of reinforcement.
  • Train one aspect of any particular behaviour at a time. Don't try to shape for two criteria simultaneously.
  • During shaping, put the current level of response on a variable ratio schedule of reinforcement before adding or raising the criteria.
  • When introducing a new criterion, or aspect of the behavioral skill, temporarily relax the old ones.
  • Stay ahead of your subject: Plan your shaping program completely so that if the subject makes sudden progress, you are aware of what to reinforce next.
  • Don't change trainers in midstream. You can have several trainers per trainee, but stick to one shaper per behavior.
  • If one shaping procedure is not eliciting progress, find another. There are as many ways to get behavior as there are trainers to think them up.
  • Don't interrupt a training session gratuitously; that constitutes a punishment.
  • If behavior deteriorates, "Go back to kindergarten." Quickly review the whole shaping process with a series of easily earned reinforcers.
  • End each session on a high note, if possible, but in any case quit while you're ahead.

Taken from Chapter 2 of Don't Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor