Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Elo fun!

Elo is so much fun to free shape! Lok and Jun generally only "get" free shaping if there is an object around they are supposed to interact with. "101 things to do with a box" . . . no problem! "Show me something new" . . . both of them generally just sit and stare. As. Motionless. As. Possible. I've tried to play the "click anything and everything" game with them to encourage more offering of behaviors. But I run into a few problems. First, they get stuck in a rut of offering the same behavior over and over again. Second, the motionless staring, with the only movements made being unconscious things, like ear flicks, which they don't seem to associate with the clicks they get for them. Luckily I've found ways other than free shaping to teach them all their non-prop behaviors. But with Elo, I free shaped pretty much everything right from the beginning. Sit, down, stay, pick up objects, touch objects, all his tricks. Because of that, I think, Elo is awesome at offering behaviors and it's so much fun to do shaping with him! I'm working on shaping a "wave." In his first couple sessions, I concentrated on moving his front paws, since we've never done any front paw work. Then I focused on moving just his right paw. Then I worked on lifting that paw. Last night he was offering me a right paw lift to chest height, so we're halfway there! Fun!


  1. LOL you are waaay more patient than me! I end up just showing them what I want, (picking up the paw a few times, clicking, then letting them try) good for you for shaping from scratch! I've never been able to do that for tricks. :)

  2. Hey Sarah! I've never had much success with molding. If I can lure a behavior I will, but Elo is one of those dogs that doesn't lure well. Food in front of the nose = brain off and not thinking about what is getting clicked. Shaping is a good fit for him! Plus with the wave, I don't want him to think I want his paw in my hand. He scratches me up enough as it is!