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Old 06-17-2012, 05:51 PM
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Default The more shaping I do...

...the more frantic my dogs get when I pull out the clicker. What is the best way to try to get them to still be interested but at the same time to not be so spastic and all over everything and trying everything that comes to mind at warp speed?

I just was training both of them (individually) and Summer was running from one object to another in the room, jumping on things, spinning, falling over, whatever comes to mind.

The natural progression of their tricks is that way too. I taught them to spin in a circle long time ago, but there is no spinning with all 4 feet on the ground. It started that way but the more they got it, they gradually ended up spinning on their back legs then eventually Summer started jumping and spinning at the same time. Just as an example of how they both tend to progress things.

I LOVE their enthusiasm and I do love their speed. Sometimes though, it is hard to teach a behavior just because they are everywhere at once. I don't want to crush their joy of shaping though.
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Old 06-17-2012, 06:06 PM
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I don't know what kind of clicker you have. But the one I have has a huge button that sticks off of it. I always just put it in my pocket so Yoshi can't see it and hit my pocket to make the click noise when I need to use it.
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Old 06-17-2012, 06:08 PM
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I would like the answer to this question too.

I have begun to really slow things down myself, just very slow, calm and pause a lot in between things. I also try and start off with a few really good things, and mix it up. Otherwise she'll just repeatedly offer me the last trick we've been working on.

I'm trying to get her to focus more on me when we're not learning new things, so once she has something down well, I try and get her to concentrate on listening to or watching what command I'm giving her, rather than trying to just go through her repertoire lol
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:31 PM
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That makes three of us who are interested in the answer. Cali goes yapping and spinning and scooting all over the room and has almost zero focus for a few moments. She also now has a habit of "touching" my knee.. repeatedly.. in hopes of getting a click and a treat. What have I gotten myself into? haha.
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:38 PM
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Maybe try just randomly picking up the clicker from time to time so it doesn't ALWAYS mean you're about to do a shaping session? You could also keep some clickers somewhere out of sight, like in the bathroom, so you can steal away and slip one into your pocket where they can't see.
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:42 PM
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Sometimes Liberty does this too, and I've noticed that it helps if I tell him to "settle" once he starts getting too riled. Are the paps too high energy for a "chill out" command? Or could that work for them?
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:41 PM
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Usually I can settle them some if I ask for some sit/stays at the beginning of the session. But if I get to shaping behaviors, it can get wild. I do like the way that if I go to shape something new, they're both willing to try all sorts of behaviors at first. But the default to do things faster and faster and faster is a bit hard for me. If I paw something this time, I must get more treats for landing on it with all feet. If I do a high five, now I should just jump up and slam both feet into your hand, etc.

I've tried only rewarding the behaviors I want, like the high five case, just rewarding the one paw to the hand instead of both but it seems to just frustrate (especially Mia).

Beau's a lot more sensible but he's still just catching on to this whole idea.
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Old 06-18-2012, 04:17 AM
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Fozzie LOVES shaping too, but he gets frustrated and wacky if I strictly shape with him for too long, like the Paps. I help keep him focused by practicing known tricks and working on tricks that he's still mastering in between a few minutes of shaping. I also use body language and gentle direction to show them what I'm trying to shape... for instance, if you're shaping getting into a box, point to the box. If they look at or touch it, click/treat. Etc.
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Old 06-18-2012, 07:57 AM
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Some trainers suggest you have a “work” stance and a “shaping” stance so the dog knows when you’re asking them to offer behaviors and when you’re asking them to wait to be cued for a behavior.

Another thing to consider when training behaviors is to click for maintaining position so the dog knows *this* is what I’m supposed to be doing. So for example if I’m clicking to get someone in the box, I would click all the progressions, then once the dog is in the box do several C/R, C/R, C/R in rapid succession to reward for staying in position and maintaining position. You can try this with a perch and platform too. It helps the dog think in terms of both offering and maintaining behaviors.

Kikopup has some videos on settling that might be good to include in to training sessions as well. I’m with you, I LOVE a dog who thinks to offer more, more, more, but I also think its important for them to know how to chill too. Not directly related to the problem you’re having, but will definitely help in general.
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:46 AM
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You can shape for calmness in a training session. Just click for non-movement. Zuma had gotten into this weird pacy-ness when I first started doing shaping sessions with her, so I would do whole sessions where I would just click for non-movement. It transferred over to her regular training sessions and she's much more calm and deliberate about movements now.
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