Day 10 is about the principles of shaping.
What I found out is that shaping is something that has to be practiced often to not ”fall out of shape”. I noticed that I’m really rusty when it comes to shaping! Mostly found negative sides to my training as usual, but some stuff got better with the day 10 session.
Based on day 9 we have to analyse our shaping process according to these 10 criteria:
1. Be prepared before you start
I was prepared with a plan in my head. First criteria – paws on book. 2nd – move back paws, 3rd – move back paws starting to pivot in one direction (caught the one that came natural). 4th – More steps in that direction. I was prepared with treats and clicker.
2. Ensure success at each step
If the dogs didn’t do it right a few times (tried other things or got frustrated) I went back to previous criteria.
3. Shape for one criterion at a time
I can see I was moving back and forth between the criteria even when they had been successful which might have prolonged the process.
4. Relax criteria when something changes
Relaxed criteria even when it wasn’t needed, and sometimes I didn’t when it was needed.
5. Don’t be rigid – if one door closes, find another
I think I managed this pretty well. Sometimes I helped a bit with luring when I felt that it got totally out of hand (proposing other behaviours)
6. Be fluid – keep training sessions continuous
Ok I think.
7. Split if needed
Later in the session Trakl had a decrease in the wanted behaviour, then I should have split instead of keeping the criteria.
8. Keep attention to your learner
At the end of the session both me and Trakl lost focus. The session was too long for us to focus properly.
9. Stay ahead of your learner
I tried to move on in the plan but wasn’t paying attention to when it was time to move on, and sometimes I was too far ahead.
10. Quit while you’re ahead
This was discussed within the group. Sometimes quitting can be seen as a ”punishment” if the dog really likes what it’s doing. I have to think about doing something different but rewarding after the session ends. However, I was really bad at this since my session was way too long and I got a decrease in behaviour for a bit before quitting.
Underneath here is the Day 9 video so you can see what I’m analysing.