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Discussion Starter #1
So lately I've been trying to teach Rocky to grab his box and throw it. He's gotten it pretty good where he's starting to offer the behaviour. I don't have it on a cue yet, but it's coming along well.

I wanted to get a video of him throwing it for you all, but today he went absolutely bonkers for the box and would barely offer me the throw behaviour. Frustrating, but the video result was pretty funny nonetheless!

Does your dog get this excited over the box?





P.S. excuse the laughing in the background that is the (just recently made) fiancee filming.
 

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Wally likes shaping (now), but he doesn't really get into that game.

Once he starts, say, touching the box and I click him for it, and then he does it again and I don't click - he's going to wonder why not and get confused/frustrated because he doesn't know what to do - other than to push the box harder.

That, of course, is the same action so no click and he's just gonna look at me like "I don't know what you want. Please help me."

I don't quite understand the objective of that game. I guess I get Wally's creativity while teaching him something towards a goal (like the shake/high five training I'm going through) instead of "oh here's something, now start doing all kinds of different things to it, but they MUST be different".

I guess he'd rather play 101 thing to do with me while I'm trying to teach him something using a tasty treat as a reward.:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
"oh here's something, now start doing all kinds of different things to it, but they MUST be different".
That's not how you play the box game really. You start out by clicking any interaction, whether it's a repeated one or not, so the dog knows that doing anything with the box is acceptable. This can (and should) include something as small as looking at the box to begin with. Once your dog is attacking the box sort of like Rocky was in that video, performing all kinds of different things, you need to put away the box for a moment to think.

Decide a specific action you want to teach your dog. Ideas could be: "push the box down the hall with your nose", "pick the box up and hold it", "flip the box on end with your paw", "stand with both feet in the box". Now you start shaping your chosen behaviour.

Slice the behaviour up into many smaller pieces. I'll use two feet in the box as an example. The first click would be for moving a foot towards the box. Once the dog is offering that behaviour, increase the criteria. Only click and reward for moving the foot closer and closer to the box. Once the dog is close to the box, up the criteria again. Now only click for a foot inside the box. Next for standing still with one foot inside for 1 second. Next for two feet touching the box. etc etc etc until you have the final behaviour of standing with two feet in the box giving eye contact. At that point you can name the behaviour "stand in your box!" or something like that.

The real creativity of the dog is not in seeing how many random things it can come up with, but in letting the dog "solve" the problem you have put forward with no input from you other than rewarding successive approximations.

Once he starts, say, touching the box and I click him for it, and then he does it again and I don't click - he's going to wonder why not and get confused/frustrated because he doesn't know what to do - other than to push the box harder.
He's already playing the game perfectly. What you're supposed to do is up the criteria once he gets frustrated and tries harder. You originally treated for touching the box. Now you withheld that treat so he's pushing the box. Now you treat only for pushing the box 3 inches. Once he's doing that, you withhold the treat. Now you only treat for 6 inches. All of the sudden you have a command where the dog can push a box 10 feet down the hallway for you!
 

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I love the box game! There were some throws in there, he's doing great! Do you play the box game with Mesquite too?

And congratulations on your engagement!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I love the box game! There were some throws in there, he's doing great! Do you play the box game with Mesquite too?

And congratulations on your engagement!
Yeah, Mesquite definitely gets time with the box too, but she isn't nearly as enthusiastic as Rocky is about it. Mesquite is much more a "tell me what to do" dog, whereas Rocky is a "let me figure it out" kind of dog. It makes sense, considering she is a GSD mix and Rocky is a hound!

Oh, and thanks for the congrats!
 

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Charlie is a lot like Mesquite in that way. Even without the box, just trying to do free shaping, I get a lot of him just sitting there staring at me. Not fun! LOL Can't wait to see what else Rocky does with the box!
 

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He's already playing the game perfectly. What you're supposed to do is up the criteria once he gets frustrated and tries harder. You originally treated for touching the box. Now you withheld that treat so he's pushing the box. Now you treat only for pushing the box 3 inches. Once he's doing that, you withhold the treat. Now you only treat for 6 inches. All of the sudden you have a command where the dog can push a box 10 feet down the hallway for you!
I tried it again after reading your explanation of the game (makes a lot more sense to me now).

I got out a little ball he sometimes plays with (it's really a cat toy :rolleyes: ) and he started looking at it, then touching it.

Then...he started touching everything nearby (including me) :eek: LOL.

Wonder what that was all about? :)

Eventually, he did get back to touching the ball. Eventually.
 

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Rocky is a sweetheart! I cracked up at those bits where he'd paw one edge of the box and end up smacking himself in the face with it... he really seems to be getting the hang of throwing it, though.

This is slightly off-topic, but do you have any other shaping videos, or know of any other shaping videos? I'm specifically looking for shaping videos, not just clicker-training videos. I've been trying it out lately, but I find the timing tricky, and videos really help.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Rocky is a sweetheart! I cracked up at those bits where he'd paw one edge of the box and end up smacking himself in the face with it... he really seems to be getting the hang of throwing it, though.

This is slightly off-topic, but do you have any other shaping videos, or know of any other shaping videos? I'm specifically looking for shaping videos, not just clicker-training videos. I've been trying it out lately, but I find the timing tricky, and videos really help.
I don't have any off hand, but I can probably put some together of our box sessions, working on different behaviours. I'll see if the fiancee will help out filming for me.
 

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I don't have any off hand, but I can probably put some together of our box sessions, working on different behaviours. I'll see if the fiancee will help out filming for me.
That would be wonderful, although please don't go out of your way! Even if you just leave a camera on the desk while you train, that should suffice. I'd really appreciate it, and I'm sure a lot of the other free shapers on DF would too.
 
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