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You're basically on the right track with your thinking. For the initial stages and for the time being, it's best practice to receive a high rate of reinforcement in order to counter the high level of environmental distraction. That said, a high distraction environment is not really conducive to learning. Especially if you have a dog who is easily aroused, fearful and stressed. I'd work thoroughly on those issues FIRST, in a much less distracting environment before expecting engagement in more challenging situations. Similar to putting the proverbial horse before the cart, you should construct a solid foundation that you can build upon.

As for how RoR applies to shaping. Rate is contingent upon behaviour. Thus, for example, if rate is too low then you're probably expecting far too much of an increase in criteria at one time / aka lumping. Overall there should be a relatively smooth flow to shaping. And generally, a continuous and consistent RoR.

If you're interested, Dr. Pamela Reid has a book "Excel-Erated Learning" which IIRC explains these things in an easy to understand format.

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