Shaping Games: Both Cookie and I Love them

The thing I love about shaping games is that Cookie enjoys them and that makes me happy. I'm happy that she likes doing things with me and I admire how clever Cookie is.

Shaping games are a win win for everybody involved.

We've always had daily session of training games. Now, that Cookie's exercise has been restricted, they've become even more important in keeping her occupied.

I don't think I'm a very good trainer but we try and have fun doing it.

Cookie does learn a thing or two and it's great for bonding.

The game depicted here might eventually end up with Cookie putting away her toys or technically she could be taught to put away pretty much anything. Whether or not we get to that stage I don't know but I think it's awesome what she does.

We broke the process down to small steps.

We started with a tennis ball. When I first presented it to her I marked and rewarded any interaction with it. Then we moved on to her taking it into her mouth. Then dropping it. Then dropping it into a container.

I just started introducing other objects and other containers.

Cookie picks up on things very fast. Though the last time I wanted to try putting away multiple objects and she got confused by the fact there already was an object in the container. After some deliberation she figured she ought to take it back out. So I have to figure out how to get her to figure out that now I want more than one object put away into the same container.

Since she got confused, I scaled it back down to one object and we'll try this again.

If mommy figures it out, Cookie will figure it out. The fact that we're not really pressed to achieve anything in particular helps. We're just doing it for fun.

The added bonus is that every time Cookie figures something out it makes it easier for her to learn the next thing.

Do you play shaping games with your dog?

Further reading:
How Shaping Develops Learning

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