I happened to catch a live stream session by Ricky Jones the other day on FB. It’s a nice session with a malinois puppy featuring shaping, cookies, and toys, and is a good mix between action and thoughtful work.
Shaping is a learning technique where successive approximation and a Positive Marker are used to teach behaviors and communicate concepts. Successive approximation essentially means continually closer to the target behavior. So Shaping is More session with Ricky Jones of Divine Canine Solutions and his new pup:
Perch & Pivot – 0:48 – 2:28
Shaping a Perch and Pivot is an excellent shaping exercise with a puppy. Ricky establishes value on front feet on and Front is a stable position directly in front of the handler. Front is an traditional obedience skill. Usually your dog sits in this position, but standing is often acceptable as well, especially in More Position, builds desire and cultivates duration and then uses that to shape the Pivot behavior.
The idea behind this is that the dog wants to stay on the object and wants to be in Front Position. Then as the handler slides around and throws off the positional balance, creates positional pressure, or tosses a cookie, the dog moves to or returns to the proper working position.
This is a slick training session that has great application for position an heel work.
Dismissal / Tug / Play | 2:28 -3:30
Puppies don’t have a long working window. Best to keep it short and sweet. Not easy to do when you’re live streaming.
Ricky does a good job of breaking up this “long” training session into several mini sessions. A Through is a set up move where the dog runs between the handler’s legs. The dog can move from front to back or side to side and can even weave. A Through More giving the dog a break for bite and tug play.
Retrieve | 3:30 – 4:22
Backchaining is a great tool for teaching a Retrieve. Ricky is using the pup’s natural drive to be close to and interact with the handler (PUPPY!!!!) and leveraging the reward placement of Bite and Tug to cultivate the desire to retrieve and create a situation where it is likely to happen.
This is how we teach a retrieve here at PVybe and how most of our professional pals teach the retrieve as well. This technique may get supplemented with good, focused Retrieve and Hold work, but this back chained technique is the foundational genesis of the retrieve.
Shaping In the Box – 4:22 -5:30
101 things to do with a box? You played it, maybe? We all know there’s only 1 thing to do in the box and that is Get In THERE!. At least Ricky is honest about it… 😉
I like how he doesn’t mess around and gets right to a good stable criteria, Sit, and pounds it with cookies. The info on shaping vs luring is good food for thought too.
This is a great generalization of Duration, A dog’s working state can be said to be over or under Threshold. A dog that is over Threshold has trouble working. A dog that is under Threshold is in good shape to More, Spot, Pedestal, Waiting on cue and situationally is extremely important for disc dog freestyle training. The competition field might not see too much waiting going on as everything is supposed to be happening in flow, More, and Stay.
Memphis Story, History, and Philosophy | 5:30 – 7:08
Good stuff here by Ricky… Digging it.
Set Up & Twist/Spin | 7:30
Nice use of luring to create and shape position and the Spin and Twist behaviors.
I like the balance between clock and counter and noted the fact that Ricky uses right hand for clock, left hand for counter Spins and Twists are tricks where the dog spins 360 degrees in a clockwise or counter clockwise fashion. Spin is clockwise and Twist is counter clockwise so it is important to have a More. I think this is the most clear signal in terms of positional pressure and it is easily differentiated from the A Scoot is a Set Up Move where the dog scoots backwards between the handler’s legs. It’s a really clever Set Up Move, the image of your dog spinning around and shimmying backwards More cue… and I don’t do it that way… 😉
Closing | 8:30
As I, and probably all of you were just about thinking,”This session is getting long…” puppy hits the Wall.
Ricky deals with it well, pulls it back together and sends us and the pup on our way with a desire to do more…