This is a short clip demonstrating how to do a training exercise called free shaping with markers. Free shaping means that you are progressively marking behaviors that are closer and closer to the end behavior that you are trying to achieve. We use marker training to do this, the most common form of marker training is clicker training, however, I prefer to use my voice. I use the word “yes” in a consistent, happy tone to mark the behaviors that I want. The mark, lets the dog know that a reward is coming, and thus allows us to precisely mark the behavior we want, even if it takes up to a few seconds to get the actual reward to the dog. The most important thing to remember with marker training, is that a reward ALWAYS has to follow the mark, even if you gave the mark accidentally. If you are not familiar with marker training, or if you want to learn more, please review Ed Frawley’s article on marker training your dog by Clicking Here.
In this video I am teaching Dante the ‘Place’ command, which means to have all four feet on an object. Dante has never done the ‘place’ command before nor has he ever done free shaping, so this is an entirely new concept to him. ‘Place’ is a very simple command to teach and for the dog to learn because there are not too many progressions to mark, and it is very black and white: Either you are on the place, or you are off. This is why I chose this exercise to introduce Dante to the game of free shaping, it is easy and fun. I will film more complex free shaping exercises in the future.
If you want, or need assistance training your dog, Contact K-9 Connection Dog Training at (716) 548-3642.