|Barked: Tue Aug 19, '08 8:16am PST |
What sort of food reinforcers do you use?
If you're working from a sit, your shaping plan may look like:
CT for the sit
CT for leg movement
CT for any paw lift
At this point, you will need to decide which leg you want to cover the eyes. Let's assume you chose the right call.
CT for right paw movement
CT for right paw lift (even weak movement)
CT for right paw lift one inch from ground
" " " " " two inches from ground
Depending on the height of your dog, incrementally shape for height in this fashion. Do not always make it harder, but "ping pong" your height criteria using averages. Put one criteria on a VRS (variable reinforcement schedule) before moving on to the next.
80% is the magic number for criteria raising. If you wait until 90%, the dog may not being set up for success and would experience frustration, if you set it lower than 80%, you run the risk of boredom, low motivation, etc. Going too high or low you will start to see displacement behaviors...scrathing, walking away, sniffing, etc. Go back to the previous point of success and work quickly at a high rate of reinforcement to regain interest and confidence. Then end the session on a positive note. If you get her back from a displacement behavior situation, make things really quick and fun and give her a break.
Don't worry about going down a level. You will find that you move through the level so much more quickly the second time.
What may help you in this process is watching the shoulders as well as the feet, especially as the paw raise gets higher. You want to have well timed clicks, and "predicting the movement" really helps. A paw lift of any height has to begin at the shoulder, so often, a ripple in the muscle at the shoulder can be the predictor for a well-timed click. You'll get good quickly at observing your dog.
At first, shaping seems very cumbersome and awkward. If your shaping does not seem to be working well, one of two problems is likely at fault:
raising criteria too quickly
food not rewarding enough for the training session/context
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