There are several different dog training techniques that you can use to teach your dog new tricks and behaviors.
Some methods are based on punishment, others on rewards, sounds, or positive reinforcement.
Shaping is a popular method of dog training that works well with most dogs.
With shaping, you are taking one task and breaking it down into several smaller steps.
Some of the best times to use the shaping dog training technique are:
- To accomplish a behavior that your dog finds physically difficult.
- To encourage your dog to do a behavior that is mentally or emotionally difficult for him.
- To fine-tune a behavior that your dog already knows. (For example, your dog already knows how to sit on command, but you could fine tune and get him to sit even faster.)
- To help your dog learn how to try new things and think creatively in order to solve problems.
Shaping Dog Training Techniques
For example, with lure shaping (or prompt shaping) you use a treat to lure your dog to do the behavior you want him to do.
We used the lure shaping dog training technique when teaching our dogs to lay down. When we had one of our dogs in the sit position we would place a treat in front of her nose and then move the treat in a downward motion. Each time, my dog followed the treat with her nose and ended up in the down position.
If you are training your dog for competition, shaping is a really good technique to use. Of course, shaping also works well for other things too.
Here’s a list of fun ways to try shaping with your dog.
Then, after you’ve got the basic dog training behaviors down, you may want to try some more advanced dog tricks with your dog. These 101 best dog tricks range from easy to hard.