Dog Training – Shaping A New Complex Behaviour In A Siberian Husky – Ashaki

This dog training video was prepared for the Delta CGC Instructor’s course assignment “Conditioning Video 1” and demonsrates shaping a new complex behaviour (“Loop the Loop”) by successive approximations using targeting. The training subject is Ashaki, a 7 year old purebred female Siberian husky. The trainer is Andrew Peterson.

Training was completed over a period of 2 weeks and involved 10 steps (approximations) commencing with conditioning to the bridge and ending with the final behaviour performed on vebal cue, “Ashi, Loop!”

Statistics from this video:
– Rewards given: 675
– Total duration of all training: 57 minutes (spread across many sessions)
– Approximations / steps used: 10
– Duration of each training session: average 20 seconds
– Total number of training sessions: 140 across 2 weeks
– Average time between rewards given: 5 seconds

The key strategies for success in dog training demonstrated by this video are:
– Train in short sessions and reward well and often (don’t fade rewards too soon).
– The process of shaping relies on making progress in small incremental steps. No step is too small if the dog makes progress and is not frustrated.
– Training need only be an investment of a few hours, spread out over several weeks. Results can come quickly with the right methods.
– Use a bridge such as a clicker (that marks the desired behaviour, and bridges the time needed to deliver the reward) to accelerate learning.
– Notice the high number of rewards given (675) and the frequency of rewards (every 5 seconds). Most novice trainers under-reward their dogs at the start, which undermines the dog’s motivation.

Use of a target (in this case a ping pong ball on a stick) is not essential in everyday training, but was a specific requirement of this assignment. Luring is a perfectly acceptable and equally effective alternative method for everyday pet dog training.

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