Shaping Behaviors

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What does it mean to shape a behavior?

Shaping Behaviors

Shaping is the process of gently modifying an action to get the behavior you want. For example, you might want to train your dog to hold a toy - so you use a clicker and treat every time your dog mouths the toy. Every time your dog mouths the toy, he hears another click and receives a treat. In the next step, you wait to click and give your dog a treat until he actually puts the toy in his mouth. In no time, your dog learns that he only gets a treat if he bites the object. Finally, your dog must pick up and hold the toy in order to hear the click and get a treat. When your dog successfully repeats holding the toy, you have shaped a behavior!



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