You’re in Great Shape: Understanding & Applying Shaping - Karen Pryor Clicker Training
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You’re in Great Shape: Understanding & Applying Shaping


Eva Bertilsson and Emelie Johnson-Vegh - Reno 2016

Shaping behavior by reinforcing small steps toward a future goal is one of the core processes of clicker training and is the key to creative and limitless training. It is often hard for trainers to make the shift from luring, prompting, or leading animals through the desired movements to letting animals discover what works on their own. The benefits of this shift are enormous to both trainer and animal.

Shaping builds the trainer’s observation and mechanical skills, and is the foundation of teaching complex behaviors. Shaping also makes training fun for the animal and strengthens the relationship between animal and trainer. Without an understanding of shaping, trainers will not experience the full power of clicker training.

Shaping depends on good observation and timely use of the clicker as a tool for communicating a movement as it is happening. You’ll learn what shaping is—and isn’t—and how it differs from other ways of “getting behavior.” Eva and Emelie demonstrate shaping techniques and discuss how to overcome common obstacles. If you’ve been frustrated in your attempts to try shaping, you’ll be inspired to try again.