MY FAVOURITE... Bob Bailey..."HOW DOGS LEARN" talking about shaping, prompting, luring, ON Susan Garrett's blog ( www.clickerdogs.com )
I taught Daizy and Keegan to play soccer using these methods :)
Methods I LOVE to work with;
CAPTURING...the moment you see your dog doing something you'd like to see more often "capture" that moment by giving them a signal that they've just won the lottery and a reward for the behaviour. "yes", "wow", "good boy", "CHA CHING" I've even associated me raising my eyebrows "oh I like that" look, squint my eyes and slow blink or smile as a signal to my dogs that "I sure liked what you did this split second" and at first the reward must be delivered immediately so they can make the association.."hey, she did that funny thing with her eyebrows, and sound from her mouth...and I got a treat for ...hmmm....what was I doing? Oh yeah...sitting! "
Sometimes it's nice to not have to use words, especially when you are in conversation with someone, have a cold, been at the dentist, are tired of talking all day... to let them know you think they're a ROCKSTAR and a reward will be coming!
ie. out on a walk, you stop to talk to someone and your dog sits and chills out, which allows you to have an uninterrupted conversation :) I'll take a second to look at my chill-axed dogs and raise my eyebrows, or look at them with soft eyes, blink slowly and smile, to let them know that I REALLY appreciate them hanging out while I get to chat. That's all it takes, then when the person leaves, I'll tell them what superstars they are and give them treats or cuddles, throw a ball, unclip their leash to run or sniff...something I know they'll enjoy at the time, to let them know I thank them for being patient.
If it's action I want from them, then excited look is what I give, and my verbal cue is said with a load of enthusiasm!
If I want them to remain calm and keep doing what they're doing, soft eyes and a slow blink will let them know to continue to chill along with a softer slower sounding verbal marker like "goooood boooyyy".
Body language, inflection, or tone of our voice, really helps them out, just as much as a verbal cue and a hand signal does.
PROMPTS... "Prompting involves manipulating the animal or the environment such that the animal performs the response" Pamela Reid, Excel-erated Learning.
VISUAL prompts... such as TARGETING...ie.nose touch my hand, go to a place like your mat, or even using a toy (race through the agility tunnel and waiting at the other end will be your favourite toy!), hand signals, even verbal cues like "sit"....helps to teach a behaviour and lets the dog know what you'd love for them to be doing.
It's a shortcut to shaping a behaviour as you manipulate the environment, or using your prompts, visual, verbal, to make it a no brainer for the dog to figure out what you're trying to communicate. ie.. to teach walking beside you, first teach the dog to nose touch your hand...then start walking and if the dog starts to move ahead, stop, put your hand beside you and have the dog "touch" it....voila! Dog comes back to your side, and you can start walking again....a visual cue for the dog to let them know what/where you'd like them to be = walking beside you :)
Physical prompts for me would be using my body language, like moving towards to let them know to stay put or backing away from the dog to encourage them to come to me. I do not use or promote any hands on prompt methods. The pressure of moving towards a dog (not making contact) would be the most invasive technique I would ever use.
LURE prompts using food, toys.... If you use a lure...it's important to be taught how to fade it within a couple repetitions otherwise your dog will train YOU to present the reward BEFORE they perform the behaviour. They're not dumb...they'll always try to learning new ways to take shortcuts to the rewards!
SHAPING behaviour... rewarding babysteps! It's pretty much playing the Hot and Cold game.
"Shaping by Successive Approximations involves a process of differentially rewarding some behaviour and not others." Pamela Reid, 'Excel-erated Learning