This training video game is derived from a dolphin research job in i beg your pardon I and others participated, "The an imaginative porpoise: training because that novel behavior," released in the Journal the Experimental evaluation of Behavior in 1969. That has become a favorite v dog trainers. It"s especially good for "crossover" dogs v a long background of correction-based training, since it encourages mental and also physical flexibility and gives the dog ship to try something top top its own.

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Step one

Take an simple cardboard box, any type of size. Cut the sides under to about three inches, and also put the box on the floor. Click the dog because that looking in ~ the box. Treat. If the dog goes near or past the box, also by accident, click. Next, after friend click, toss the treat close to or in the box. If the dog measures toward the box to acquire the treat, click the step and toss another treat. If the steps into the box, great, click again, even if he is eat his vault treats, and offer him another treat in your hand.

Sometimes friend can cook up a many "box action" in a hurry this way: click for stepping toward or into the box. Alternately toss the treat in the box and also hold the treat the end in your hand so the dog needs to come ago to you. If the dog is wake up to step right into the box, and so doesn"t eat the treat, the doesn"t matter: he knows he gained it. If treats accumulate in the box, fine. When he walk step right into the box, he"ll get a jackpot. If you decide to avoid the session prior to that happens, fine. Pick up the treats in the box, and put castle away because that a later on session. Remember, never treat there is no clicking first, and constantly click because that a reason: because that some action of the dog"s.

If girlfriend need more behavior come click, you deserve to move yourself to various parts of the room so the box is between you and the dog, increasing the likelihood of actions in the direction the the box. Don"t call the dog, don"t beat the box, don"t chat, don"t encourage the dog, and also don"t "help" him. Every one of that ingredient may just make him an ext suspicious. Click foot activities toward the box, never ever mind from how far away, and also then treat. If you get in 5 or six great clicks, for moving in the direction or near or past the box, and then the dog "loses interest" and also goes away, fine. You can constantly play "box" again later. In in between sessions, the reinforcements girlfriend did acquire in will perform their work for you; each small session will certainly make points livelier the next time.

You are, ~ all, teaching your dog brand-new rules to a new game. If you have currently trained her dog by typical methods, the dog may be respecting the basic rule, "Wait to it is in told what to do." therefore the very first rule that this brand-new game, "Do miscellaneous on her own, and also I will click," is a toughie. In the case, the box video game is specifically valuable, and the first tiny actions are especially exciting—although they would certainly be invisible to an onlooker, and may right now seem invisible come you.

End the very first session through a "click for nothing" and also a jackpot consisting of one of two people a grasp of treats, or a totally free grab in ~ the entirety bowl. Hmm. That"ll acquire him thinking. The next time the cardboard crate comes out, he will certainly be alarm to new possibilities. Clicks. Treats. Jackpots.

"That cardboard box renders my person behave strangely, however on the whole, I prefer this brand-new strangeness. Box? something I have the right to do, myself? with that box?"

Those are brand-new ideas, but they will certainly come.

If her dog is really suspicious, you might need to execute the an initial exercise over again once, or twice, or number of times, until he "believes" something a human might phrase thus: "All that is going on right here is the the click sound way my person offers me delicious food. And also the crate is no a trap, package is a signal the click and treat time is here, if I have the right to just discover out how to make my human being click."

Step two

Whether these things happen in the very same session or number of sessions later, here are some actions to click. Click the dog because that stepping in the box, for pushing the box, pawing the box, mouthing the box, odor the box, dragging the box, choose up the box, thumping the box—in short, for anything the dog does through the box.

Remember to click if the actions is going on, no after the dog stops. As shortly as girlfriend click, the dog will stop, of course, to get his treat. But because the click marked the behavior, the dog will execute that actions again, or some variation of it, to try to acquire you to click again. You execute not lose the actions by interrupting it with a click.

You may end up in a wild flurry the box-related behavior. GREAT! your dog is already learning to problem-solve in a creative way. If you acquire swamped, and also can"t decide which thing to click, simply jackpot and end the session. Now YOU have actually something come think around between sessions.

On the other hand, girlfriend may acquire a more methodical, slow, cautious testing through the dog: the dog closely repeats simply what was clicked before. One paw in the box, say. Fine—but appropriate away YOU need to end up being flexible about what you click, or you will end up as a matched pair of behavioral bookends. Paw, click. Paw, click. Paw, click. That is no the means to victory this game.

So, once the dog begins to sell the behavior the same way, repeatedly, withhold her click. That puts the paw out, girlfriend wait. Your habits has changed; the dog"s habits will change, too. The dog can keep the paw there longer; fine, that"s something brand-new to click. He could pull it out; you can click that, once or twice. He could put the various other paw in, too—fine, click that. Now he may try something new.

And? Where do we walk from here? Well, when your dog has uncovered that messing approximately with the box is apparently the point of this game, you will have enough actions to pick from, so that you can now start to click only for specific behaviors, actions that aim towards a plan. It"s together if you have a entirety box the Scrabble letters, and you space going come start picking letters the spell a word. This process is part of "shaping."

Step three

Variations and final products: What could you shape from cardboard box behaviors?

Get in the box and also stay there

Initial behavior: Dog puts paw in box. Click, toss treats. Then don"t click, simply wait and see. Probably you"ll obtain two paws in box. Click. Currently get 4 paws in box. Acquire dog in box. Options: sit or lie in box; remaining in box till clicked; continuing to be in box till called, climate clicked for coming.

Uses: put the dog to bed. Put the dog in that is crate. Let youngsters amuse themselves and also make friends v the dog by click the dog because that hopping into a box and also out again (works through cats, too). One third-grade teacher takes her papillon to school on special events days, in a picnic basket. Once the basket is opened, the dog hops out, plays through the children, and also then hops earlier in again.

Behavior: lug the box

Initial behavior: Dog grabs the leaf of package in its teeth and also lifts it turn off the floor.

Uses: Millions. Lug a box. Lug a basket. Put things away: magazines earlier on the pile, toys in the toy box. A dog that has actually learned the generalised or share rule, "Lifting things in my mouth is reinforceable," deserve to learn many additional skills.

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Behavior: tip the crate over ~ above yourself

I don"t know what great this is, however it"s not hard to get; it plants up often in the "101 points to perform with a Box" game. If the dog paws the close to edge the the box tough enough, it will certainly flip. Mine Border terrier, Skookum, discovered that he could tip the living-room wastebasket (wicker, bowl-shaped, empty) over on himself, so the he was surprise inside it. Climate he scooted about in there, making the wastebasket relocate mysteriously across the floor. It to be without a doubt the funniest thing any type of of ours dinner guest had ever before seen a dog do. Since terriers love being laughed with (but never ever at), clicks and treats were not necessary to maintain the actions once that had found it—and that learned come wait until he was invite to do it, usually as soon as we had company.