Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.
    Dwight D. Eisenhower

    In the strict sense of the word, "Shaping" refers to a training method in which a desired behavior is, as it were, "kneaded". The end behavior is divided into small, separately learned exercises. These exercises are then finally "kneaded together" to the desired end result. But the term Shaping is also sometimes used in a broader context. In that case, the focus is on a reward-based learning method in which dogs start offering behaviors themselves.
    Stacks Image 81472
    They learn from the consequences of their behavior. If the behavior, shown, results in getting a reward, the dog will repeat it. If it does not result in getting rewarded, the dog will not repeat it. In this case, Shaping is used as a synonym for operant conditioning. During Shaping (in the sense of operant conditioning) we need a "tool" to "mark" the correct behaviors (which we classify as correct). A commonly used tool is a clicker. That’s where the word "clicker training" finds its basis. Whether we are talking about Shaping, Clicker training or operant conditioning, the idea is that we will teach behaviors starting from the dog's own CHOICES.
    The terms "Clicker training" and "Shaping" quickly create a link to teaching “tricks”. However, with this training technique much more can be achieved than just learning tricks. It is possible to "raise" a dog from his own choices. Is not that great!
    Stacks Image 81455
    As a true dog lover, don’t we strive to have the best possible bond with our dog? Punishment will always undermine our good relationship with our dogs. Punishment makes us unpredictable and that makes the dog insecure and suspicious. If we, as a trainer or educator, succeed in steering the choices of the dog in such a way that these choices correspond with our choices, and, in other words, with the rules imposed by society, we will get a happy dog ​​who knows what is good and less good and who will CHOOSE to do the right things.
    Reward desirable behavior, ignore undesirable behavior. Sounds simple, maybe a bit too simple. For the novice trainer / educator it is indeed not that simple.
    Stacks Image 81475
    Unfortunately we are pretty stuck in a "No, Bad!" culture rather than in a "Yes, Good!" culture. Especially parenting to dogs. Anyone who makes an effort to understand this method and who strives for a close relationship with his / her dog can "grow" in this way of training/raising a dog. It becomes a second nature. You will start looking for behavior that can be rewarded and no longer for behavior that needs to be punished. The "to learn" instead of "to unlearn" principle. Of course there are tricks to it. Self-rewarding behavior, for example. These are behaviors that many reward-oriented trainers have already caused sleepless nights. A lot of creativity from the trainer’s side is needed to overcome training issues caused by self-rewarding behavior. That makes this way of training super exciting!
    Stacks Image 81523
    Shaping is commonly regarded as a "positive" way of training dogs. But as a trainer / educator, it is important to always consider the consequences of rewarding and withholding the reward for the dog. Frustration, for example, is not really a "positive" feeling. The dog will certainly feel frustration during clicker training.
    In order for the training to succeed, it is very important that the level of frustration is kept in mind so that it does not become unpleasant for the dog. We cannot hide behind a "positive" method while the dog actually has negative feelings about it. The aim of the training is to learn things in a fun way and to build a good, strong bond based on mutual trust. It must be FUN, for dog and owner! So no, it's not as simple as it sounds, but if the trainer / educator gets the hang of it and keeps an eye on the pitfalls, Shaping becomes a great way of training and the bond between dog and man becomes incredibly strong.
    Stacks Image 81563
    And then we come to the “tricks teaching”. Teaching tricks is the best "training" for the dog trainer / educator to get started with Shaping. Learning a trick requires a plan. Where do I start? What steps do I need to come to the end result? It makes the trainer think. And does he/she does not achieve the perfect, desired result? Then nothing bad has happened. On the contrary, they will have gained a lot! Trainer and dog have had fun and they both learned a lot. Hop to the next trick, probably with better results. Once someone can learn tricks, he/she can learn everything. Everything then becomes a trick or a game. Whether it is teaching to weave in agility or "send to place" in obedience, the trainer will have the confidence to start off because he/she KNOWS what the dog is able to and what he/she has been able to teach him allready. The trainer learned to "read" the dog and the dog learned to "read" the trainer. The bond is there, the TRUST is there.

    We like to help everyone who is interested in this training method, either for learning tricks or for general education/raising a dog!
    Shaping/Tricks Classes

    The shaping classes are taught by Inge. The training studio is located in Wechelderzande (Vendelmansweg 41).

    Currently no specific shaping (tricks) group training is planned. Fitness training is based on this training method, though.

    It is possible to take private shaping classes. Private lessons are taught at Nimble-K9 on Monday and Wednesday between 9:00 and 21:00 and on Friday between 14:00 and 18:00.

    During the winter classes can also get planned during weekends.


    Tel: 0032(0)486/72.40.12

    Stacks Image 81402