Tess on a Skateboard

Tess Skateboard

Tess & I are slowing working towards learning some new tricks so she can earn her Expert & Champion Trick Dog Titles. As part of that I am trying to teach her to skateboard. In order for her to pass this trick on the test she has to have at least 3 feet on the skateboard.

As you can see in the video I’m using shaping to try to teach her this trick. At the time of filming we have only worked on this trick twice before. So we are starting at the beginning on this one. While watching the video you should see us work through this process: at first I reward her for looking at the skateboard or touching it. Since she has done this before I quickly move to the next step, which is putting one paw on the skateboard. Then as the session goes on she has to put two paws on the board, or make it move to get the reward. Rewarding both of these outcomes is likely confusing her, so I probably should only be rewarding her for putting two paws on, since I eventually want movement I am torn since I do want to encourage her to move the board as well. However, the next step in our training should probably be just to reward 2 or 3 feet on the board. Once she is getting 3 feet on the board then start rewarding the movement.

I find Tess needs a lot of encouragement (kibble during this session) to keep working, so I try to move slowly when upping the requirements to get the treat, if I move too fast she gets confused and quits pretty quickly. So if you are trying to teach this trick you may be able to up the ante a little quicker with your dog, depending on how dedicated they are to figuring things out.

Youtube Video

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