1) At the bottom of a blank piece of paper write down your final behaviour. This is the behaviour you want your animal to do after your training is finished. (point B)
2) At the top of that same piece of paper write down the closest behaviour the animal already does. That is the closest behaviour it already does to the final behaviour from step 1. (Point A)
3) Fill in the gaps. Write down small behavioural increments required to get you from Point A to Point B.
4) Implement your training plan. Reinforce each step along the way. Modify the plan as needed. Stop when you reach you final behaviour.
In this lesson we discuss how to write good training plans. Being able to write these plans assist in developing your shaping skills. Shaping being a technique used to train animals. Trainers of all levels are constantly practicing and refining this important skill set. Shaping involves understanding what your animal already does. Then thinking about the new behaviour you want from your animal. This is followed by slowly reinforcing any movement in the right direction. Starting with what the animal already does. Eventually ending up with the new behaviour. Having a plan written down on paper is a good idea. It helps clarify in your mind what you need to do in an individual training session. This is important. Because if you don’t know what your asking from your animal, then how are they meant to know?
NOTE: You don’t have to stick to your plan. If your animal is learning fast, miss a few steps. If your animal is learning slowly, Maybe add a few steps. Always listen to what your animals behaviour is telling you. Adjust your training accordingly. Watch this Lessons video to see how I put this technique into practice with a Red Crowned Parakeet.