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Are ‘Free-Shaped’ Dogs Better Problem Solvers?

By Carmen LeBlanc

© Can Stock Photo/ksuksa

Most professional dog trainers have heard about criticisms of lure-reward training in recent years. These criticisms have been made along with enthusiastic claims about the superiority of free-shaped (unprompted, trial-and-error) clicker training. Those of us who use free-shaping understand the enthusiasm. It is challenging and exciting to communicate with dogs in such a free-form way, developing a new behavior one small increment at a time. As technicians of scientific procedures, however, it is important that we take a collective, critical look at what is being said. Read more.

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