Shaping with platforms 12

Hestia putting her front feet on a brightly colored platform, looking up at VeronicaToday we had our first platforms class.  For those who don’t know, platforms are small rectangles that are a few inches off the floor.  They are good for training your dog to be in specific positions, and really straighten them up.  Last night Brad and I made a couple of platforms using this method:


But we were too tired to try them out with Hestia.  So class today was the very first time we tried introducing the platform.  Brad got a video of this first time!  I started out by putting the platform on the floor and as soon as she put one foot on it, I clicked and treated (c/t).  Once she got that down pretty quickly, I waited for her to get two feet on, then c/t.  Gradually I shaped her into standing with all four feet on the platform.


Hestia caught on pretty darn quickly, I think she is smarter than I give her credit for!  It was hard to c/t at the right times since she is just so quick in her movements, but it worked well.  When she got to the stage where all 4 feet were on the platform, I c/t over and over and over again with her staying in that position.  Then throw a treat off to the side and re-set for another session of 4 feet on the platform.


Hestia with all four feet on the platform looking very proud with her tail draping across her bodyBy the end of the class she was very excited to see the platform, and would jump right on. The best part about this is I have been unable to teach Hestia to stand.  But platform training is all about standing on the platform (sitting is on a smaller platform).  So we made a lot of progress today towards getting her to understand the idea of stand without me having to manipulate her in any way physically.


The last 10 minutes of class we all played with our dogs.  This play session after a training session is supposed to help cement what they learned into their heads more.


Veronica carrying Hestia and pushing a cart at Sam's. Hestia looks very very tired!Hestia was exhausted after class, but we had to go by Sam’s.  Hestia was so tired in Sam’s that I was almost dragging her and walking really slowly for her.  Brad got a picture of me checking out some pineapple while Hestia rested.


I eventually gave in and carried Hestia.  He got a couple pictures of me carrying Hestia and managing the shopping cart at the same time.  It takes a bit of practice, but isn’t that hard to do.  And Hestia was very happy not to have to walk around any more!


Here are all the pictures!

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12 thoughts on “Shaping with platforms

  • Kyrie-Inn Blue

    You may sell me yet on the wee dog thing 😛 Hestia looks so proud of herself…as well all of you should be. I don’t mean to be stupid, but is this to teach her to stand from a lay down or a sit? Tao and Doppler have/had a “hop up” command as well as the “ok” release command, depending on the task. Love watching the progress!! 😀

    • Veronica Morris Post author

      LOL she is a proud one!

      This is to teach a stand stay, like stand for exam in the obedience ring, or a stand stay or something in the rally ring. The platform allows you to get that perfect angle between you and your dog for various positions like front and heel and other side.

      • Kyrie-Inn Blue

        so more for those who might show their dogs or that sort of thing? I’m wondering if this is useful for at least me and mine in mobility work, because our distances are non-tradition, depending on what angle/length I need mine to counterbalance. Ima look into this one some…if you have a link, I would gladly accept that as well. Mijo’s trainer may know about this. I will check in with her when she gets back next week. Anything Team Blue can do to simplify training, lol!! As if, right? 😀

        • Veronica Morris Post author

          Yes, for show or competitions like rally and obedience. It definitely could be useful in mobility work training. If you want your dog at an odd angle, put the platform at that angle and reward heavily and it will help them to find just that right angle to best help you. I don’t have a link that tells about platforms, unfortunately, just heard about them originally from Chanda who used them with Peregrine. At our last Solvang convention during the heeling seminar, they talked about using platforms to tighten up that heel, too. I’ve heard them mentioned a few other times, and have been curious, which is why I’m taking the class! Hopefully I can be of more help on this with more classes under my belt! If you have any questions you want me to ask the teacher, I am happy to.

          • Kyrie-Inn Blue

            Brilliant, then! I’ll def go to Mijo’s trainer with this, who has all kinds of peeps and connections around here too, and see if we can’t come up with something like this, and, as long as you don’t mind, if she does NOT know about platform training, can I share the videos with her? Preciate the collaboration! *tosses Hestia a random cookie just because 😀

          • Veronica Morris Post author

            Oh yes, feel free to share any of my videos with anyone else if they might be helpful! I bet your trainer already knows about it, though. Hestia says thanks for the cookie! She gobbled it up in her frog mouth (what I call her mouth from the way it opens and closes when she’s chewing on something).

          • Kyrie-Inn Blue

            How I left the Ollie man out of the cookie toss shakes head at my brain damage here, boy, two for you to make up for that. frog mouth!! hehehe LOVE it. Thank you for the permission! Can’t wait to see more of this.