Here's a quick training session showing a snippet of how to go about teaching a dog to shut a drawer using operant conditioning. This is only a step in the entire process; attaining this level of commitment on a first try with a green dog would be out of the question.
While I had worked with Zada for a couple of minutes prior to turning on the camera, I hadn't worked with her on targeting – especially drawers – for quite some time, although we'd worked on it in the past. I still haven't put a cue to this behavior, as it's still not strong enough (in my opinion). She'll be ready for that soon.
Targeting can be done a couple of ways:
- training the dog to touch an actual 'target' (such as a lid, piece of paper, etc.) and moving it to various objects you wish the dog to touch
- free-shaping the dog's behavior by waiting for the dog to move towards the desired object (e.g., a drawer) and rewarding subsequent motion bringing the dog closer to the object