Shaping is when you use the click/treat on small approximations of a larger behavior that you’re trying to condition. Shaping creates a desired behavior in small increments. This technique is often used when you’re looking for a complex behavior or a chain of behaviors, like an animal actor might perform in a television commercial. For your purposes, shaping can help you to condition a behavior that might be difficult for your individual dog, or that is a little more complex than the very basic commands. For example, when teaching a dog to retrieve something, you would first click and treat for the dog approaching the object, even just a paw-step forward. Then, you’d click/treat for the dog touching the object in any way. Next, you would wait for the dog to move the object with his nose, mouth, or paw – click/treat. After that, you’d only click when he moves the object with his nose or mouth. Then, the click/treat would only come when he picked up the object with his mouth. After that, he’d have to move the object with his mouth to get the click/treat. Then, he’d have to bring the object to you for the click/treat, and finally, he’d have to retrieve the object when you threw it, and then retrieve the object when you take it to other places, especially distracting places, like a dog park. This might sound complicated, but it isn’t. You’ll get the hang of it as you go along. You just have to be very observant and click at the right time.