The way in which our dogs behave depends on three key factors. Their genetic predisposition, learning from previous experiences and the particular environment they are in at the time.
Understanding fear and anxiety are essential in order to support your dog & work through their struggles.
There does not need to big a big trigger to create a big reaction in our dogs. Often, owners describe this as the dog not listening to them and interpret this behaviour as disobedience or dominance.
What can actually be happening is a cumulative effect of stress experienced over a period of days. This creates activity within the limbic system and puts our dog into a highly emotional state￼. Our dog’s ability to think clearly is compromised￼. The emotional brain overrides the logical brain.
This is why it is essential that we not only consider what has happened that day for our dogs, but what has happened in the preceding days too. If our dog has been having a stressful time￼￼ we must consider the environments & situations that we expose them to. We will need to lower the criteria of what we expect from them.
Readiness is an important consideration to protect our dog’s training & behavioural progress.
🐾Don’t ask for too much.
🐾Have rest days.
🐾Teach reliable cues, keep it fun!
🐾Build those cues into reliable protocols- when X happens, they can expect Y to follow.
This reduces your dog’s need to offer reactive behaviours by keeping them below threshold.