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Frustration in Dogs

What is frustration?

I’m sure you’ve heard me say “your dog is frustrated” but what does that mean? Just like when people get frustrated dogs might get antsy, grumpy, “stubborn”, and generally non compliant.

This is not the dog’s fault!

It’s really important to understand that when your dog is displaying these behaviors that we don’t punish our dog for throwing the behaviors at us. They are trying to communicate something and it’s up to us as their handler/owner/puppy parent to decipher what they’re trying to say.

What are some of the signs of frustration?

  • Zoomies/FRAPS

  • Alligator rolling

  • Biting the leash

  • Barking

  • Redirection (biting/nipping/snapping)

  • “Stubborn” non compliance

How do I prevent this?

Make sure you’re clear about what you’re expecting. If your dog is confused try making your criteria smaller or easier. Keep training sessions very short and fun and avoid punishment. Especially for dogs who redirect, punishment can cause it to get worse as adding pressure will cause the frustration to worsen.

Play with your dog too! Take a break and play with a toy or tug. Allow your dog to decompress with sniffing, food, play, etc. Keep things as easy as you can while you build up tolerance to frustration.

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