Frustration with dog training is one of them

Rearing dogs is sometimes hardly different from raising children. How to deal with frustration, failures and failures must be learned here as well. This is the only way to train the ability to find and try new solutions. However, at some point a limit is reached in dog training where a four-legged friend loses motivation to learn because he has been confronted with frustration too often. How can you find a balance? "Oh Menno, I don't want to continue walking": Experiencing and overcoming frustration is an important lesson for dog puppies - Shutterstock / CBCK

As with humans, frustration arises when training dogs when something does not go as the four-legged friend expected. So he is disappointed because a certain need has not been met. Everyone knows the feeling and it is anything but pleasant - but it is part of life.

Why frustration is important in dog training

A dog that has not learned to deal with a certain amount of frustration expects that its needs are always met immediately and that everything has to go as it wants. He quickly loses his self-control and patience, is constantly under power and is always stressed. Admittedly, this is an extreme case; but it shows how important it is for your dog to learn how to deal with frustration as early as possible. Imagine a child who brings frustrated and crying bad grades home. What is probably more helpful in the long term: that the parents will in future write homework for their offspring so that their grades improve? Or that the parents sit down with their disappointed child and go through what they didn't understand and motivate them to look for alternative solutions?

It is the same with dog training if your four-legged friend does not understand an exercise straight away. Then he first experiences frustration, maybe you yourself are disappointed because you expected more from your pet. If you immediately give up and leave out the exercise, comfort your dog by petting him or giving him a treat, his frustration may dissipate for a short time. But in the long term, he learns that he will be rewarded for giving up an exercise on the slightest difficulty or not trying to find a solution. As a result, it becomes increasingly difficult to teach him anything at all. As much as it may break your heart if your little puppy fails an exercise in dog training, do not save him from learning something through frustration and overcoming it.

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Too much frustration is not good either

But now there is also the other side of the coin: A child who constantly brings home bad grades, is scolded for it and, despite all efforts, does not make any progress, eventually loses the desire to make an effort. The feeling of constantly failing at school when learning can quickly generalize and the conviction arises that nothing will succeed anyway and you therefore do not have to try it at all. This is the result of constant frustration, which can occur in a similar way in your dog if he is overwhelmed by dog ​​training. Don't forget that your four-legged friend is "only" about as smart as a three-year-old child and therefore needs your help with learning.

Instead of omitting an exercise that is difficult for your dog, you can divide it into smaller portions. Take a step back in difficulty and train with your pet until he has mastered the smaller step safely. Then you can go on. If you are unsure about what you can do with your four-legged friend during dog training so that you neither overwhelm him nor underwhelm him, go to a good dog school or look for an experienced dog trainer.

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