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How to train at the right pace for your dog - Thresholds 101

A threshold is defined by a point at which something begins to change. This could been a doorway - a threshold to the outside. It could be a stress threshold of 12 hours of work. Thresholds when we talk about dog training can be used to describe the golden moment! We can use this to push our dogs at the right pace to ensure they succeed.

This is important because if a dog succeeds each time it boosts their confidence and willingness to listen to us. Recognise the reason an animal says no to work is because it isn’t rewarding enough, they don’t understand or what is being asked of them is too difficult.

Lets walk through some examples of using this:

Your dog is struggling with dog excitement and is bouncing and barking even whilst youre trying to ask for eye contact and attention. They may begin reacting like this 10 meters away from your dog. This point of 10 meters is your ‘threshold’. You can use this to your advantage and train without going past your dogs threshold of 10 meters to ensure they succeed. You can then use this knowledge of distance and slowly move closer and closer decreasing their threshold over time

You have a 4 month old puppy who struggles after 10 minutes to listen to you with any rewards. The 10 minute point is their threshold for concentration. You may wish to stay under this time and slowly increase the time you train for

The point being pulled from all these examples is that if you are aware of your dogs threshold you are aware of how likely they are to succeed. This reduces how frustrated they get in day to day life and their interactions with you.

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