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Understanding Frustration: Insights into Canine Behaviour

This 4-hour course covers the headline issues surrounding frustration and what to do about it. For trainers, behaviourists and dog guardians. 
The DGI in conjunction with Lighten Up Dog Training
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What's included?

  • 3 Recorded Lectures
  • 1 Frustration Audit 
  • 1 Impossible Task Exercise
  •  Transcripts

Understand Frustration

Frustration is pervasive for dogs in Western countries. First, we breed dogs specifically for their responsiveness, their goal oriented behaviour and their trainability, and then we put in thousands of restrictions. Worse, where fearful behaviour is recognised and professionals work to reduce fearfulness in their work, frustration has no such recognition. When we don’t take frustration into account when looking at training and behaviour modification, we not only worsen the odds of success, but we can also unwittingly contribute to frustration-related behaviour.   This 4-hour course covers the headline issues surrounding frustration. If you’re a trainer and you want a glossy overview of the headline stuff, or you’re an owner and you want a more in-depth understanding of why your dog struggles and what to do about it, then this course is for you. It’s part theory and part practical.

What this course isn’t: a bunch of solutions for all dogs. Frustration is too broad, too pervasive, too individualised and too complex to give you twenty ‘Do This’ exercises for your dog or the dogs you work with. It’s a 4-hour taster session that covers all the major bits and will give you some suggestions of stuff that can help and stuff to avoid.
What this course is: perfect for those who live or work with busy dogs, frantic dogs and working breeds.

What the course covers

The course covers:
  • Definitions of frustration: what is it really?
  • The four behavioural consequences of frustration
  • The body language of frustration in dogs
  • The ethology and purpose of frustration
  • The neurobiology of frustration
  • The difference between frustration tolerance and impulse control
  • The developmental processes behind frustration tolerance from puppyhood through adolescence into adulthood
  • Emotion regulation and frustration
  • Common behaviour problems where frustration is at play including on the lead and behind barriers, aggressive behaviour including resource guarding and fighting with other dogs, reactive behaviour, chasing and predatory behaviour, separation-related behaviours and abnormal repetitive behaviours
  • Common training problems where frustration is at play including duration behaviours, delay, extinction, negative punishment or temporary time-outs, frustration in shaping and luring, downshifting rewards, loose-lead and frustration when the good stuff ends  

The course will also include a copy of the Lighten Up frustration audit and assessment

Course Content

Meet the instructor

Emma Lee

Emma-Jane Lee. B.A.(Hons), P.G.C.E. Process Consultancy, IAABC (CSB-D)

Emma-Jane Lee is a teacher, writer, assessment consultant and canine behaviourist based in the UK. She is a trustee in one of France’s largest animal shelters, working on pre-intake, surrenders, in-shelter protocols, bridging contracts and post-adoption support. Her work as a behaviourist is mainly with post-bite referrals and dogs presenting a high level of aggression.
Patrick Jones - Course author

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