What is she saying?

When we train, we use a lot of terms that may sound strange. This article helps to provide definitions to the training terminology.

Aggression - This technically means an attack from a dog, whether it's actual, threatened or attempted. This is usually a behavior that is a result of avoidance from a specific stimulus.

Agility - This is a dog sport that has the dog going through tunnels, over jumps and other equipment.

Arousal - When a dog is mentally stimulated. The result of arounsal can be an action, or an inaction.

Avoidance - Animals usually try and avoid punishment or bad outcomes. 

Back-Chaining - When you shape a command by teaching one command, and then adding another command on to the first, and so forth.

Behavior - Behaviors are actions that include things like barking, jumping or running away. We look to modify behavior with training.

Bite Inhibition - A behavior that your dog learns as a puppy, which is akin to pulling his punches. When he bites, he's using various levels of force based on the situation.

Consistency - Making sure that you and your family do the same thing every time you're working with your dog. It's also you expecting the same thing from your dog.

Desensitization - This is when we expose a dog to a stimulus slowly, helping them to become inure to it. We then slowly increase the level of stimulus.

Distance - When you increase the distance between you and your dog when you're training, helping your dog to learn to do commands when they're not near you. This is one of the "3 Ds."

Distraction - When you create situations, sounds or other distractions to help you teach your dog to focus on you while training. This is one of the "3 Ds."

Dominance - This is a contraversial term. Technically, dominance occurs when dogs have relationships, and is a way of getting resources. Training methods that rely on human dominance over the dog is based on generating fear, intimidation or pain to your dog.

Duration - When you increase the length of a command from something like 3 seconds to 10 seconds. This is one of the "3 Ds."

Escalation - When energy from one dog, makes another dog more energetic, and that makes the first dog even more energetic and the energy between both dogs escalates.

Frustration - When a dog is frustrated, he can shut down, or even become snarky. If you think you're frustrated during training, your dog is already frustrated.

Generalization - This is when a dog learns that two events that are different should trigger the same reaction. No generalization can also result in a dog only following commands in a location where they were taught the command.

Habituate - When a dog becomes accustomed to a specific situation or command through repeated exposure and practice. 

Jackpot Rewards - The treat that your dog loves more than anything in the world. We reserve these treats important commands, like recall commands.

Lure - You lure your dog into performing an action when they're learning how to perform a command. We usually lure with food.

Praise - Woohoo!! Praise isn't always vocal. You can praise your dog with a head rub or belly scratch, too.

Prey Drive - An instincive behavior that dogs use to hunt down prey. This sometimes is translated as "play drive."

Prompting - A signal or cue that gets your dog to perform a specific activity or a behavior.

Reactivity - Fear, aggression or frustration that your dog displays that is considered unpredictable and usually more escalated than normal.

Redirect - When your dog's focus is shifted from an unwanted behavior to a wanted behavior.

Reinforcement - Actions that strengthen a behavior.

Release - A command or word that you use to release your dog from a command. For example, you release your dog from the Stay command.

Resource Guarding - When a dog "protects" an object or food when another dog or a person comes near.

Reward - You reward your dog after they have performed an action.

Separation Anxiety - Dogs that display anxiety before or when left alone have separation anxiety.

Shaping - Building a dog's behavior using small snippets or steps. This is when you build on existing commands by adding one of the 3 Ds.

Shutting Down - Your dog has reached overload, and is not listening to you any longer.

Socialization - Exposing your dog to various situations and people.  It also includes exposing them to situations, textures, sounds, sights and other sensory information.

Submission - A way that dogs interact with others that indicate to the other dog that they are not a threat. 

Temperament - A dog's personality that influences how he or she behaves. There are a lot of components that make up a dog's temperament.

Training - The art of matching your dog's actions with the words coming out of your mouth. There are several different tools and techniques used for training.

Warning Signals - These are behaviors that dogs use to communicate discomfort or unhappiness with a situation. These signals, usually to dogs or humans, start with a number of indicators that become progressively more vocal and overt.