WHY FRUSTRATION MATTERS
So much of our success with dogs depends on whether we have really got to grips with frustration or not. Without it, our plans for separation-related behaviour, reactive behaviour on the lead or even dog fights between cohabiting dogs can be completely derailed.
Worse, if we don't understand how the dogs we work with are affected by frustration in training, then our work with assistance activities, detection or search and rescue, then we're likely to have a high failure rate. Frustration tolerance matters in all spheres, from agility to gundog work and herding. Frustration can even intensify aggression and cause dangerous scenarios in some cases.
If you're still expecting this mystical 'calm' from working-line dogs or anxious dogs, and all your success depends on getting it, you may not be getting anywhere with your clients. This can be frustrating and lead to a high drop-out rate.
Lots of courses pay lip service to frustration. They never truly address what causes it, how we can avoid it, how we can future-proof our pups and how we can build up our dogs' capacity to cope with frustration. This is of particular relevance to working dogs or dogs living highly confined Westernised lives.