Behavior Thresholds

It’s helpful to have a shared vocabulary in training. Under-threshold, At-threshold, and Over-threshold are three terms that you will use to describe your dog’s behavior in training. Below are descriptions of what these terms look like in a training context. Watch the video for visual examples of these behavioral states.

Under-threshold

Engaged
Focused
Confident body language
Offering baseline response to well established training exercises 
Working for established reinforcement
Seems relaxed, even during training breaks

At-threshold

Slow responses
Distracted
Not holding position
Displaying stress signals
Minimal engagement for established reinforcement
Dis-engages: turns head or body away
Not holding position
Non responsive or slow to respond to established verbal cues or hand signals
Becomes reactive or stressed during training breaks

Over-threshold

Barking
Fixating
Lunging
Charging
Escape behavior
Avoidance behavior
Displacement behavior 
Shut Down
Complete loss of appetite, even for well established reinforcement
Dis-engaged
Exhibits reactive or nervous behavior during training sets and training breaks

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