Learned helplessness: When a dog learns that no matter what he does he cannot escape from an aversive situation and gives up trying. Learned helplessness is a negative, detrimental emotional state that has been associated with anxiety and depression. This is often mistaken for a “calm” dog after using aversive tools such as prong, choke, and shock collars.
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As with any interpretation of animal body language it is important to take into context the surrounding environment and the individual animal’s training/behavior history when possible. Trainer Talk is a small-bite blog geared towards Caitlin’s Animal Training clientele to improve their knowledge of primarily dog training concepts and terminology they will hear throughout their personalized training sessions.