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Frustration tolerance and impulse control in the dog


The terms frustration tolerance and impulse control are used in psychology to describe socially desirable behavior such as self-control and patience. It is also important for your dog to learn how to endure frustration and how to control his instinctive needs. This good dog seems to be a professional when it comes to impulse control - Shutterstock / N K

For people as for animals, it is important to be considerate of others and not to follow every impulse that is flaring up spontaneously. Otherwise, living together in a social group becomes difficult or even impossible in the long run, because the person or animal who has not learned to abide by social rules and only wants to get his head around is uncomfortably conspicuous and disturbing. Furthermore, it is difficult to concentrate and willing to learn if impulse control is lacking and frustration tolerance is low.

What are frustration tolerance and impulse control?

Impulse control and frustration tolerance in psychology describe the handling of internal impulses or external stimuli as well as disappointments. A person or dog with low frustration tolerance cannot bear it if their desires, drives and immediate needs are not immediately satisfied. Those who have a high tolerance for frustration, however, have mastered the so-called delayed reward; that is, you are able to accept temporary inconveniences such as waiting times or efforts if you hope to receive a reward later. Dogs, for example, are then ready to interrupt a game with their peers and run to their owner if they know that they can continue playing or do something else later.

Impulse control plays an important role in delaying the reward and thus in frustration tolerance. In principle, this is about self-control, inner calm and patience. If you can control your impulses, think before you act, weigh the consequences of your behavior beforehand and make a conscious decision based on these considerations. Few people are so impeccably self-controlled, but there are people and animals who cannot control their impulses at all. Although they should actually know better due to negative experiences in the past, they follow their immediate affects without thinking about the consequences.

Frustration with dog training is one of them

In some cases, dog education hardly differs from child rearing. Here as there must also ...

How lack of impulse control and frustration tolerance manifests itself

If the dog's frustration tolerance and impulse control are weak, learning is difficult and he cannot adapt well, neither to his favorite people nor to his peers. Such animals appear outwardly uncontrolled to aggressive, erratic, unfocused, impatient, jittery and hyperactive - especially if they experience frustration because something is not going according to their ideas, expectations and will. Examples of impulsive behavior and lack of frustration tolerance are:

  • ● Line aggression, bite or pull on the line
  • ● jumping on people
  • ● Constant barking
  • ● whistling or barking when something doesn't go according to their will
  • ● Uncontrolled hunting behavior
  • ● Constant excitement, nervousness and frightfulness
  • ● Dog can be constantly distracted
  • ● "Cling" to the holder, constant tracking and not being able to stay alone
  • ● Devour food
  • ● "Jealousy" if the owner is ignored or distracted

Why your impatient dog lacks self-control

The skills to endure frustration, to postpone rewards and to control impulses are already learned in puppy age and as a young dog - if everything works out perfectly. There are dogs who find it difficult to learn these important properties and others who find it easier to do so. Hunting dogs have greater difficulty in keeping their hunting impulses in check due to breed; Dog breeds with a pronounced "will to please" like the Labrador Retriever feel frustrated more quickly when their favorite person does not pay full attention to them. In addition, each dog is an individual character with its own personality.

Nevertheless, it is almost always mistakes in dog training that lead to the fact that the four-legged friend can not control himself and deal with frustration. Perhaps as a puppy or young dog, he was not consistently taught which behavior is desirable and which is not. Or your pet has been spoiled too much and is used to everyone submitting to his will. Overemployment of the dog can also lead to this; because if he is entertained and entertained around the clock, he learns to endure periods of rest in which nothing happens.