Shuting Down

When dogs are overwhelmed by stress and other stimuli, sometimes they just shut down. They stop reacting to what is going on around them as much as possible. Given the choice, Max will go hide in his kennel. At this point, they are not learning and don't seem to be fully aware of what is going on in their surroundings.

Shutting down is often mistaken for good behaviour, especially if they have just been doing something we humans think of as bad behaviour. Shutting down often reinforces our human belief in punishment - we yell (or worse yet, physically punish) our dog and all of a sudden, they are quiet and not exhibiting the behaviour we didn't like. However, in reality, we didn't "teach them a lesson", we damaged our relationship with them and put them in a state where they can't learn.

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