The Layered Stress Model (#6)

Show Notes on Episode 6: Layered Stress

In this episode, we discuss The Layered Stress Model by Chad Mackin. We dive into the various stress factors a dog exhibits in his life, which can make triggers more difficult to manage: Health, Lifestyle, Clarity and Leashes.

Every dog has a threshold at which it fails to perform. The Layered Stress Model describes that relationship. There is always a breaking point. That can mean that distractions become too intense for a dog to still follow obedience commands. It can be that a fearful dog is getting too stressed and shuts down or blows up. It can be that an aggressive dog acts upon its triggers. When the stress is too high the dog fails.

Stress has multiple layers. For example, a dog that is not feeling well, can react towards a stimulus one way although it would handle things differently if it was feeling better. Or a dog with too much pent-up energy can’t focus on a task until some of that energy has been drained.

By focusing only on triggers upon which a dog reacts, we make it much harder on ourselves and our dog to better deal with its environment. The model describes the different stressors we should address before working on any actual reactivity. The Layered Stress Model was developed by Chad Mackin.

The Layered Stress Model

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