Line in the Sand: How to Stay Below Threshold

It’s common to see and hear teachers and trainers conducting presentations on reactive dogs (including myself) talk about “thresholds.” 

“Keep your dog just below threshold.” 

“This dog went over his threshold.”

It is a challenge in the real world to keep reactive/aggressive dogs below threshold. Life moves on with its sights, sounds, and activities; life pays absolutely no attention to whether we or our dogs are comfortable within particular settings. And, while many dog trainers and pet owners seem to understand the principle of threshold, often the wrong decisions are made in real time.

In this Learning Session, we will explore exactly what a threshold is, why working within its boundaries is so important, and how to help your students (and yourself) stay within those boundaries. A successful training session depends upon your students understanding and implementing this principle in their everyday life. It is up to us, as their teachers, to help them make preparations in their homes and in the public environments that they frequent.

Emma Parsons

Emma Parsons has been training dogs for more than 20 years and specializes in managing and rehabilitating the reactive and aggressive dog. Emma is a faculty member of Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior (KPA), as well as a ClickerExpo faculty member. She gives Click to Calm seminars around the world, teaching others how to manage and rehabilitate reactive and aggressive dogs. Emma is the author of Click to Calm: Healing the Aggressive Dog and Teaching the Reactive Dog Class, as well as some best-selling DVDs. She is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC).

Emma holds a B.A. degree from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, and shares her life with her husband, Greg, and their four clicker-trained dogs: three Goldens, Lizzie-Taylor, Kayden-Blue, Austyn-Roque; and a Papillon, Wylie-Rae.