We, as human beings, experience all sorts of pressures in daily life and we all respond differently for different reasons based on our own ability to handle pressure. Maybe we haven’t learned how to act on those pressures when we were younger. Maybe because we have some sort of insecurity that has manifested itself from past life experiences. Some people have the ability to take it as a challenge for growth. Sometimes it’s a mixture of all 3 of these things depending on the situation.
When you really think about it, it makes total sense. When you are driving in the left lane and someone starts tailgating, you either speed up, move over or slow down. You have options and may react based on your state of mind that day, at that moment. This is an example of physical pressure.
Some of us put incredible mental pressures on ourselves. The pressure to gain knowledge of something quickly or to be perfect in a skill, when that sometimes takes time. Years even. I know I have done this in the past and still do to this day. It’s called being hard on yourself.
Life is a lot about pressure on and pressure off and to think it would be any different for a dog would be a misunderstanding.
Have you ever given one dog a bone and watched the second dog stand there, staring until the dog with the bone walked away? This is physical pressure to surrender the toy/bone and often creates defensive behavior by the dog that has the bone at some point, if it is allowed to happen. How the dog with the bone reacts depends largely on the dog, but is it fair? I think not.
I have many clients that tell me that their dog begs at the dinner table but they have never given them table food. See any resemblance there?
Social pressure is a big one for many dogs and some are not equipped to handle what comes
into their space. They make the wrong decisions because they are not comfortable and nobody is listening and helping them out when they need it. If the dog has questionable social history and a new dog comes too close or hangs out too long in his space, this may cause a reaction. This is how behavior issues start and escalate. Go to your nearest dog park and watch it unfold for yourself.
Putting too much mental pressure on some dogs can be problematic leading to frustration if there is no outlet while others deal with it quite well. Some dogs will redirect in certain situations and some will shut down and some will simply comply. Again, it depends on the dog.
Knowing how your dog responds to pressure will help it in all aspects of its life, wether it be socially or from a training standpoint. Teaching the commands that are necessary to managing your dog are important and really not that difficult to teach. Equally, if not more important is learning how to ready his/her body language. This is the best part!