Dog Training World Forums General Dog Training Discussion Learning Theory Cool article on “Learned Helplessness” Reply To: Cool article on “Learned Helplessness”

  • Michael D'Abruzzo

    January 19, 2023 at 7:54 pm

    Those were my thoughts. “Learned Helplessness” has always been presented as something that the dog “learned” after being unable to figure out an escape.

    This article presents it as a natural/default response which makes sense, and the animal must “learn” how to escape the aversion (or default to learned helplessness).

    So, as trainers, if we do not create an environment/lesson where the dog can “learn” to escape an aversion, its default behavior will eventually kick in, and it will stop trying.

    It doesn’t change anything regarding how we physically teach a dog, but it makes me think of learned helplessness differently and how it should coincide with the science and importance of escape conditioning.