Monster’s Corner – Trigger Stacking

Good morning Pinehurstians furry and non-furry alike! We here at Monster’s Corner needed to slow down our social media consumption there for a bit. Sometimes it’s all a bit much which gave me the idea for today’s topic: trigger stacking!

The best definition I found for what trigger stacking is comes from Lisa Desatnik, CPDT-KA, CPBC*: trigger stacking occurs when numerous stress inducing stimulus occur simultaneously or within a relatively short period of time, and thus collectively decrease an animal’s coping tolerance.

This is an especially helpful concept to keep in mind when you have a reactive dog, but any being can become trigger stacked. My advice for those who their dog (or bird or partner) is approaching their limit of stressors before going over threshold is to cut the activity that presents the possibility of interacting with another stressor short. If that means you’re only on a walk for half an hour rather than an hour then fill the rest of the time with your dog with something else enriching and/or relaxing. Half walk, half tug, perhaps? Some dogs would love half walk and the other half with a nice long chew. Spending the other walk time practicing a trick could also be great for your dog (if they like learning tricks, of course)!

Getting in the habit of identifying your dog’s riggers and doing your best to keep their exposure to said triggers at a level they can handle is so important for your sentient best bud!


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