To summarise this article briefly, interruption refers to the capture of (and interrupting) unwanted behavior from occurring. If we miss our training moment and the unwanted behavior occurs, then we are in a state of damage control where we attempt to limit the damages that result. In a perfect world, we would always be right on top of our dogs and always prevent unwanted behavior and interrupt them. Unfortunately, that isn’t possible and at some point, you will be in a state of loss control.
You bet that damage control is still a valuable training moment as your dog can improve and get better recovery time. Below are two training scenarios that will illustrate the point I’m trying to make.
Breaking off a place board – Dogs break their place boards for a variety of reasons and we can increase the success of our training efforts if we can interrupt the first sign of a dog about to get off without permission. So as you cook dinner while your dog is at her place, you see her head tumbling down and her butt apex going to rise, which may tell you that she is about to fall off the place board and check out what you have going on in the kitchen.
A nicely sorted place or “down” might be able to override your dog’s decision to break, but sometimes it’s too late or they blow our mind off! Instead of having your dog make it all the way to the kitchen with her paws up on the counter and actively eating the birthday cake on the counter, a quick step in the dog could help you to get her to turn around and go back to her bed early on in the day.
Damage control is part of dog training and even if trained successfully there will be failures. Limiting the damage is important and in some cases can be considered a success!