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When there are two different stimuli in the environment that a dog is paying attention to, and one of those stimuli has a much stronger importance to the dog than the other one, so that the dog only pays attention to the most important stimulus and not to the less important one.

For example, if an owner only trains her dog when she is wearing a bait bag full of smelly treats, the presence of the bait bag may overshadow the verbal cue, so that the dog only listens to the owner when she is wearing her bait bag and doesn’t learn that the verbal cue is important.