This is part 2 of a 3-part series on Behavior Adjustment Training (BAT), created by Grisha Stewart. Part 1 can be read here. In the first part you learned about the basics of BAT and how a “perfect” session should look. In part 2, you will learn why it is so effective for reactive/aggressive dogs.
1. BAT Respects The Dog
As a modern dog trainer, you know that the dogs on the other end of your leash deserve respect as thinking, feeling creatures. Too many trainers feel that dogs need to be flooded to help them “get over” their fears or reactivity. Even the best of intentioned force-free trainers may sometimes keep dogs right at their threshold point for counterconditioning and desensitization purposes. BAT, however, never forces a dog to get closer to their trigger than they are comfortable doing.
2. BAT Gives The Dog Choices
As stated above, BAT gives the dog the ability to choose whether and how to approach their trigger. Giving a dog the ability to make choices empowers him. Empowering a dog can make a fearful dog more confident and help a reactive dog learn other, more appropriate ways of dealing with their triggers. Letting the dog choose their speed and approach also keeps stress at a minimum, which makes learning easier.
3. BAT Teaches Dogs They Can Move Away
Though this may sound odd, sometimes dogs haven’t learned that they are capable of moving away from their trigger. Starting at a safe distance allows them to learn this skill before they reach the point of no return and get magnetized to their trigger. Teaching dogs that they have the power to retreat can keep a fearful dog from lashing out and give a reactive dog another option.
Want To Learn More?
Though BAT is simple, it is not easy. If you are interested in learning more, you have the following options:
You can watch a lovely free BAT Overview video that Grisha offers.
You can also watch a full 2 hour BAT Intro Webinar that Grisha put out. It is $29 but well worth the money if BAT is something you’d like in your toolbox.
Finally, to get the full immersion and become more proficient and comfortable in its use, you can take an online course called BAT 101.
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