What’s It About
Many people in the behaviour and training world are familiar with Behaviour Adjustment Training, and have achieved great results with it.
In this book, Grisha Stewart, a widely acclaimed trainer and popular seminar presenter around the world, has completely overhauled this already highly successful method to create a new and more effective approach for dealing with dog reactivity.
The key to her approach remains to empower the dog to gain confidence and social skills, with the key differences in BAT 2.0 being
- The dog directs when to approach the trigger and move on, as long as it’s safe (under threshold). By contrast, in BAT 1.0, the handler led more, both on approach and retreat, and sometimes had a goal in mind of how close to get to the trigger.
- You will learn specific leash skills.
- The caregiver is not specifically reinforcing behavior in set-ups—but will do so in certain situations.
- The protocol reduces stress even more than in the original version.
- The focus is on arranging the environment (antecedent arrangements) for the learner’s emotional safety so that desired behavior can occur and be reinforced naturally.
In this new approach Stewart brings us a clearer and more refined approach to helping reactive dogs overcome their frustration, fear or aggression. It is refreshing to find a trainer who is determined to continually better themselves and keep developing her method and approach.
In chapter one Stewart looks at understanding the key concepts of BAT. She explains that her mission is to help dogs have a voice, and BAT does that by giving dogs more control over their own safety. Stewart then details the key concepts that you need to grasp for BAT, these being:
- Control and empowerment
- Behaviour change using BAT
- Staying below threshold
- Set ups
- Clicker/Marker Training
Chapter two, BAT Dog Returns, shares the story of Stewart’s own rescue dog, Peanut, who inspired her to create BAT, as well as her experiences of using BAT with him. She also adds how it has now evolved since inception.
In chapter three, Stewart takes us through safety and management essentials. She explains management as a trainer buzzword for changing your dog’s environment to make it impossible, or unlikely, he will be triggered to do behaviour you’re trying to stop. She also discusses the following management solutions:
- Reducing visual stimulation
- Preventing accidental close encounters
- Avoiding problems on walks
- Reactive dog checklist
Chapter four shows us how to see trouble before it starts. Stewart shares how to determine whether a reaction is coming as a result of fear, anger or frustration. She introduces us to the concept of magnetic power, in that a dog is drawn into reacting and cannot help itself. She shows us how we can set boundaries using the dog’s cut off signals, detailing how we can recognise these. Stewart then teaches us graduated prompts, which are moves the handler can make to prevent escalation. She also explains trigger stacking which is when a series of events that trigger a reaction from your dog happen in swift succession and send your dog way over threshold, and what to do to overcome this.
In chapter five, Stewart focuses on leash skills. As the majority of BAT is done on lead, it is important to teach leash skills that give the dog a sense of freedom whilst still maintaining safety. Stewart teaches us three key skills; safety, freedom and control.
Chapter 6 looks at BAT set ups for reactivity. Stewart explains that all BAT work must be done with the dog under threshold, showing us how to work out when the dog is below threshold versus when he is over. She also examines choice points, a situation in which a dog has a decision to make, along with detailed advice and information on how to make sets ups a success.
In chapter 7, we move on to the mark and move technique. Stewart gives us a list of ways to change a dog’s behaviour at a choice point, explaining that the mark and moves helps to empower, which is the least intrusive approach. She also shows us how to use the mark and move in a number of different scenarios such as frustrated greetings, as well as looking at parallel play.
Chapter eight continues with trouble shooting for BAT set-ups. Stewart provides us with some tips for when the overall training is not quite going to plan, giving us solutions to a variety of common problems encountered, including dog being distracted by play, and dog being drawn to the helper.
In chapter nine, Stewart explains what sudden environmental contrast is, describing it as a change in surroundings that happens quickly, like a child popping out from around a corner. She adds that because dogs do not generalise, SEC needs specific work.
Chapter ten considers BAT on everyday walks, and how to apply mark and move in order to avoid any regression.
In chapter eleven, Stewart shows us how to prevent and manage fence fighting, using active training, lazy bones BAT and active training.
Chapter twelve looks at how we can use BAT to help dogs enjoy welcoming visitors to the home.
Chapter thirteen continues with BAT for puppy socialisation. Stewart examines how we can apply BAT to help puppies through the socialisation process, including meeting people, dogs and other animals, and exposing them to surfaces, crates, noises, etc.
Chapter fourteen concentrates on BAT for trainers and behaviour consultants, showing professionals how to use BAT with clients. She also details how BAT has changed for trainers.
Finally, she concludes that BAT will always remain a work in progress, urging us all to continually keep looking at how we can makes things better.
Also included are five appendixes on:
- Clicker training foundation
- Other training techniques that use functional reinforcers
- Geek speak’ on terms and quadrants
- Trainer and client BAT experiences
Victoria Stillwell says, “ BAT 2.0 is a must-read for anyone who has or works with reactive dogs. For years, dogs all over the world have benefited from the successful philosophies and empowering techniques in BAT, but Grisha Stewart has taken it to the next level. A clear appreciation for the canine experience and easy to follow, practical techniques is what makes BAT 2.0 so beneficial for dogs that experience frustration, anxiety, or fear in any social situation. Stewart gives control back to the dog allowing a delicate balance of freedom, the ability to make choices and safety. I highly recommend BAT 2.0 to anyone who is struggling with a reactive dog or who wants to gain a better understanding of their canine companion.”
Who wrote it? Grisha Stewart , MA, CPDT-KA
More about Grisha: Grisha’s DVDs on BAT training have made her a popular seminar presenter all over the world. She is the owner of Ahimsa Dog Training in Seattle which offers a wide range of dog and puppy classes and an online store.
When was it published? 2016
Who published it? Dogwise Publishing (USA)
What experts are saying about Behavior Adjustment Training
BAT 2.0 is a must-read for anyone who has or works with reactive dogs. For years, dogs all over the world have benefited from the successful philosophies and empowering techniques in BAT, but Grisha Stewart has taken it to the next level. A clear appreciation for the canine experience and easy to follow, practical techniques is what makes BAT 2.0 so beneficial for dogs that experience frustration, anxiety, or fear in any social situation. Stewart gives control back to the dog allowing a delicate balance of freedom, the ability to make choices and safety. I highly recommend BAT 2.0 to anyone who is struggling with a reactive dog or who wants to gain a better understanding of their canine companion.
Victoria Stilwell, author, Train Your Dog Positively
When I ask behavior professionals, “What are your eyes for?” they enthusiastically reply, “To see!” But when I ask, “What is your behavior for?” conference rooms fall silent. In BAT 2.0, Grisha Stewart provides the essential answer to this all-important question: Behavior is to have an effect, that is, to be effective. By safely allowing dogs more control over their own outcomes, especially in challenging conditions where fearful, frustrated, and aggressive behavior is most likely, caregivers will be more successful shaping independent, competent, confident companions.
Susan G. Friedman, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus Utah State University, www.behaviorworks.org
BAT 2.0 is unique—a living document detailing the evolution of a very effective intervention from the experience of many practitioners. I loved the practicality of this book, as well as Grisha Stewart’s dedication to giving dogs a voice in their own development! This is must-reading for those working with dog reactivity in its many forms.
Risë VanFleet, Ph.D., CDBC, author, The Human Half of Dog Training
As a clicker trainer I highly value creativity. I love it every time a trainer uses the laws of learning in new and creative ways that results in better ways of dog training. What Grisha has done with BAT 2.0 is just that. The method combines operant and classical conditioning with a deep knowledge of the dog´s natural language and behavior. And even though BAT is grounded in hard science, Grisha has a way of explaining things so clear and simple that everybody can understand it—and do it.
Morten Egtvedt, Director, Canis Clicker Training Academy