Dog Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
....If yes, Id love to hear your experience of it :)!

What is/was easy, what was difficult for you or for your dog? If your dog was too fast (running, not walking) or didn`t want do do sniffing for some reason, how did you helped him/her?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
515 Posts
I've done some dabbling in BAT, but we did a lot of positive reinforcement/CC-ing before we had learned about BAT. I'm honestly kind of on the fence about it. All the videos I've watched make it look so easy and it's not. My girl did not have the ability to relax on her own after seeing a trigger no matter how far out (she's improved a LOT). As soon as she notices and she's in alert mode and WILL take off full speed ahead if given the chance. The videos on the website make me think there's something they're not telling you. Not to be rude but I would put my life savings that NO trainer, no matter how experienced, could have gotten my girl to be THIS close to a trigger without reacting and being anywhere near as calm as this dog looks for his "first try" without using any sort of reward/positive reinforcement/CC

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEyAbxLBGvc

The best method of BAT we tried was heading towards the trigger (in a perfect world a fixed trigger) and as soon as she alerts (without going over threshold), having her do a "this way!" and taking a short run further away, then heading back towards the trigger, etc. etc. all the while getting closer and closer to the trigger without breaking her comfort level.

I am a HUGE advocate for rewarding good behaviors/decisions so I'm not sure how I feel about using NO rewards. Without food/praise/play I don't think my girl would have gotten as far as she is now. The piece of training that helped the absolute most was a solid LAT. Now she does it naturally and as soon as I mark it, she looks back at me and after 3-4 times you can see her relax tremendously.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,421 Posts
I'm a big promoter of straight up desensitization and counter conditioning. BAT doesn't change how a dog feels about the trigger. I do teach an emergency U turn in case of a surprise encounter. For frustrated greeters, teach a DRI.

This site explains it much better than I can.
Care for Reactive Dogs
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
161 Posts
I've mostly done counter-conditioning and the 'Look At That' game. I agree that doing BAT right is a lot harder than it seems. Also, having already developed a good LAT response, I'm not sure how we could even switch to regular BAT, since Grover's immediate response to seeing a dog is to look at me...no sniffing or anything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
316 Posts
I've done plenty of BAT, mostly with my past dog. I found it enormously helpful, especially in a lot of "real life" situations. If you're new to it though, I recommend finding a coach to help (CBATI = certified BAT instructor)...doing it right definitely takes practice.

As far as running vs. walking, I would tend to read that as a symptom of over-arousal -- i.e. if your dog is running and can't calm down, you may be in an over-stimulating environment, or be too close to the trigger, or some other issue. Dogs aren't required to sniff, but sniffing is important feedback about how they may be feeling. So if your dog is running around and can't stop to sniff, and sniffing usually comes very easily to him/her, then again, I think you're in too stimulating an environment, too close to the trigger, or otherwise need to make some adjustments.

Before I started doing BAT, I made sure my dog already had the basic skills she needed. For her, that included teaching her how to relax, playing "Look at That," playing self-control games like "Doggy Zen," and doing a considerable amount of counter-conditioning, all of which is totally compatible with doing BAT as well. I had to learn some leash handling skills too, since BAT 2.0 is done on a long line and there are a lot of necessary skills to make sure the handler is minimizing any potential stress.

When we had BAT sessions, I learned to make sure they were always easy for her. That went for any kind of reactivity work -- if she wasn't getting happier and more relaxed by the minute, we weren't doing it right, and I learned fast to back off when necessary. My dog demonstrated clear changes in behavior toward triggers during BAT sessions, going from alarmed to calm to downright cheerful, and she tended to generalize pretty well from the sessions too.

BAT wasn't always easy for me, because there are specific skills that need to be learned really, really well to do it effectively. But our sessions were certainly useful to me, because they taught me to be an infinitely better handler and observer of my dog, and maybe more importantly, helped desensitize me to the stress of taking a massively reactive dog out into the world. It is really nice to practice handling and training skills in a supportive environment, with controlled set-ups. From reading others' experiences, it seems to me that a lot of people are taking elements from BAT and trying to incorporate them into a different training plan, with the mixed results I'd expect. Again, working with a trainer can sometimes help a lot. Once I was practiced, BAT was incredibly easy to do, because it was built into the rhythm of how my girl and I moved through the world together.

In terms of comparison to other methods, I don't have any way to prove what my girl learned from BAT versus learned from counter-conditioning (or anything else). Once I was fluent in all those skills, I used them flexibly depending on our circumstances. I would never have stopped counter-conditioning, and I was always happy we were both so fluent in BAT, and my girl made a ton of progress but would never have been the poster child for the "cured" dog some people expect. Still, I think there's a lot to be said for working with a good BAT trainer, who can help you develop your own set of skills to help your dog, but a lot to be said for finding a good trainer period!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,398 Posts
Dog reactivity while on leash was our hurdle and I started with the DS and CC, it worked to a certain degree but not nearly well enough. Some might say I didn't give it a chance or did it improperly, that's fine. I decided to move on and take a different approach which yielded much better results. I upped the dog's obedience, more than any dog I have ever had. I truly believe I cannot make my dog like other dogs but I sure can train my dog to ignore other dogs and pay attention to me. Slowly and surely, working/training below or near threshold levels while a trigger exists seems to be the cure. Training the dog to exhibit obedience has gained more benefit than the DS/CC. As the obedience and advanced training progresses, the dog's proximity to the trigger becomes closer and closer while staying under threshold and maintaining proper execution of the desired obedience skill such as a tight focused heel. Dogs are not stupid and they most certainly know the trigger is present but the adherence to the obedience being required at that moment gets the dog through the moment without the fear/aggression behavior which it previously defaulted to. The final result is probably better in a sense because human and dog have a better relationship and most importantly through the enhanced obedience demonstrated by the dog, the dog has existed in an environment which used to create an undesirable result. Essentially, the dog has become desensitized due to the obedience skills the human and dog have accomplished along the way and allowing the dog to get progressively closer to the trigger without losing it's cool. The key is keeping the dog under threshold while conducting the training or other forms of engagement.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top