Course Overview (Syllabus)

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HOW TO USE THESE LESSONS

Read through the lessons at your own pace. Every 2-4 lessons, we will pause to give you some tasks to practice. Each set of lessons with practice is meant to take about a week or so.

If you haven't already signed up for membership, consider doing so because it is a great way to stay motivated. One thing members get is access to Grisha's ABBA Facebook group. You can post videos and ask/answer questions in a discussion with your fellow ABBA members. The group is moderated by our teaching staff to keep the conversations on track.

The agenda is listed with weekly lessons, but you can take whatever time you need.  Most people actually take about 2 weeks per lesson. You keep access to the course on our site and can log in any time.

Week 1

  • Overview of BAT
  • Leash Skills: Handle, Slide, Slow Stop, Mime Pulling, Shorter, Longer
  • Practice leash skills with people
  • Treat Parties

Week 2

  • Body Language: when to stay out of the way and when to jump in to help
  • Find It
  • Equipment for working with reactivity
  • More Leash skills practice - with your dog
  • Assess video posted online

Week 3

  • Mark and Move and other Survival Skills
  • Practice Survival Skills
  • Assess body language of your own dog
  • Recruit help for next week’s BAT set-up

Week 4

  • BAT Set-Ups (why, what helpers do, safety, picking the right space)
  • Do a BAT Set-Up

Week 5

  • Troubleshooting BAT Set-Ups
  • Do a BAT Set-Up

Week 6

  • Training up close or in small spaces
  • Do a BAT Set-Up

Recommended Equipment:

  • Long leash, 10-15 feet (or two 6-foot leashes clipped together). I recommend (and sell) the round, comfortable Mendota leashes.
  • Dog harness with rear attachment. I recommend the Perfect Fit, Balance, or XtraDog Harnesses, which have leash rings on both back and front.
  • A person to help you with BAT leash skills practice (they will walk around being the practice dog at the end of your leash for one session).
  • A dog with mild to severe reactivity directed at dogs or people ('triggers') - from mild fear or frustration through big issues. This course is not appropriate for dogs with generalized anxiety (i.e., anxious and worried about everything, all the time) or only resource guarding (which is dealt with more easily in other ways). This 'student dog' can be your own dog or a client's dog, but you must be ablet to practice with the same dog during the whole course and have permission to film those sessions.
  • Access to a large enriched/interesting training area in which the student dog is willing to explore and is only mildly interested in the trigger without handler distraction. This may be indoors, but is usually outdoors.
  • Access to a helper dog or person (trigger), preferably more than one.
  • For your own assessment, we recommend a Video camera and a way to film yourself training. If you are an ABBA member, you can post videos to Facebook to discuss as a group with occasional instructor feedback.