All posts by Grisha Stewart (ABBA Staff)

BAT Even Helps Service Dog Teams Walk Better!

Guest blogger Kate Rehman

Guest post by Kate Rehman of K9 Triumph Training

I am disabled young lady who has a service dog to mitigate my disabilities in my every day life. I do tons of charity volunteer training sessions which are private one on one with rescues, pets, fosters and service dogs.

When you at me, you won't see my disabilities; they're invisible.  Rest assured they do exist. I am Deaf; a rare genetic disease is to blame, amongst other disabling issues. I do not hear at all. My service dog alerts me for fire alarms, knocking, my name, dropped items that hit the floor, and other sounds that I might not notice.

I am owner/trainer of K9 Triumph Training, which focuses on empowered canine partnership.
Allow dogs to sniff when possible

I have had the pleasure of implementing Grisha's BAT techniques/protocols with service dogs.

At K9 Triumph, I frequently have had disabled handlers who have had traumatic experiences with their service dogs on or off duty or their service dogs have picked up some unwanted behaviors.

By law, service animals must be under control when working. That means we have to figure out ways to reestablish training, and 'empowered partnership' means we do it in a way that also meets the dogs' emotional needs.

This is where Grisha's BAT leash protocols come in. Within 2-3 sessions of BAT leash skills, their dogs are relaxed, calmer and walking loosely without pulling. They are checking in with their handlers and stopping waiting for to catch up (hence before they would just pull).

I go through the handler's stance by gliding my hands over their shoulders (with permission). I go over their arms, their wrists and hands. I tell them what their body is showing, their energy, and what I see with their body language. Dogs responds to this.

When we walk I watch the handler and how they walk. I stop them, ask questions and get in their minds/what they are feeling?

My questions are, 'Are you in the moment?' and 'Can you look at how you holding the leash?' I slide my hands gently down the leash and pull a tad (this is where you are creating tension).  I remind them, 'Remember to be in the moment with your partner.'

 I physically move their arm, gently guide their hands, I tell them to relax.

[Grisha's note - touching the client can be distracting or it can be really useful. Please use your best judgement when working with clients and always get their consent, verbally and by observing their body language! Just as with the dogs, we need to respect their boundaries.]

 Communication goes down this leash. I role play the motions and slightly coach them by physically showing them how to walk with their service dogs. Not the dog walking them, or us walking the dog. It's a unified skill. Togetherness. Partnership. After all these are working dogs, not pets. They go above and beyond the call of duty. These service dogs save our lives every day.

Usually the handlers are almost paranoid, edgy and worried about judgement when we start; trying to correct their dog every move they make.

I tell them the vest is off, they are with me to learn and no judgement here. Only good things.
I am here to help and empower them as a team.
As take my harness out and properly fit it onto a dog (whichever breed I have that's in service). We treat and reward for acceptance of the harness. Then we walk. No expectations, no tension and we walk with 12 feet of leash.

We let them sniff and as they start to pull I slowly and gently stop the leash and turn/bend and make kissing sounds; as the dog immediately comes, I reward and smile. Usually we continue this one way. We allow the dog to be busy and sniff again, but if they pull we turn a different direction: bend, turn, kissing sounds and again the dog comes immediately and is rewarded. As I am finishing, reeling the leash in without tension, I treat and give a friendly smile.
Power is the dog's choosing to come. We start with the dog taking an entire slack with the lead wanting to pull.
On the way back from one way walking; the dog is voluntarily looking at me and walking beside me on a loose on the leash.

It takes no time for them to figure out and we have communicated clearly what we would like.

 After we are done a few rounds I pass the dog off to the disabled owner/handler. I get shocks of laughter, surprise and their dismay. Is this my dog? What have you done with my service dog?
Their dog is relaxed, no tension and choosing to walk nicely with their handler.

No fighting, no pulling back and no frustration.

The team's energy shifts. Walking is now enjoyable. Working or not.
I get a ton of pullers as clients. They all cannot believe the change. That's what BAT is about. Behavior Adjustment Training.

Even though some don't have fearful or aggressive issues, the BAT leash protocols work excellent for unwanted behaviors and habits that have formed.

 I continue to enjoy seeing these service dogs be in sync with their handlers and being able to master leash walking skills by their choices. All we do is show them and they follow through. They give so much to us with serving.

We need to give respect and empathy to these amazing working dogs. BAT is one great way to help these dogs, whether it's maintenance BAT leash protocols or BAT aggressive and fearful adjustment training.

Things happen on the job, but there is a solution, and if handlers are willing to find a professional trainer that does BAT things could definitely turn around for all.

Thank you for reading!
Kate Rehman
'Empowered Canine Partnership'

Related article: BAT = BRILLIANT + AWESOME + TREMENDOUS! about using BAT to train assistance dogs in Canada

To learn more about BAT, visit Grisha's Campus Store for a self-paced online courses, streaming videos, and the BAT book.

Texas Middle Schooler Saves Thousands of Lives

By Daniella Vereeken - Flickr: HM Orange M - Sarawut, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12683082

Imagine you're a betta fish, swimming in your home, and suddenly you find yourself jostled around into a cramped 2-liter bottle for the rest of your brief life.

You're not there because someone loves fish and want to take care of you, you're just part of a child's science experiment. Live animals are prohibited in the national science fair, but not in school classrooms. Texas middle schooler Ruby G. recently stepped up on behalf of the animals and may have saved thousands of (fish) lives over the next decades of classroom experiments.

Ruby's 7th grade honors classroom was experimenting with different ecosystems with 2 liter soda bottles. A terrarium, with soil and bean or grass seeds is in a bottle on top. On the bottom was the aquarium bottle. A string between the 2 acts as a root system and carries water to the soil.

CC BY-SA 2.0 de, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=392724

The aquarium ecosystem had gravel, aquatic plants called Duckweed, bottled spring water, and snails. The teacher also said they could add a betta fish and/or small fish. This is when Ruby started to realize putting fish in something that small was disastrous. It wasn't just theory--fish in other classes had already died in the first week!

Her mother reports, "When we went to Petsmart to get aquatic plants for her team's aquarium, the employee there said, 'please don't put any fish in those bottles.' And she told Ruby that kids from her school had completely cleaned out the store buying betta fish. And she was asking her manager not to allow the kids to buy fish for that anymore."

"So Ruby decided then and there she was going to do something about it. And when we came home from the store she got on the computer and started writing."

Albert Einstein would have been proud of Ruby's activism, her to bring heart to scientific inquiry. Einstein is well-known for his outstanding intellect and curiosity, but he urged scientists to have compassion, too.
A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. - Einstein

Next, Ruby submitted her well-written paper to her teacher, who was convinced to stop using live fish in future science experiments in his classroom. While that might have disappointed a few of the children, most approved of the compassionate choice to not use animals in classroom experiments.

We all can make a difference in the world. We see injustices every day, to humans and other animals. We make choices with our actions and our words, our inactions and our silences. Brava to Ruby for standing up and getting things done!


Here's Ruby's paper:

The Act Against Fish and 2-liter Bottles

I would first like to state this- in the national science fair, live animals are prohibited. No animals are to be used- nor human subjects without permission slips. Now- I realize it’s not possible to ask a fish for a permission slip, but picture this. You’re taken out of your home/shelter and are put in a tiny containment space for a semester- about 18 weeks, with unusual amounts of food, and caretakers who know nothing about you. There you have it- exactly what happens to whatever fish, or shrimp you buy for your bottle project. It isn’t reasonable to leave these creatures with 12-13 year olds who just buy fish because they think it will look cool- they have no idea what the fish need- and as I’ve discovered, our teachers may not know anything about our water breathing friends either, seeing as if they did they would know the inch-per-gallon rule.

Betta Fish Living Conditions

Betta fish are actually a rare breed of fish called labyrinth fish. They need at least one gallon of water, though that is not recommended because it isn’t healthy. Typically, for every inch of fish (smaller fish), you need one gallon of water. Larger fish need 3. The Betta fish need five to thrive happily, a thermometer to keep track of water temperatures, and normal amounts of food. For the size of ‘tanks’ we keep them in, the water should be cleaned DAILY. The bottles used in our experiments are 2 liters- not even a gallon. With these conditions, this can be considered animal cruelty- in the case of not knowing the needs, and stable environment required to keep these creatures. Betta fish also should not be placed in direct sunlight, as it creates an unstable environment, causing an overgrowth of algae, also it may raise water temperatures over a normal 78-80 degrees. All bottles in my own classroom are left on the windowsills.

Shrimp Included in Bottle Projects

In normal aquariums, shrimp are food. For many fish besides Betta- but Betta fish are naturally aggressive and will not only eat, but kill the shrimp mere hours after placing it in the water with the fish. Shrimp are not meant to be put into 2-liter bottles with killer fish. They are food, when you want them to be. Emotional distress can impact children my age losing a shrimp, or fish.

Solution

If children wish to have fish in a science class, first, don't put them in a bottle. Second, inform the children of the needs and expenses of a fish, including feeding habits, water temperature, and water purity. Third, make sure that they have an aquarium or plan for when the project is over so that a fish is not slowly being killed due to lack of attention, food, or water changes. Fish are intelligent, beautiful beings, and should never be considered for a project like this. It isn’t right, and no teacher is well enough informed to know that, or else we wouldn’t have children feeding their Betta gummy worms, and laying them on paper towels, while removing all original water. Who knows what else has been done over the years? I ask you with all good intent- please ban living creatures in science classes, for the safety of the students- and the specimen.

“Even small fish are fish.” -Czech Proverb

(Video 87) Tips for Sharing Your Bed and Furniture (or Not)

You may have been told that dogs are not allowed on beds, that it makes them dominant. It turns out that's not actually a true statement. If you want your dog on your bed, or your couch, or anywhere else in your home, that's your right. You get to set the boundaries. Just be consistent. Watch this video for ways to help make that comfortable for all involved.

Continue reading (Video 87) Tips for Sharing Your Bed and Furniture (or Not)

(Video 86) How to Stop or Prevent Dogs Fighting at Home

Are your dogs getting along well or do they sometimes freeze and stare at each other or even get into fights? Watch this video for ways to help keep the peace at your home.

Note: this could be a life-and-death situation, depending on how seriously your dogs are going after each other. As always, please consider hiring a dog trainer near you if your animals are in danger.

Continue reading (Video 86) How to Stop or Prevent Dogs Fighting at Home

(Video 84) Me First! How to Train More Than One Animal at a Time

If you have more than one animal to train at a time (like multiple dogs, your dog and your cat, your dog and your son...) it can be very helpful to use something called "stationing" to keep them from mobbing you. This is also useful for dogs who fight in the home...more on that later. Watch this video for several useful tips for training in multi-dog or multi-species households.

Continue reading (Video 84) Me First! How to Train More Than One Animal at a Time

(Video 83) Get Dressed: Teach Dogs to Put On Their Own Gear

Does your dog wiggle and jump around when you're trying to put her tracking harness on? Or maybe he's afraid of his winter dog boots and you have trouble putting them on? Whenever you need to put equipment on your dog, I recommend training your dog to actively participate in getting that gear on himself. Active cooperation is better than  passive acceptance. Watch this video to learn how to teach your dog to put on his own gear.

Continue reading (Video 83) Get Dressed: Teach Dogs to Put On Their Own Gear

(Video 82) How and Why to Train Your Dog to Wear a Muzzle

Muzzles can be used to prevent dog bites in situations where you are unsure of how your dog will react. Dogs should be trained in advance to be comfortable wearing muzzles, and this video explains how to do that. Muzzle training is actually a good idea for all dogs and puppies, because dogs who are injured can be unpredictable and may need to be muzzled.

Never put your dog in a situation where you think it's likely he or she will bite, of course. But when you have prepared your dog for a greeting and you believe everything will probably go well, or when your dog needs emergency medical care, a muzzle can come in very handy.

Continue reading (Video 82) How and Why to Train Your Dog to Wear a Muzzle

(Video 81) Ouch! Why Animals Bite and How to Prevent It

Animals, including dogs, bite for a whole lot of reasons. The severity can be anything from a puppy play bite to a bite to kill. Watch this video to learn some of the reasons animals bite and what you can do to prevent bites.

Continue reading (Video 81) Ouch! Why Animals Bite and How to Prevent It

(Video 80) Ick! How to Stop a Poop-Eating Dog (Coprophagia)

When Bean was younger, he kept finding little 'snacks' in the yard. Sometimes he would even bring little frozen chunks of dog feces inside and try to bury them in the couch! Fortunately I caught all of those before they thawed...eww.  I'm happy to say that the training worked and he is no longer a poop eater.

This video gives you some great ways to help dogs kick the habit of eating poop. Continue reading (Video 80) Ick! How to Stop a Poop-Eating Dog (Coprophagia)

(Video 78) Anger Management: What to Do About Dog Aggression

Aggression is "intent to do harm." Most of the time in dogs, barking, growling, and even biting are ritualized ways to get another person or dog to go away. This video gives you a starting point on what to do if your dog is showing signs of aggression or 'reactivity.'

Note: this could be a life-and-death situation, depending on the severity. As always, please consider hiring a dog trainer near you if your dog or anyone else is in danger.

Continue reading (Video 78) Anger Management: What to Do About Dog Aggression

(Video 77) “I want it!” How to Stop Demand Barking or Vocalizations

Does your dog bark at you for attention? Maybe he drops the ball and barks at you to throw it, throw it, throw it? This video explains how to look for more polite requests for attention and other ways to teach your dog to quietly let you know what he wants.

Continue reading (Video 77) “I want it!” How to Stop Demand Barking or Vocalizations

(Video 76) Help! My Dog is Chasing the Cat

Even though many dogs chase cats, that doesn't have to be the case in your home! The easiest variation of not chasing cats is to teach your dogs that "their" cat is part of the family and not to be chased in the house.

Note: this could be a life-and-death situation for your cat, depending on how seriously your dog is going after the cat. As always, please consider hiring a dog trainer near you if your animal is in danger.

Continue reading (Video 76) Help! My Dog is Chasing the Cat

(Video 75) Home Alone: 5 Ways to Prevent Separation Anxiety

Many dogs freak out when they're home alone because they were not eased into being on their own; they were never specifically taught how to handle it. Addressing full-blown separation anxiety takes time and patience. Preventing separation anxiety before it starts is a lot easier and that's what this video is about.

If you have a puppy or rescue dog, I highly recommend that you watch this video right away and start putting the tips into practice, *before* you have a real separation anxiety problem.

Continue reading (Video 75) Home Alone: 5 Ways to Prevent Separation Anxiety

(Video 74) Is Your Dog Afraid of Riding in Cars?

"Wanna go for a ride?" We often think of dogs jumping around excitedly when they hear that phrase, but some dogs are afraid of riding in cars or trucks. This video gives you safe car travel tips and some useful advice on how to help your dog get over her fear and get back on the road.

Continue reading (Video 74) Is Your Dog Afraid of Riding in Cars?

(Video 73) Deaf or Blind Dogs: Training and Care Tips

Dogs who have trouble hearing or seeing can still be perfectly happy in a family. Contrary to popular belief, dogs with sensory impairments can still function in society, but we do need to make some changes to the way that we communicate with and train those dogs. With some effort, we can help them to safely navigate their lives.

Continue reading (Video 73) Deaf or Blind Dogs: Training and Care Tips

(Video 69) The Sky is Falling! How to Survive Fireworks with Your Dog

Fireworks can be terrifying for dogs. This video explores some tips to help you get your dog comfortable with fireworks. It's best to watch this video a month or two before fireworks start, so you have time to train, but it also gives you some ideas of what to do to help your dog on the day fireworks happen.

Continue reading (Video 69) The Sky is Falling! How to Survive Fireworks with Your Dog

(Video 68) Walking Your Dog Off Leash: Safety and Training

Have you ever come across off leash dogs on your walk? It's fun to walk with your dog running free, but your dog being off leash may actually endanger other dogs or animals. Shouting "he's friendly" is not enough when the other dog is on leash.

This video gives useful tips to help you keep your dog and others safe. It's the neighborly thing to do whenever you choose to walk your dog off leash.

Continue reading (Video 68) Walking Your Dog Off Leash: Safety and Training

(Video 65) Make Your Life Easier with the Right Dog Gear

There are a ton of different dog training contraptions... clickers, choke chains, harnesses, long lines, e-collars, ex-pens, crates, and more. Which ones are right for you and your dog? Which ones can cause problems or harm? This video gives my recommendations on how to choose dog training and management gear.

Continue reading (Video 65) Make Your Life Easier with the Right Dog Gear

(Video 64) It’s a Baby! Help Your Dog Welcome Your New Child

If you are expecting a baby, congratulations! Not all dogs are keen to have a baby around, and even the happiest of dogs should be prepared to have another little human in the house. Having a baby will dramatically change your daily routine, which can be stressful for your dog. This video gives useful ideas to make your baby's homecoming peaceful and easy.

Continue reading (Video 64) It’s a Baby! Help Your Dog Welcome Your New Child

(Video 63) Adding a New Dog to Your Home

Getting a new dog or puppy? Start out on the right paw, because first impressions really do count!

Take a few minutes to watch this video to get some tips on how to best introduce your new dog to the existing animals in the home. Following the tips in this video will help you prevent problems before they start, by avoiding fighting and reducing stress for everyone.

Continue reading (Video 63) Adding a New Dog to Your Home

(Video 62) Possession Aggression: How to Encourage Your Dog to Share with People

It's very common for a dog to protect his prize resources. The good news is that "resource guarding" - growling, snapping, biting over food, toys, socks etc. is the easiest kind of aggression problem to solve in dogs, unless you use punishment. Watch this video for some useful advice.

Hint: It's not a contest. Using force can backfire and lead to people getting bitten, especially kids. The trick is to teach your dog that sharing is awesome.

Continue reading (Video 62) Possession Aggression: How to Encourage Your Dog to Share with People

(Video 60) Mani-Pedi: How and Why to Trim Your Dog’s Nails

Does your dog fight you when you try to trim his nails? Are you not even sure how to do it right? Or does it seem like a stupid thing to do, anyway? Check out this video for why and how to trim your pet's nails.

See also: (Video 59) Cooperative Grooming: 3 Tricks with a Purpose

Continue reading (Video 60) Mani-Pedi: How and Why to Trim Your Dog’s Nails

(Video 59) Cooperative Grooming: 3 Tricks with a Purpose

Does your dog freak out when you try to trim her nails or brush her? It doesn't have to be that way, and there are much better options than just holding her down until it's all over. This video goes through ways you can specifically train your dog to be a cooperative and enthusiastic partner for grooming. This helps prevent bites but also helps your dog stay comfortable and calm.

See also:

Continue reading (Video 59) Cooperative Grooming: 3 Tricks with a Purpose

(Video 58) Cooperative Vet Care: 3 Tricks with a Purpose

Your dog's experience at the veterinarian's office doesn't have to be full of panic and fear. This video goes through ways you can specifically train your dog to be a cooperative partner in his veterinary care. This helps prevent bites but also helps your dog stay comfortable and calm.

See also: (Video 16) Vet Visit Stress Tips for Dogs

Continue reading (Video 58) Cooperative Vet Care: 3 Tricks with a Purpose

(Video 56) Let’s Go! 5 Tips to Keep Your Dog Walking

Do you have trouble getting your dog to move? I notice this "donkey dog" problem most with bulldogs and other short-nosed (brachycephalic) breeds, but it can happen with any dog, especially puppies. This video will explore this problem from the dog's perspective and also give you tips to be able to walk *together* with your dog or puppy.

See also:

Continue reading (Video 56) Let’s Go! 5 Tips to Keep Your Dog Walking

(Video 55) Top Tips for Dogs in Apartments

Do you live in an apartment or condo with your dog? This video has some useful tips to keep your dog quiet and your neighbors happy. It also has great tips for getting past distractions and safely in and out of your building. This is especially useful if you have a dog with reactivity issues.

See also:

Continue reading (Video 55) Top Tips for Dogs in Apartments

(Video 53) Stress Adds Up: Trigger Stacking Leads to Reactivity

If you have trouble figuring out what's causing your dog to explode with aggression, frustration, or fear, you might be missing an important variable: trigger stacking. Check out this short video to learn how stress piles up for dogs.

See also:

Continue reading (Video 53) Stress Adds Up: Trigger Stacking Leads to Reactivity

(Video 52) Dog Doors: When to Use and How to Train

A dog door (or cat door) can be a really convenient way to fix your housetraining problems, but there are some things you should know before cutting a hole in your door or wall. This video goes through the do's and do not's around pet doors and also explains how to train your dog to use the dog door.

See also:

Continue reading (Video 52) Dog Doors: When to Use and How to Train

(Video 51) How and Why to Teach Your Dog to Ring a Bell

Potty problems? Your dog can ring a bell to let you know when it's time go outside. This video explains the perks of teaching your dog this trick and goes through some easy steps to train your dog to ring a bell.

See also: (Video 18) Tired of Cleaning Messes? Housetraining 101

Continue reading (Video 51) How and Why to Teach Your Dog to Ring a Bell

(Video 50) Wait: How and Why to Train a Solid Wait

Stop right there! Does your dog dash out of the house or pop out of the car as soon as you open the door?

Wait tells your dog that he should not get out of the car, leave the house, etc. It is different from Stay, which is about holding an exact position. This video explains some reasons to train your dog to Wait and teaches you how to get your dog to be an expert in patience.

Continue reading (Video 50) Wait: How and Why to Train a Solid Wait

(Video 49) Drop It: 3 Ways to Train a Fast, Reliable Drop

Does your puppy steal socks? Does your dog run after the ball to fetch, but run around and not give it back?

If your dog has something in her mouth, you can do some training so you don't have to end up playing tug of war with your favorite shoes. Drop is not something dogs are born doing on cue, but it's easy enough to teach a reliable Drop. This video goes over 3 ways to train your dog to quickly drop whatever is in her mouth!

Continue reading (Video 49) Drop It: 3 Ways to Train a Fast, Reliable Drop

(Video 48) On Target: How and Why to Train Touch

Touch is one of my very favorite dog training tools. Instead of physically grabbing your dog to get his body into a certain position, you can train him to touch his nose, hip, foot, etc. to a target. This is great for a range of things, from coming when called, to putting the harness on, to grooming and vet care. Touch is essential for all dogs.

See also: (Video 24) 6 Cue Words that Every Pet Should Know

Continue reading (Video 48) On Target: How and Why to Train Touch

(Video 47) Dog Parks: How to Stay Safe and Have Fun!

Dogs have played with each other as probably as long as the species existed, but dog parks are a relatively new phenomenon. Dog parks are usually fenced in and can be great socialization locations but they also have a fair number of risks. Please watch this video before taking any dog to a dog park, particularly those who are most at risk - puppies, dogs with fear issues, and rescue dogs.

Also check out
Video 45: Why Dogs Should Play with Other Dogs
Continue reading (Video 47) Dog Parks: How to Stay Safe and Have Fun!

(Video 46) Dog Playdate Safety

Dogs should socialize with all kinds of other dogs, but how do you get them together? And what if you just want to have friends over and they're bringing their dog? Coordinating play dates can be a great way to set the dogs up for success and fun. This video shares some of the most useful tips to keep in mind for dog play dates.

Also check out Video 45: Why Dogs Should Play with Other Dogs
Continue reading (Video 46) Dog Playdate Safety

(Video 45) How and Why to Let Dogs Play Together

Play with other dogs is excellent physical and mental exercise, and that can solve a lot of behavior problems. Dogs also learn a lot from play and so can you! But how can you tell they are playing and be sure it's a good experience for all involved? Check out this video for a look at how to supervise safe play between dogs.

Also check out Video 46: Dog Playdate Safety
Continue reading (Video 45) How and Why to Let Dogs Play Together

(Video 43) 20 Dog Training Cues to Make Life Easier!

Cues are often called 'commands' with punishment based training. It's the word or signal used to tell your dog which specific behavior you want and might reinforce. If you've already watched 6 Cue Words that Every Pet Should Know and want more cues to teach your dog to make life easier and more fun, check out this video.
Continue reading (Video 43) 20 Dog Training Cues to Make Life Easier!

(Video 41) Fun Dog Brain Games for Happiness and Mental Health

If your dog is destroying your house or looks 'depressed' it may be that you just don't have enough mental stimulation. Brain games are excellent for preventing separation anxiety, teaching dogs not to chew your furniture or other items, and just generally making your dog smarter and happier. Dogs and puppies are not natural freeloaders - they would rather work for their food than lie around all day doing nothing. This video has several practical ideas to solve behavior problems and help your dog have more fun!

Also watch: Rainy Day Dogs: How to Exercise Your Dog Indoors

Continue reading (Video 41) Fun Dog Brain Games for Happiness and Mental Health

(Video 40) When Can I Stop Using Dog Treats?

Teaching your dog with positive reinforcement doesn't mean that you have to be a food dispenser for the rest of your dog's life. Part of reliable dog training is having your dog listen to you without having treats in your hands or even needing to feed all the time. Humans, dogs, and other species don't work for free, but there are a lot of reinforcers out there besides for just food. These tips and tricks will help you wean off of constantly treating your dog for every single behavior.
Continue reading (Video 40) When Can I Stop Using Dog Treats?

EBook: Entrenamiento para el Ajuste del Comportamiento BAT 2.0

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"BAT 2.0 es de lectura obligada para quien trabaje con perros reactivos." - Victoria Stilwell

Empodera a tu perro, mejorando su confianza y habilidades sociales. Con BAT 2.0, Grisha Stewart ha reajustado por completo el Entrenamiento para el Ajuste del Comportamiento (BAT) creando una nueva herramienta eficaz y práctica para tratar la reactividad canina.

BAT 2.0 construye resiliencia y autoconfianza en los perros, dándoles opciones de aprender de modo seguro acerca de las personas, perros y demás “detonantes” del entorno. Escrito con gran claridad para que todos puedan aprender, este libro incluye además consejos técnicos y capítulos extra, específicos para profesionales del comportamiento canino.

Aprenderás a:

  • Rehabilitar perros con problemas de agresión, frustración y miedo.
  • Usar técnicas de supervivencia para prevenir la reactividad en los paseos y en el hogar.
  • Emplear una correa larga para maximizar la libertad de movimiento de tu perro de modo seguro.
  • Aplicar la filosofía BAT de Grisha con todo tipo de perros y cachorros...¡recuperando tu vida normal!

This is Grisha's BAT 2.0 book in Spanish, translated by Certified BAT Instructor Luis Gomez, published by Grisha's company, Empowered Animals.

Grisha Stewart, MA, CPDT-KA es una entrenadora canina y reconocida ponente internacional, especializada en el empoderamiento y la reactividad canina. Es autora de dos libros, varios DVDs, y dirige una escuela de entrenamiento online desde Alaska. Grisha también es la fundadora de la escuela Ahimsa Dog Training en Seattle, que ha sido galardonada en numerosas ocasiones, incluyendo la Mejor Escuela de Washington Oeste.

“Ahimsa” es una doctrina budista sobre la no violencia hacia todas las criaturas vivientes, reflejando su enfoque sobre el entrenamiento basado en el empoderamiento de todos los animales, incluyendo las personas. Grisha tiene un Máster en Matemáticas por el Bryn Mawr College y un postgrado en psicología especializándose en comportamiento animal, por la Antioch University. Su primera carrera en matemáticas le fue muy útil como adiestradora y consultora en comportamiento canino, porque confía plenamente en la resolución de problemas, el pensamiento crítico y las habilidades pedagógicas que aplicó en ese campo.

A Grisha le fascina el comportamiento canino y está realmente motivada por ayudar a mejorar nuestras técnicas para rehabilitar y adiestrar a los perros. Sus intereses profesionales en torno a la reactividad, junto con la necesidad de encontrar un método de rehabilitación eficiente que pudiese funcionar con su propio perro miedoso, llevó a Grisha a desarrollar el Adiestramiento para el Ajuste del Comportamiento (BAT).

Para ver el calendario con los próximos seminarios BAT, aprender más sobre BAT, acceder a vídeos en streaming, concertar una consulta online, participar en los chats sobre BAT, o registrarte para los cursos online, entra en GrishaStewart.com Grisha es una incansable senderista, mediocre pero entusiasta escaladora, y una apasionada defensora del entrenamiento y cuidado amable de los animales.

Please note: Thank you for purchasing your own copy, and for using my website! eBooks are for use on your devices only. It is illegal (and just mean to authors) to share or sell the files with others.

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Purchase: eBook: BAT 2.0 Espanol

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  1. Entendiendo BAT: Conceptos Clave
  2. El Regreso del BAT-dog: Las Lecciones de Peanut
  3. Ajustes Rápidos: Fundamentos sobre Gestión y Seguridad
  4. Cómo Prevenir los Problemas
  5. Técnicas de Correa para Mayor Seguridad y Libertad
  6. Puestas en Escena BAT para la Reactividad
  7. Marca y Muévete: Distancias Cortas y Espacios Reducidos
  8. Solución de Imprevistos en BAT
  9. Sorpresa: Contraste Ambiental Repentino
  10. BAT para los Paseos Diarios
  11. Amarás a tu Prójimo: Peleas en Vallas
  12.  ¿Quién eres? Enséñale a Disfrutar las Visitas
  13. BAT para la Socialización del Cachorro
  14. Entrenadores y Terapeutas: BAT con los Clientes
  15. Conclusión
  • Apéndice 1 - Fundamentos del Entrenamiento con Clicker
  • Apéndice 2 - Otras técnicas que emplean Refuerzos Funcionales
  • Apéndice 3 - Para Profesionales: Jerga Técnica sobre Términos y Cuadrantes

Reviews

Lo que dicen los expertos sobre Entrenamiento para el Ajuste del Comportamiento.

BAT 2.0 es de lectura obligada para quien trabaje con perros reactivos. Durante años, perros de todo el mundo se han beneficiado de los enfoques y las técnicas de empoderamiento de BAT, y ahora Grisha Stewart lo ha llevado al siguiente nivel. Un clara sensibilidad por la experiencia del perro, y técnicas prácticas y fáciles de seguir, hacen que BAT 2.0 sea muy beneficioso para los perros con frustración, ansiedad o miedo en cualquier contexto social. Stewart devuelve el control al perro, permitiendo un delicado equilibrio entre libertad, la capacidad de tomar decisiones, y la seguridad. Recomiendo encarecidamente BAT 2.0 a todo el que esté sufriendo por un perro reactivo, o quiera tener una mejor comprensión de su compañero canino.

Victoria Stilwell, escritora, Train Your Dog Positively

Cuando pregunto a profesionales: “¿Para qué tenéis ojos?” responden entusiasmados: “¡Para ver!”, pero cuand pregunto: “¿Para qué es vuestra conducta?” la sala queda en silencio. En BAT 2.0, Grisha Stewart ofrece la respuesta esencial a esta importante pregunta: la conducta debe tener un efecto, debe ser efectiva. Al permitir de un modo seguro que los perros tengan un mayor control sobre sus consecuencias, especialmente en entornos complicados en los que es probable una respuesta de miedo, frustración o agresión, los cuidadores tendrán más éxito moldeando a compañeros autónomos, competentes y confiados.

Susan G. Friedman, Ph.D., Profesora Emérita en la Universidad de Utah. www.behaviorworks.org

BAT 2.0 es único—un documento vivo que detalla la evolución de un tipo de intervención muy efectivo desde la experiencia de muchos entrenadores. Adoro el carácter práctico de este libro, así como la dedicación de Grisha Stewart’s para dar a los perros ¡voz en su propia evolución! Es una lectura indispensable para aquellos que trabajen con la reactividad canina en cualquiera de sus formas.

Risë VanFleet, Ph.D., CDBC, escritor, The Human Half of Dog Training

Como entrenador de clicker, aprecio mucho la creatividad. Me encanta cuando veo a un entrenador usar las leyes del aprendizaje de nuevas y creativas formas que resultan en mejoras para el entrenamiento canino. Lo que ha conseguido Grisha con BAT 2.0 es exactamente eso. Su método combina el condicionamiento clásico y el operante con un gran conocimiento del lenguaje natural y el comportamiento canino. Y a pesar de estar apoyado en ciencia compleja, Grisha lo explica de un modo claro y sencillo de modo que todos pueden entenderlo—¡y practicarlo!

Morten Egtvedt, Director en Canis Clicker Training Academy

Me encanta el enfoque pedagógico de BAT 2.0 y cómo se centra en dar al perro la sensación de control en su propia vida, después de todo es un elemento imprescindible si quieres que tu perro se sienta feliz y seguro. También les da la capacidad de predecir eventos en el entorno, lo que fortalece aún más su autoconfianza y así saben que tienen control sobre las situaciones importantes de sus vidas.

Anders Hallgren, escritor, Estrés, Ansiedad y Agresividad en Perros

BAT 2.0 muestra cómo Grisha está continuamente evaluando y ajustando sus propias técnicas de modificación de conductas. Ha avanzado mucho en su búsqueda para ayudar a proporcionar un mayor bienestar emocional a los perros.

Terry Ryan, escritora, The Toolbox: las herramientas para construir un gran perro de compañía

How Do I Get My Dog’s Consent for Nail Trimming?

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • I like the consent approach to nails you mentioned in the Consent seminar earlier today. I am currently trimming my dogs overly long nails a tiny bit once a week with his begrudging agreement or tolerance. How would I retrain for consent, while still keeping his nails short enough. He already has long nails due to long quicks (I assume from me not being good enough about nails when he was a puppy).
  • I was worried about a scratch board hurting his paw pads?
  • What's your favorite treat reinforcer right now for the dogs?
  • I also talked about:
    • This is the last office hours for now! Thank you all so much for being here!

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

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How Can I Get My Dog to Be Quiet (Stop Barking)?

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • What is the best way to quiet a dog that is barking out of concern or worry ie he hears fireworks. In the past I have checked out the noise for him and tried calming touch which works somewhat. Now I have a sick cat and would like to be able to cue a quiet verbally while tending to the cat. I tried capturing quiet and putting it on cue but this doesn't carry over to worried barking. Any ideas?
  • How would you handle off leash dogs approaching you and your dog while on a walk?
  • What are your thoughts on the pet tutor?
  • I've got a big question for you today 🙂 When you bring home a rescue dog that is known to be fearful but otherwise has an unknown number of behavior issues what do you think is the most important thing to do or not do in the dog's first couple weeks in their new home in order to get things started off on the right foot?
  • Hi Grisha, I was hoping for a little advice on forming a group to do BAT set ups. We live in Kodiak, my pup is a bit of a 'tarzan' dog and is leash reactive in a frustrated, anxious way. Is it OK to do some Bat set ups with other leash reactive pups? Thank you!
  • I also talked about:
    • Doorbell training for dogs using differential reinforcement of alternate behavior (video from the same session as last week's office hours)
    • 5-second rule for petting (video of dog in Spain)
    • Live training with Bean (briefly).

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

  • My Facebook events page
  • Seminar listings on this site
  • BAT DVDs (also available in streaming format) including Survival Skills
  • Facebook info on Don't Just Grab the Pussy: Consent in All Species
  • Pet Tutor - I also talked about it in the 2/16 office hours, with sort of a demo.I mentioned several remote treat dispensers and cameras. The Pet Tutor (use coupon code grishastewart for Free Shipping), Petzi Treat Cam, and the Pet Cube.  Pawbo does look like a better option for video because it records and sends to dropbox and may have sound on the video. Petzi does not do video and Pet Cube does not have sound on the videos, but both have sound in live streaming. PetCube keeps adding more good features tough.

    NOTE - I don't recommend using the laser feature with dogs on any of the devices. Laser pointers can create obsessive-compulsive (OCD) light-chasing behavior in dogs that's very hard to get rid of.

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Jordan Shelley (Crossover Training, Reactivity) Recording

Don’t Just Grab the Pussycat: the Power of Consent in All Species (1.75 Hours)

If you have already purchased this presentation, please log in with the user info you created.

WHY WATCH THIS ONLINE SEMINAR?

hug-dogDid you know that your dog might not actually like being picked up? Or that "not running away" is not the same as your cat consenting to be petted? Did you know that putting your hand out into a dog's space is actually NOT a polite thing to do in the dog world? Or that most of the photos of 'happy dogs' getting hugs on Facebook are probably not actually happy?

Consent before touching (or lack thereof) was a hot topic in the 2016 US election and also before that with some well-publicized crimes. It has continued to stay in the consciousness of the Western world with the #metoo movement, supreme court confirmations, and various other events. One of the interesting and tragic things about consent is that it is applied differently to different genders, species, and cultural groups.

This seminar was recorded live in December 2016 and is available for you to view at any time!

Topics:

This online seminar explores boundaries and consent:

  • Boundary setting in humans and non-human animals
  • How consent can only be given in the moment. Authentic consent cannot be given after the fact or in advance.
  • Effects of contact without consent
  • Benefits of asking for consent before physical contact
  • How to ask for and receive consent from non-human animals
  • Comparison of different animal training techniques and how they relate to consent
  • How helping your dog communicate consent and cut-off signals can improve your dog's behavior and your relationship with your dog
  • How clear consent of your own boundaries can improve your relationship and sex life with your human partner(s)
  • How to defend your animal's right to give/deny consent
  • How discussing consent in contact with animals can educate humans about boundaries with one another

(topics subject to change)

Presentation is online with live video, powerpoint, and recorded videos. The presentation will be recorded, so don't worry if you can't make the date.

ADULT CONTENT WARNING: This seminar is not just about dog training, but about personal contact between humans. I recommend only adults register, as there will be some discussion of consent and safe words between humans for intimate contact (including sex). This is not your usual dog training seminar.

ABOUT GRISHA:

Grisha and Bean, Photo by Kaden Weaver

Grisha Stewart is an author, international speaker, and dog trainer who specializes in dog reactivity. She founded Empowered Animals and the online Animal Building Blocks Academy in Alaska and Ahimsa Dog Training in Seattle, which has earned many awards, including Best of Western Washington.

"Ahimsa" is a Buddhist doctrine of nonviolence to all living things, which reflects Grisha's focus on force-free methods to promote the well-being of dogs and their humans.

More info about Grisha: http://grishastewart.com/grisha

About This Online Seminar Recording:

  • Recorded live December 13, 2016
  • Stream on your computer or mobile device (not a download or a physical DVD)
  • Run time: 1 hr 45 mins
  • CEUs are not available for this seminar.

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Purchase: Consent Webinar

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Webinar $31.20 (save 20%) + 1-year Pro Membership** $39.95
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When Can I Let My Dog Greet During a BAT Set-Up?

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • I did 2 BAT session with a 1/2 familiar trigger(person) with my dog. the last session she started to vocalize excitedly (telling me that she knew the person and is ok with her)when she saw the trigger but she didn't wag her tail. So I didn't let her go up and continued the BAT session coming up to 1-2 meter to trigger. When do I know is a good time to let her go up to trigger?
  • My other question is: Could you do a video on bringing a person( trigger) into house and how a session in the house would look like (close up BAT work)??? I really would love that and its so much better to learn from a video than just reading it in the book. thank you sooo sooo much.
  • Hi Grisha, I hope you don't mind me asking but how long would you say it took you with Peanut to improve his reactivity using BAT and how much time on a daily basis did you spend working with him? I have had Lily who is rescue for nearly 3 years now but only discovered BAT about a year and a half ago and have been working hard but there always seems so many setbacks and so much to learn.
  • How could I use BAT on our daily walks? I have a rescue pup, he is two years old and seems to get very anxious with other dogs if he is on leash.
    We try our best to avoid situations where he goes way over threshold but its reeally hard here.
  • I couldn't find the info about upcoming European seminars, where are they held?
  • I also talked about:
    • Doorbell training for dogs using differential reinforcement of alternate behavior.
    • Live training with Bean and Zuki.

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

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How Do I Reduce Stress / Manage My Dog During Construction?

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • Looking for some advice on the best way to manage and potentially simultaneously reduce stress on my dog during a bathroom remodel in an apartment. I've been staying with him in a separate room and rewarding calm behavior in addition to trying to toss treats or give small amounts of peanut butter after hammering, drills, etc. But not sure if it will be beneficial if he is too close to the stimuli.
  • Seeking cat empowerment advice: Positive ways to help my cat curb her vocalizing at mealtimes? Right now I'm relying on negative reinforcement and I'm not comfortable with it (ie, I leave the kitchen or food goes away when she starts yowling, etc.) I'm about to start her on food toys so expect that will help, and feeding her in unexpected places at unexpected times.

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

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(Video 39) Top Tips for Reliable Dog Training

Does your dog sit at home, when you have a cookie, but not when you are out on a walk or when guests come over? With a fully trained cue, you should be able to get reliable behavior in just about any situation, and definitely not just when you have a treat in your hand.  If your dog isn't responding to your cues, that doesn't mean he's stubborn, stupid, or dominant. It just means that you have missed an aspect of your training. Watch this video for tips on building reliability, for dog training you can trust.
Continue reading (Video 39) Top Tips for Reliable Dog Training

(Video 38) This Means That: How to To Add a Cue to Behavior

Cues like "Sit," "Down," etc. are how we ask for behavior (similar to commands but different, as you'll see in this video). Cues are signals that tell the dog that a specific behavior might earn a reinforcer. A cue can be anything the animal can perceive - hand signals, spoken words, random sounds, doorbell, scent, etc. This video will teach you how to add a cue to a behavior that your dog is already performing, as well as transfer from an old cue to a new cue. Watch my 4 Ways to Get Behavior video to teach them to do a behavior in the first place.
Continue reading (Video 38) This Means That: How to To Add a Cue to Behavior

(Video 26) How to Fix a Dog’s Fear of the Clicker

Clicker training uses a marker to tell the animal that the behavior was correct and has earned a reinforcer. It's a way to say "YES, do that again!" But sometimes dogs, cats or other animals are afraid of the clicker sound. In this video, Grisha goes over ways to help pets get over their fear of the clicker - and how to train in the meantime.
Continue reading (Video 26) How to Fix a Dog’s Fear of the Clicker

(Video 36) 4 Ways to Get Your Dog to Do a Specific Behavior

Positive reinforcement is very effective, but how do you get the dog to do something that you can reinforce in the first place? One outdated option is to just force the dog into the position, like picking up the paw or pushing the dog into a sit. It 'works' but there is an emotional cost when you force behavior instead of setting up a situation where the animal will offer it. Fortunately, humans are pretty smart and have developed much more empowering ways to get behavior! Watch this video to learn how to use 4 essential ways to get non-verbal animals to offer behavior: shaping, luring, capturing, and modeling/copying.
Continue reading (Video 36) 4 Ways to Get Your Dog to Do a Specific Behavior

(Video 28) Play With Me! How & Why To Play With Your Pet

Does your dog or cat like the way you play? Are you sure? Each animal has his own preferences about what kind of play is actually fun and which kind is boring or even stressful. In this video, Grisha gives some tips on how to play with dogs other animals, how to know they are enjoying the games, what kind of play to avoid, and how to use play in training.
Continue reading (Video 28) Play With Me! How & Why To Play With Your Pet

If One Dog Drops a Toy, Can Another Pick It Up? (Resource Guarding)

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • I have 2 dogs who both will resource guard certain toys. The dogs have only been living together for 3 mos. They have gotten a lot better at reading each other since they met, so now they can play/chew near each other. Does it matter if we are particular about who gets what toy? What should I do if one dog's toy falls off the couch and the other takes it? I want to make sure I'm not messing up.
  • After a "let's go" encounter where another dog has gotten a bit too close, is it beneficial to 'return to the scene of the crime' after the other dog has passed by, to reinforce that particular location has no bad 'mojo' to it? Or do you feel it doesn't really matter?
  • Are you going to do a video about the CleverPet?
  • I also talked about
    • The future of the office hours and Facebook group.

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

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Anders Hallgren (Animal Behaviorist) Recording

What Would Your Dream Animal Shelter Look Like?

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • My dog is getting more and more scared of sudden sounds outside. He has always been very worried when we go out for a walk and I have done a lot of counterconditioning and games to make him feel more confident and safe. It was going fine but now thanks to the hunting season things are getting worse. I can’t make him relax anymore once he gets scared until we get home.
  • Dog Sanctuary/rehab facility. We are going to "rewrite the book" if you could do this what would your "must haves" be for the dogs. In whatever capacity - environment, staff, supplies, set up. If money is no object what would be your top requirements? Thanks in advance!
  • My dog is cautious by nature, especially of new things, yet he enjoys going on walks in new areas. After this past new years he was traumatized by fireworks and I feel it affected his nervous system for some months. I backed off on the training and tried to do calming things and empower him and set up a lot of routine. Now we are getting back into agility training and it is recommended to introduce him to one new thing everyday. I would imagine there should be a balance between routine and novelty. He is 3 1/2 years old. Ive had him since a puppy. What are your thoughts on this situations and your thoughts on how to handle the balance between routine and novelty for all dogs, but especially one like him, sensitive. Thanks
  • Hi Grisha, I think you said (or I read it somewhere else) that for the time I'm doing loose leash training with my dog, I should attach the leash to the back clip for training sessions and to the front chest clip in situations where she might pull. Do you think this makes a big difference for the dogs or is it just an "emergency" solution?
  • Can you elaborate on the B complex vitamin benefits?

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

BBA BADGE member area
Building Blocks Members get instant access to video lessons, live Q&A, and more!

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How Do I Train My Dog to Wear Boots? Or a Muzzle?

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • I've heard trainers promote fetch as a form of exercise. I've recently taught Astra to fetch but to provent it from becoming a fun activity away from me, I've play a tug game when she comes back and do othr behaviours. Was interested in your thoughts on fetch?
  • My dog unfortunately got the chance to chase a chicken at the beach a week ago. He caught it by the tail feathers before I could get his attention, neither chicken nor dog were hurt. I feel like he's been more tired than normal since then. Is this normal. Could he have just over stressed his system and it's taking a while to recover?
    • To be fair he had a big weekend before the Tuesday beach outing. Nosework trials sat and Sunday and agility class Sunday evening. More than his normal schedule
  • Why "good choice" instead of "good boy?"
  • Do you have a resource for where to buy and how to fit a muzzle (for a small Bean sized dog)
  • I also talked about:

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

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What Tips Do You Have for Camping with Your Dog?

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • What are some of the ways to minimise distress to dogs when partners split up and one leaves the family home?
  • This might seem like a strange question but I have heard you mention using a zig zag approach when approaching the Helper but how do you do this approach if the dog is not doing it on their own . So ... we lead the dog ? That doesn't seem what you would mean
  • Hi Grisha, just thinking about the Bat theory test [for CBATI certification]. I have the outline for the PSA side of the certification process but is there a guide as to what is covered in the theory part? I.e. is it all about BAT theory & usage or does it include other areas such as learning theory, body language etc. Just trying to judge whether ready to take the plunge. Thank you and looking forward to November 🙂
  • When I go off leash bushwalking with Astra, she's not interested recalling for food or a game. This has limited how much off lead walks we can do. Today I started a game of tossing the treat but fainted moving in different directions to get her excited. It worked quite well, but I'm wondering what else I can try apart from jumping around like a crazy owner (haha) and using super high value treats.
  • We have a question for anyone who has moved from an apartment where the dog always had to be taken out on leash to potty into a house with a yard? Our friends' Bulldog, Duke, won't use the yard at all. It is all grass with cement walks on both sides and a cement patio. He did go when we brought our two female dogs over but wouldn't go again once they left. Any ideas to help get Duke to potty in his new yard? Thanks!
  • I walk a female Poodle. I usually carry my little female through her house to the back door which is where we start our walk. One day I decided to let her walk through to the back door. Can you tell me why, when they were outside the female dog lifted her leg & peed on my smaller female dog? Just wondered what was going through her head? Interesting.
  • I also talked about:
    • Monthly Challenge: conditioning a muzzle, harness, or other gear. Prize: Ahimsa Dog Training manual - print or eBook
    • Happy dog camping tips (for dogs with reactivity issues)
    • Socially motivated dogs and personal play

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

BBA BADGE member area
Building Blocks Members get instant access to video lessons, live Q&A, and more!

Professional, ad-free, expert advice

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Small Dogs Rule! (1.5 hours)

Online seminar recorded October 4, 2016 - Presented by: Grisha Stewart.Small dogs are awesome and amazing to live with. There are some specific challenges that people face when they care for small dogs, including bias from other people, safety issues, aggression, and training problems. This seminar discusses empowerment and positive dog training that will be helpful for both regular pet folks and professional trainers.


Continue reading Small Dogs Rule! (1.5 hours)

Laura Nativo (Animal Acting) Recording

How Do I Switch Between BAT Mode and Transport Mode?

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • am having a problem finding the appropriate back attachment harness for my 9 pound poodle. (breast bone 15 ')I have ordered many and sent them all back.
    Any tips on a small comfy BAT harness?
  • My dog (9 months old) is really great when my Yoga students come to the house. He's calm, doesn't jump up and greets everyone nicely. I can have up to 6 people come at once and have worked very hard at teaching him that this is appropriate behavior when we have guests.
    However, we had a house painter come to give an estimate and this morning a friend came to look at doing some other work in the yard and my dog LOST HIS MIND! Help!
  • We have a question for anyone who has moved from an apartment where the dog always had to be taken out on leash to potty into a house with a yard? Our friends' Bulldog, Duke, won't use the yard at all. It is all grass with cement walks on both sides and a cement patio. He did go when we brought our two female dogs over but wouldn't go again once they left. Any ideas to help get Duke to potty in his new yard?
  • I watched the BAT Feature FIlm "Walk with me" and there's one thing I haven't understood. I love the concept of giving your dog time to sniff around and just let her determine where she wants to go and to sniff. Just how can I tell my dog, without frustrating her, that now is not the time for BAT but for a brisk walking pace?
  • I also talked about:
    • Is it okay to have your dog above you while you lie down?
    • Training the Down cue with Zuki (and double-dog training using stationing)

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

  • Online Seminar: Small Dogs Rule is today October 4. Webinar for all dog lovers, with discounts just for ABBA members. Recording is available for purchase after the seminar.
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What Do the Lyrics of the BAT Song Mean?

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • Does the crate training section of the Empowered Puppy Raising course cover preventing separation issues in general? It's one of my weak points and I'd like to make sure I'm as educated as possible in prevention methods before I get a puppy.
  • Also, I assume the "crate" training can be applied to any containment space for the puppy, like an ex-pen, since your views on crates have changed?
  • I registered for the BAT 101 training course and began watching it yesterday. So far the material covered has been great. During the video there is mention of what zone the dog is in, for example he is still in the blue zone, however I never saw the zones explained and did not see a handout.Is there a handout that covers this or is this covered somewhere that I can reference?
  • Can you go through the words of the BAT song? [original song video posted below]
  • I know each case is individual, but in general, what steps do you take when you have two dogs fighting in the house? Now that the second dog is an adolescent the two dogs have started to argue over resources.
  • We were at your LB seminar and you mentioned the importance of providing dogs with the opportunity to "potty" during the day. We had a 6 x 10' wire mesh kennel built right outside the house with a dog door but can't get them to "potty" there while we are at work. Any ideas to help train them? It is cement with a 2x10' strip of river rock. We did try putting a piece of grass in but still no luck.
  • What do you recommend for a dog who resource guards against the husband when food is on the table? Husband doesn't have great skills. He's tried tossing treats when he comes in the room, but timing etc is off.
  • I also talked about:

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

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How Do I Get Dog Helpers for BAT Set-Ups?

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • Unfortunately, for those of us that do not have the money or many close friends and family that are comfortable with dogs, let alone reactive dogs, could you please advise how we are able to do the BAT setups without assistance?
  • This questions relates to the fact my dog has chased cars, which I'm doing car desentisation with her, can a dogs emotional state change with verbal encouragement and massage? Last night she trigger stacked about noises in the country, some of which I couldnt hear. I used treats which she took and she came to me and accepted my massage and cuddles but did still bark and growl.
  • My dog is terrified by strangers and lunges and barks at them. Also she has nipped a person before. Now, I am in the process of starting BAT set ups soon. But in the meantime, until she is lots better with strangers, if she has to go to the vet, what would be your suggestions of how to make her not completely loosing it at at the vet?
  • Limited BAT set up areas that have people and dogs but can be at a safe distance. Large field surrounded by trees/shrubs, in between field and trees is walking path. She zooms in field from one sniff to the next going closer to path. Do slow stop but then have to redirect as she wants to be on path nearer trees. Is it OK to keep redirecting back to field area? No other venue w/safe distance.
  • I also talked about:
    • BAT leash skills video demo
    • Dog begging at the table
  • For next week: Hi Grisha! I know each case is individual, but in general, what steps do you take when you have two dogs fighting in the house? Now that the second dog is an adolescent the two dogs have started to argue over resources.

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

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How Do I Get My Dog to Stay Outside Alone or Come Inside?

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • How can I teach my dogs to stop playing with each other on command? My daughter and I got puppies 1 month apart almost two years ago. They have been raised separately (for the most part) in the same house. Sometimes the male gets too rough grabs the girls scruff and wont let go. We try to stop him but he runs from us and goes back to play rough again. Timeouts made him aggressive.
  • Am I doing the intermediate marker correctly for the chin rest in this video?
  • I also talked about:
    • Teaching a dog to like the ocean or other water
    • Dogs and people who won't drop toys
    • What to do if another dog comes up at the beach to play
    • Getting Zuki to stay outside on her own without me (and how that's related to getting dogs to come back inside - see this Facebook post for the question about Milo)

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

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John McGuigan (Crossover Training, Sexism, Teaching Men) Recording

How Do I Get My Dog to Stop (play) Biting Me?

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • We are needing some creative ways to stop play-biting. Maybe I made that word up, but our foster/potentially forever dog bites like a puppy. But he's not a puppy and his big teeth HURT. I am covered in bruises from him chomping on me.
  • I've come to the conclusion that playing "fetch" is the devil's work. Park loves to play fetch, but it seems to set off a behavior of getting way too excited, charging me, jumping and biting. I know this is also partly a product of boredom, but it's horribly painful in the meantime. He also does it after he poops, I guess that's really exciting to him, also!
  • Has anyone actually tried the orapup tongue brush? What's your feedback?
  • My new dog has an extremely lovable disposition under layers and layers of anxiety and reactivity. We are committed to Pepper, and came across BAT from our Vet that recommended it. She has presented the biggest challenges to date of any dog we've ever had...we are reading BAT 2.0 and it's a little over our heads with ALL of the things.
  • How do we feel about doggie day care? Our vet offers it, I'm just a little hesitant.

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

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Is it Play or Fighting? Pigs and Dogs, Dogs and Dogs

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • Is It okay to have two break cues back to back. This evening I broke Astra out of her crate in my van, clipped on her lead and said another 'break' for her to jump down out of the van.
  • I've recently determined that my guy Arnold is really only reactive (lunging / raised hackles) towards other dogs when they look at him. How might I use that knowledge to make the most use out of our BAT set-ups?
  • I also talked about
    • Body language in several videos, including dogs at a music festival and a dog and pig "best friend" viral video from Facebook.
    • Chin targeting videos posted for the August Monthly Challenge.

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

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Which Dog Training Certifications/Organizations Should I Do?

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • Wondering if you could speak about your feelings on the different certifications out there for dog training and pro/cons things to look for? So many more choices and haven't researched as much as I would like. Other places conversations can get heated, but your forum is of conversation and education so I am hoping for some insight as I decide who to renew/join for the new year.
  • What camera do you use to record your videos, is it a go-pro? I'm looking to get one to use slow-motion in order for my own knowledge and be able to watch training sessions after so I can breakdown the body language and spot things I missed.
  • I have noticed that when Spice is chin targetting the towel on her chair her tail is very low and as I progress it slightly tucks under. She doesn't take her head off the towel to ask for me to stop and her face is very relaxed. She actually presses her chin down harder to indicate I can keep brushing etc. I feel she might be conflicted in some way, how would you approach this?
  • I also talked about
    • The resource guarding from Bean directed at Zuki in my last office hours. I replayed it and went over body language.
    • Chin targeting videos posted for the August Monthly Challenge.

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

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My Dogs are Resource Guarding During Training

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • What vet handling do you do with Bean? I've been working on chin rests, eye and ear treatment, checking and brushing teeth, lifting her tail for a temperature but check, nail clipping. Do you have any other suggestions?
  • One leash skill I need to work on is relaxing the line after a slow stop. Usually this is pretty easy but sometimes Freyja inches forward as soon as I begin to relax the line. I slow stop her either because she is going straight toward the other student dog, or heading that way due to a scent or treats on the ground. How many times should I attempt to relax the line before switching tactics?
  • I also talked about
    • Chin targeting as the Monthly Challenge. This is really great for grooming, vet care, stand for exam, and other body handling.
    • I did some chin target training with Bean and Zuki jumped up while we were working. Bean told her off so I talked about how to work on that issue. I will go over the body language in the snarky moments in live office hours  next week.

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

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How Do I Make Dog Mealtimes More Calm?

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • How do you make meal times less exciting?
  • My dog started "telling off" intact male dogs when he was around 2 years old. He has mostly limited this behavior to our neighborhood small dog park. He approaches the dog, freezes and then bark/growls lunges. Oddly afterwards the dogs always want to come back to him! Off leash is the main problem. I do my best to not to let him rehearse this behavior, but how do I handle this?
  • I am new to BAT but am reading through the 2.0 book and wondering how to go about helping my lurcher Ziggy. He seems to be a frustrated greeter with some anxiety, he is fine on a lead greeting older or disabled dogs, dogs that appear quickly, dogs from the side or behind. What he doesn't seem to know what to do about is dogs approaching head on. He goes into a low stalk position then lies down. When the other dog approaches he either jumps up to say hello or lunges towards it and barks I suppose it depends on what the signals are from the other dog. I am not sure how to address this using the BAT method I wonder if someone can point me in the right direction please. He does this off lead too.
    • Follow-up: He does have a really good recall but in this situation he seems overaroused and doesn't listen as well? Yes he's a small dog
    • Follow-up: I have done the scoop up and it seems to make him worse? The scoop up seems to intensify him wanting to get to them like revving him up.
  • My dogs bark at noises they hear outside when they are in the house. Examples: neighbors talking, car doors closing, kids playing....It drives me crazy! We have the dogs go their mat when they bark and if they do, they get a treat for being quiet on their mat. However, this has not decreased the barking. How do I recondition the desire to bark?
    • Follow-up: What if you don't hear the sound. Do you still cue mat and treat. Because I think my dog would figure this pattern out and want to bark to get the chance to work for a treat
    • Follow-up: Do you have any examples of sounds that are music but have background variation to help with the sound desensitization? Is Through a Dog's Ear a good one?
  • I know that you are a big believer in TTouch and massage for relaxing dogs. I have read that sometimes even a few seconds of TTouch can cause a dog to feel the need to move, since it creates changes in the dog's nervous system. How can one tell if a dog sensitive to touch is improving, even slowly? (It is not easy to apply the 5 second rule in this case.) Thank you.
  • Outside of times when people are interacting with a dog in a household, is it of consequence if they continue an oral dialogue with the dog?
    For example, outside of cues and letting the dog know, "A dog is coming," "We are going out," does it make voice interaction more salient if the humans do not just speak in general to the dog unless they are conveying information.
  • 1) What size bell are you using on Bean in your "Dog Collar Debate" video and does it impact his ability to hear you? 2) Can you discuss the relative merits/disadvantages of using a cued "go sniff" as other dogs are approaching in non-BAT scenarios (the ground, not the other dog)? I don't want to lose a learning opportunity but dogs seem more likely to ignore us in that posture.
  • What would be the down side to leaving a puppy with mum and siblings till 12 weeks old?

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

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Veronica Boutelle (pet business advice) Recording

Main topic: Meeting My New Dog Azuki (with videos)

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • Congratulations on your new dog! What will you be focusing on with her first? Also, you mentioned that you wanted to have her be at a lower body weight. How will you work on this? Thank you
  • I'm moving from Seattle to South Korea this Friday where there are many stray dogs, cats, and many triggers for Oreo like bicycles approaching from behind. I will leave with family(on 3rd floor). Also, there will be many people and cars, coming and going since there is a hardware store on the 1st floor. What can I do to help her adjust to new environment and introduce my whole family to her?
  • Do you feel it is good for a dog's mental health to have another dog to live with? Would you have sought out another dog anyway if your sister wasn't looking to re-home hers?
  • I also talked about:
    • Meeting Zuki (with video of her first barky reaction and changes)
    • Introducing Bean and Zuki (with video and live commentary)

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

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Should I Let My Dog Move Away if Afraid?

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • My dog keeps playing with a leash on our walk. Whenever she does that, I immediately stop moving, but she doesn't care about it. Now, she thinks it's more fun to play with it since we recently switched to a long BAT leash. What should I do?
  • You mentioned in your last Q&A that you being the handler in a BAT setup would just cause frustration for Bean. I was dogsitting and thought i could practice a BAT setup with my dog even though i knew there wasnt going to be a problem. I used my daughter as the handler. My dog was so frustrated that she couldnt get to her and the intro went bad. Should I use an unfamiliar person as the handler?
  • A colleague and family, (2 children have a dog with both fearful and reactive tendencies. Recently family members were away, (a change in the dog's schedule,) and the dog both eliminated on the carpet and was 'mounting' the bed in the parent's room? Would you think that the mounting of the bed could be related to feelings of anxiety due to the sudden change? No urinary tract infection... TY
  • Once your new dog arrives, how would you determine when you can leave her and Bean loose together when you are not home?
  • I'm at the point in muzzle training where Freyja is wearing it and I'm building duration by using movement (a "wait" and then recall cue). At this point I'm not sure what is better for making the muzzle seem "normal", wearing it longer and longer around the house, or taking the training outside and using it around exciting things? So far I have stopped each session before any pawing happens.
  • Our dog has suddenly started resource guarding against other dogs; sticks, toys, food etc. This only happens when he is really over aroused. We are working on it using Jean Donaldsons suggestions in Mine + Fight. But I am interested in why it started? Around that time he was snapped at by another dog for going near her ball, can dogs learn these behaviours after being on the receiving end of them?
  • My question is how to handle my dog when he shuts down in agility class due to fear. Fear is either from flies or bangs that surprise him and sound like fireworks. He has different levels of shutdown. 1. Stress, but will intermittently take treats, 2 won't take any treats, 3. tries to go back to the car.
  • What would you suggest for an English setter, who is great in the house and in the backyard, but loses his brain walking on a longline with birds present.. He "sets" beautifully, then rushes to the bird and can't be redirected. He can do Touch at times, unless the bird is close
  • I also talked about:
    • Plans for introducing Bean and the new dog

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

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How Do I Get My Dog to Calm Down? (and more questions)

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • Could you demonstrate the thing with Bean and the treat?
  • do you believe in dogs having a hierarchy?
  • Hi Grisha! Ref. your video 'I change my mind about crate' - When using it with a puppy for potty training, would you say that you would never use a crate that is only big enough for the dog to turn around or only use this if the dog is going to be inside the crate for no longer then 2 hours?
  • Hello G! Two questions: 1)Ref. Guarding/Territorial in general, is it true that bitch vs bitch would b more territorial than male vs male / female 'coz they're natural function i.e. protect their pups 2) Is it true that if two bitches start 'arguing', there's more chances for them to get into a proper fight then two male dogs due to the same reasons as question 1? Thanks x
  • Pups who haven't had vaccinations and vets that say they can't go on the ground....I was always told that they should be carried around and introduced to ppl whilst in their arms to help with socialisation. [Talk about that in the context of the arms as a safe space, which was discussed in the small dogs video]
  • To what extent should dogs work things out on their own and when should the humans step in?
  • Could you talk a little about over-arousal and how we can help our dog (jrt x 1.5yr) be calmer in situations he finds exciting. We've done a lot of mat work, protocol for relaxation and LAT which has helped considerably at home but he is still acts crazy and unable to cope (with things he would usually be fine with) when over-excited. eg. sitting in cafe or friends house.
  • "Goals" for BAT setups.
    For BAT setups, is it appropriate to have a fairly specific 'goal' in mind? Or is it simply best to let things unfold as they may, be observant, and prompt/react as appropriate to keep stress low?
    If you do sometimes have 'goals', what are some examples?
  • I also talked about:
    • Using an intermediate bridge to work on relaxation (video example was brushing Bean)

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

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Is Taking Treats Hard a Sign of Stress? (and more questions)

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • Last time you talked a bit about gauging a dog's stress level by whether or not they would take treats. I feel like my dog will always take treats, no matter what. I feel that her stress indicator around food is that she starts to take treats faster and harder. Could I be misinterpreting this? Or is taking treats not as reliable an indicator in dogs who have shown high arousal around food?
  • My dog has become really sensitive to jingling collars because my of my neighbors dog. She has resorted to fence fighting (although she cannot see the other dog because we have a 6 foot tall vinyl fence and the other dog does not fight back). What is the best way to handle desensitizing the sound of the jingling collar and prevent her from fence fighting? Would you use real collars or sound?
  • It is great to hear your answers to all of the questions. Would you say that it is best to hold small dogs with their feet down / heads up?
  • I'm wondering on the thought of one dog correcting another, if one dog lunges and growls, is it okay for the dog it's growling at to growl back? That just happened to us. I'm halfway paranoid that incidents like that would be the "last straw" and turn Louis dog-reactive. Although, I wanted to growl, too, but that makes people stare.
  • I've gotten to a point my cat will take a kibble from my hand so I can start doing clicker training with her. but oh my I'm going to get a tooth through my thumb. It came to mind to try offering the kibble with tweezers to save my finger
  • How can we teach my dog to stop resource guarding me? In the course of attempting to address it traditionally (corrections) we actually increased his reactivity in general. Now that we're doing BAT things are already rapidly improving but I'd love to address the resource guarding if possible.
  • My dog does this thing when no one is in except for me. She stalks me in a room and won't rest. I feed her, take her out, talk to her etc but she won't rest. She walks around the room staring and me and submitting if I look at her. I suspect she's trying to manipulate me and take control but I sense she's trying to tell me something. It's weird. Maybe I'm over thinking it. Only started a month or so ago and she seems well otherwise
  • I also talked about:

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

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How Can I Get My Dog Used to Having Testicles Handled? (and more questions)

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • Following up on Scent detection question.. What do you think of the all clear behavior? (IE: Dog does search. If he finds scent offers sitting facing the scent. IF no scent found in the space Dog offers go to handler and lay facing his feet )
    I saw Ken Ramirez talk about this and I love it! Dog always has a way to have success, less false positives trying to get a reward. Thoughts?
  • Tracking: does anyone who uses the BAT leash skills to teach less pulling on leash do tracking? Generally when I see people and their dogs tracking there looks like a lot of pulling on the leash to go forward following the track fast. Does tracking style (pulling, running) affect bat leash walking style or does bat leash walking style (gentle, easy going) affect tracking style?
  • Thank you for this opportunity to ask questions. It is a great learning experience. I would like to see more of the BAT session from Sweden. Also, at what point in BAT set-ups could you introduce 2 dogs where one dog is wearing a muzzle, and still feel that is is fair to the dog wearing the muzzle? (That the dog with the muzzle would not be under social pressure if s/he wanted to disengage?)
  • I know when you were first doing on-leash walks with Bean on the long line you were able to have Peanut off-leash, but is it possible to use the same kinds of leash handling skills with two dogs on leash? Do you have any recommendations for walks with two dogs and one person when they just can't be off leash (like in the city)?
  • Warning, question about dog testicles ahead! Since Bean is still intact, have you done any cooperative care work with him for having his testicles examined? I recently talked to someone who lamented that her dog was fine with having her (the owner) handle them but would not let the vet or anyone else do an exam. How do you generalize this? It seems like an awkward thing to ask your friends to do.
  • When I asked my earlier question, ( r.e. playtime for 2 dogs,) I was curious what your thoughts would be if the dogs were off-leash, with 1 dog wearing a muzzle?
    Is this something that you might do, after multiple BAT sessions?
  • I also talked about:
    • Body language in a video of Bean meeting a new dog
    • Some things I noticed at the Alaska Wildlife Rehab Center near Girdwood (south of Anchorage)

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

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“I Changed My Mind” Video Series Episodes

Life is full of learning and growing, and sometimes relearning things you thought you knew. We should all reserve the right to change our minds.

I have started a YouTube series about some of the opinions and ideas that I have changed over time. The videos are shown below.  Please click here to visit my YouTube channel or click here to subscribe directly.

Want to get more professional dog training support? I have a lot of videos in my online school, a Facebook group, and a lot more for Student and Pro members of the Animal Building Blocks Academy.

Are My Floors Too Slippery For My Dog?

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • My dog has been showing unusual signs of fear (like fearful of a black string on the floor). I think she might be going through another fear period. Should I help her see it is not scary and if so how should I do it?
  • Football. Is red card positive or negative punishment? you add card, but the actual consequence is to leave the game. And yellow card.. you stay in the game but have been warned (punished as it may have undesired consequence later). does it work like some sort of conditioned punisher, like "no!" in a dog world?
  • Here's a question, is there ever a time we can work on having the decoy dog walk towards the student dog? The dog is now better if the dog is not paying attention or walking away but walking past is still challenging. Can you lead the dog towards the other dog (at a big distance)?
  • I'm in the process of hiring a new trainer to help me with my BAT setup experience. They are offering a "BAT class" with another reactive dog which has also been doing BAT work for several months. I have full faith in the trainer (she mentors under Katie Grillaert - who is one of the best I know), but still a bit concerned. What questions can I ask them to help me overcome my own trepidation?
  • I've heard that sliding around on slippery floors is not good for the development of joints in growing puppies, is this true? I have a set of hardwood stairs that are very smooth and slippery and I worry about my hypothetical future puppy. Will I need to carry him up and down the stairs for his safety? (P.S I'm really enjoying this place, thanks so much for all your hard work 🙂
  • I’ve been using the Premack Principle to improve Lucy’s response
    to “Here” with distractions. She loves to chase squirrels so we “sit/stay” and “check it out” at trees. Now I’ve added “here!” before “check it out”.
    Running into some difficulties with her deciding to check it out by herself.. abruptly !!!! She is pretty good with loose leash. Are the squirrels just too exciting to train with ?
  • I also talked about:
    • New series on my YouTube Channel: "I've Changed My Mind"
    • Went over a BAT set-up video (Vizsla & Kromfohrlander)

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

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Monique Masoe (Scent Detection, Crossover Trainer) Recording

How Do I Teach a Dog To Stop Humping (Mounting) During Play?

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • What do you do if your dog will not move when he/she sees a trigger fairly close? I was walking my dog in an empty park and suddenly a few kids showed up behind us I tried to move her away but when they got closer she froze and would not move. I put treats to her mouth and she maybe took a step. I just kept feeding treats and kept trying to get her to move. Not sure what to do in that situation.
  • I've read a lot about the importance of early handling, pretty much from the moment puppies are born. All the videos I've watched of 2-3 week old puppies being handled have shown the people just reaching in and picking them up (gently) and handling them. I assume at this age it is too early for the "5-second" rule. So my question is at what point does the "5-second" rule become important?
  • Hi Grisha! Where can I post videos of my BAT setups for feedback? I did a session for my PSA but the wind picked up and audio is terrible, but I'd like to see what you think of the setup. And Bean looks like he has a tissue (not that I'm a tattle tail)
  • This may be too big of a topic for your office hours, but I'm VERY intrigued with the article that Leonard Buzz Cecil posted on your ABBA Facebook site re: the work that Dr. Karin Klaver is doing on the theory of 'reconsolidation' of fear events and how to use that knowledge in BAT training... maybe... someday??? 🙂
  • tongue flicks: always a stress signal, or can they be an appeasement or contentment signal sometimes too?
  • You were speaking about managed puppy playtime last week. What if there are loose puppies and the puppies still on leash start barking? What would be the best way for the owners to mange the puppies who become over-aroused in the indoor play area as you described it? Thanks!
  • I have one puppy in my puppy class who's method of playing is humping. How do I get him to change his method of play and keep it a happy experience for him? I usually redirect him out of the group for a moment and then let him go back in. What would you do?
  • Can you talk about the second dog you are adopting? Thanks!
  • I also talked about:

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

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How Do I Train My Dog for Separation Anxiety? (and more)

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • Do dogs know the differences in time, ie. 30 minutes vs. 1 hour, 2 hours etc. when left alone in the house? Do you have any other useful tips on leaving dogs alone.
  • Hi my malamute has really bad separation anxiety how am I going to be able to leave him
  • My dog is attacking specific friends of my Children. She seems to snap at them and sometimes bites them. She is a rescue puppy From spain. How can I handle This so that those kids can come relaxed in my house?
  • (comment based on the dog park question from last week)
    It's great for any animal to interact with same species, but the dog park is not always the only option
  • Grisha what do you think is more important on a walk if I have limited time; letting the dog sniff and explore or getting exercise in?
  • (in response to description of managed puppy play from last week)
    Having trouble for some reason visualizing the puppy/intros in a "class" situation. Do you have another explanation of this somewhere? I think I'm understanding that the puppies are initiating the communication, yes?
  • I am working with a number of clients who have reactive small breed dogs - chi mixes and poms. Have your experiences with Bean given you any special insight or recommendations for doing BAT with small dogs? Thanks.

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

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How Should a Dog Park be Set Up for Good Play? (and more)

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • My dog is generally disinterested in small puppies. If a puppy is off leash in the park and one wants to meet my dog, I will kneel down to be next to him and gauge his interest / protect him from the jumping. The puppies nearly always jump up and lick me right in the face. Can you please speak about this? Would this be the puppies attempt to obtain information from me at eye level?
  • My australian shepherd who has been in car rides since he was a puppy and hasn't had any issues (never nauseous, no excessive drooling) other than some excited whining during the first part of the ride has just started to bark at a few different things outside of the car (a woman near the window he was looking out of at a grocery store, a bicyclist + an open convertible w/ people). Best way to manage?
  • A friend has an adopted dog who came from his first home with a fabric toy 6 years old. The dog still plays with this same
    exact toy every single day, even thought it is now just a piece of fabric. They think it provides a kind of security for the dog. Have you seen this before, i.e., a dog who uses one specific "toy", and will not accept a newer version of the same item throughout his life?
  • I attended your Team Work seminar in NYC.
    You have spoken about the human's tendency to put his/her hand out when meeting a dog. Did I understand you correctly that a dog can smell a person as well from 2-3 feet away in an environment--then if the person reaches his/her hand toward the dog, which the dog might find aversive and/or confusing?
  • There's a dog park being created close to where I live, and they're looking for input on how to help make it a safe environment. Any (realistic) suggestions on behaviors that should be prohibited or monitored?
  • How do I manage the leash skills on a walk where I need to just go a certain direction or walk past distractions? In BAT we don't lead the dog but what about those situations?

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

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How Do I Stop My Dog Barking When I Come Home?

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • My dog is a mini Aussie about 1 1/2 years old. She is dog and human reactive. I have been searching for a positive based training method and stumbled upon BAT and am very excited. We haven't yet been able to do a BAT setup. My question is this, how do I get my dog to stop barking at me and my family when we come home. I know she is barking out of excitement.
  • When on a walk my dog will look at me and whimper. I'm not sure what she is trying to tell me. I have been working with letting her choose where to go. Do you think she is looking for direction or maybe she doesn't like the environment? How do I help her love the outdoors? (She is 1 1/2 year old mini Aussie)

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

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Do Dogs Know Time is Passing? (and more)

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • Do dogs know how much time is passing (ie when alone in house 1/2 hour vs 1-2 hours)
  • I like this! its fun. its like when my dad watches sports and they do highlight reels and play by plays except in this situation it actually benefits me because I understand. I would like more of this. Maybe students could send in videos of their dogs if they are interested in interpretations and doing this (what you are currently doing with your video) could be helpful
  • In the video that you showed with Zita, Bean and the other small dogs (last week), if one of these dogs were barking excitedly the entire time, would you consider that part of his/her play style, or would you consider the dog to be over threshold?
  • My dog is generally fearful, but gets snarly & lunges at dogs. BAT work is helping. I was wondering, however. Since he is also generally fearful around new people, would it be advantageous to have him meet the helper dog's 'handler' in a separate session before working with a new helper dog + handler?
  • We have known our neighbour since we both moved in (27-30 years) and have a great relationship. Her dog is also fearful reactive to dogs.We got new fences a few years ago that dont show through (each panel slides and snaps together so you cant see through). This cut down on the fence fighting although there is one spot where there is a bit of a peep under the fence where my dog will go to and freeze and then flip out.It seems to be he can hear and or smell that our neighbour dog is out side. Help! (from the ABBA Facebook group)
  • I also talked about:
    • Bean with cows and horses (video with cow)
    • Bean being a little snarky with a German Shepherd puppy (video)

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

  • The prize I was trying to locate for you guys was the SqueakNSnap bear, which lets you take a photo using a squeaky toy plugged into your phone. These are the prizes for the May Monthly Challenge.
  • My YouTube video of Mark and Move with Bean and the Cows
  • Petzi Treat Cam, and the Pet Cube - Pawbo does look like a better option for video because it records and sends to dropbox and may have sound on the video. Petzi does not do video and Pet Cube does not have sound on the videos, but both have sound in live streaming. NOTE - I don't recommend using the laser feature with dogs on any of the devices. It can create obsessive-compulsive (OCD) light-chasing behavior that's very hard to get rid of. If it's just a short-term thing you might also just try setting up a Skype account for your dog and use your computer.
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How Do I Stop Resource Guarding Between Dogs?

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • Hi Grisha, Can you help me select the best harness for my 9 lb poodle - she's very reactive to other dogs and squirrels!. I have been training with the sense-ation, front attach harness.
    I have read, in your 2.0 book, that the perfect fit and balance are good. I don't think I am comfortable using the front and back attachments. Do you have a video that may help me use this type of harness.
  • I am not sure how to teach my dog not to guard things from other dogs. (not an issue with people) She guards her food, water, bones, toys (esp. squeaky). I don't bring her to my friend's apartment anymore because she guards things in their house from their dog. I manage the situation by keeping her separate from other dogs whenever these things are around, but I'm dying to work on it with her.
  • I also talked about:
    • Body language with a toy (chase/play and resource guarding between dogs) - play by play [I apologize for the funky sound on the second clip]
    • BATting myself for grief

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

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Where Do Our Dogs Go? Reflections on Peanut’s Life and Loss

grisha-peanut
13.5 years is a lot of shared life experience. He still makes me smile.

For the last several years, I have been pre-grieving Peanut's death. I have been afraid I would completely fall apart and lose my will to live.

Luckily for me, his death was not complicated by other emotions. We supported each other throughout his life and he was right there in my lap when he chose to go.

It turns out that his death was not as terrible as I thought it would be.  I thought I would want to jump off a bridge when he died. I literally had my family on suicide watch.

But now that it's finally happened, I've noticed that it's different; the worry for him and for myself is gone, leaving me with a chance to savor his life, a huge appreciation for the time we had together, and gratitude for the support of my friends and family.

Sadness is much easier to handle than worry, especially when you don't fight the pain, but just let it happen. This post isn't about telling you how to grieve, but just sharing how I am grieving, to share this possibility that we don't have to be crushed by loss to honor those who have passed. There are no 'shoulds' here.

Dog Dalmatian running outdoors in beautiful green against the blue sky with clouds and a rainbow
Dogs run free at the rainbow bridge.

Many people talk about the rainbow bridge as the place where are dogs are waiting for us when we die.

It's human to have a deep need to know where are loved ones are now, and what they are doing. Having spent years caring for him, needing to know where he is at all times is a hard habit to let go. It's our job to keep track of them.

With Peanut's passing, I have found some solace in thinking of him running around happy with Spoon, who passed away last year, and Pirate, who passed away this month. But I need to process Peanut's life and death in a way that fits in with my own worldview. It turns out that what I came up with isn't inconsistent with the rainbow bridge, either, so hopefully it works for you.

This 'song of life' analogy has has helped me come to better terms with Peanut's death. It's loosely based on the Buddhist concept of clinging, as attachment as the root of suffering: "Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional." If you have lost a dog (or cat or other family member) I hope that this post helps you find a way to savor the experience of loss, to appreciate this time instead of suffering through it.

(And maybe this is already something already woven into some religion or philosophy. I don't want to waste this important time researching whether this analogy is new. I just know it didn't occur to me before and I want to share it because it helped me.)

If you've ever laid down tracks for a song or a video this will make sense. If not, I hope it still works for you, but feel free to comment with your own version, like maybe weaving together a tapestry or something else.

life-as-movie
I'm visualizing it like this video editor, except a LOT more clips (one for each living being) and more overlapping.

I'm thinking of the sum of all life as a jazz song or a movie, where each individual being is like one track laid down for a recording (like a guitar riff or a little movie clip). The length of those clips is the amount of time they are present here for the rest of us to see. Feel free to look through your own worldview to think about whether some higher power is creating the song or it's just what happens when so much life comes together.

Trees have very long lifespans, so they'd have very long tracks. Humans have shorter tracks and dogs and other small animals even shorter. When they happen to be in the same space and time we 'know' each other but we are all still part of this same multi-dimensional song, starting from the beginning of life and ending when it is all over, if ever.

Grisha Stewart using her BAT leash Skills with Peanut
Every day with Peanut was a gift.

If I zoom in on my own track and see things just from my own perspective, it feels like a sudden shift, a catastrophe to lose him. If I zoom out to see the whole song, I see the beauty that we shared and how that fits in with everything else. I see how he was fading toward his end. All solos start and stop. If they went on forever they wouldn't be appreciated in the same way.

So Peanut may or may not make another appearance in the song of life. Maybe there is reincarnation, or heaven, or his energy and matter have just been converted into other form.

To me that doesn't matter so much as concentrating on what I do know. We had a fantastic time together, where our harmony added to the song of life. That will never go away. His existence has influenced the whole direction of my life and work. He was a frequency changer, a catalyst to shift my perception of the world.

His life happened exactly as it happened. At this point, the song has moved on and I have come to terms with the idea that he would no longer fit into it. So rather than clinging to him and wishing he were here now, I celebrate the fact that he *was* here. It feels oddly right that he is no longer here, which isn't to say that I would have wanted it that way, not at all. But I'm at peace with his death.

peanut-at-property-246x300
Peanut spent a lot of time running free in nature.

That doesn't mean I don't cry or that I just move on with life like he was never here. I have cleared my schedule to savor my sorrow and grieve for the loss of his physical presence in my life. I couldn't keep food down the day that he passed away. I have a knot in my chest sometimes. I cry when I feel like it and I enjoy every moment of this sad time while it's happening because that is the way that he is here now, through that experience of transition away from a physical Peanut. [If you have another experience, that's totally fine. We all grieve differently. I just want to share how I feel since it was unexpected to me.]

I feel intense joy and satisfaction when I look at the quality of our time together. I made mistakes with him, but I did my best to fix them, to strengthen our relationship and improve his quality of life whenever I could. From his influence on me and many others, Peanut is still part of the song as a whole, but his own track is over; from my own perspective in time, his tangible presence is gone. But his 'solo' is still impacting the song as it moves forward: there are so many ripples from his existence, like how I perceive my world, how I may now be better at honoring my own emotions, how I think of death, how I read dogs, how I love, how other dogs now have better lives because of him, and so much more.

In the end, I don't need to scream at the universe, "WHY?!" Instead, I whisper, "thank you."

(Look below the video for tips).

"Love Never Goes" Lyrics (Peanut YouTube version)

I am bound to you
You’re in my heart to stay
One look at you and I knew
I’d love you every single day

---

We’re on solid ground
You’re in my heart to stay
Even when I'm not around
I love you every single day

---

* Love doesn’t leave
* (It) Doesn’t run out
* Love never goes away

* Love doesn’t need
* No fence around (it)
* Love never goes away

---

You’ve got other loves
They’re in your heart to stay
I don’t have to be above
Just love me every single day

---

Hope you know by now
You’re in my heart to stay
Even when I have to go
I’ll love you every single day

---

* Love doesn’t leave
* (It) Doesn’t run out
* Love never goes away

* Love doesn’t need
* No fence around (it)
* Love never goes away

* Love doesn’t leave
* (It) Doesn’t run out
* Love never goes away


Here are some things that I did that helped with my grief process and/or made grieving less complicated:

  • Quality time - As he aged, I arranged my schedule to spend less time traveling and be home more with him. I arranged for quality time alone or with Bean when possible, although I also maintained my own life and non-dog hobbies. For many devoted dog lovers, their life is all about dogs. If you have more than one dog, that could be fine, but if your dog passes away and you have no other dog, then you may find you have no sense of self and don't know what to do with your time. So let yourself have a life. You deserve it.
  • Filming - videos of us loving on each other and of him just walking through the forest give me the most solace. It gives me a way to reconnect as needed.
  • Empowerment - choices I made for him were always in his best interest, within the constraints of life among humans. So things like positive reinforcement, long leashes and harnesses, carpets on the floor, training for him to actively cooperate in blood draws and vet procedures, predictability, ability to control his own proximity and interaction with stressors, and only adding in pain or discomfort when it was medically necessary.
  • Being his advocate and fighting to be present at the vet whenever I knew me being there would help him. That helped prevent regrets. Many veterinarians insist on restraining your dog themselves or won't allow you to be in the room for IV fluids, but may agree if you sign a waiver or have muzzle trained your dog with positive reinforcement (even if they have no history of biting, muzzling means there's no possibility of the vet getting sued so they will allow it).
  • We kept his body at home for two days before cremation, like a wake. That gave all of us (including Bean and Dharma) time to really process that he was gone. I was able to go to his body and say goodbye many times. We curled him up into a dog bed (head tilted up to avoid leakage) before driving him home, so that he was in a good position when rigor mortis set in. It was relatively cool on our sun porch so we kept him there. If it's warmer where you are, get dry ice to put into the bed, under and around your dog (or cat or whatever). We had a hard time finding dry ice though. My friend in California had her dog's body for 5 days before cremation, so it's not just possible in Alaska.
  • Hearing other people's memories of him and going through videos, photos, etc. really helped. Specific memories of Peanut in real life or in videos help more than general statements like "I'm sorry for your loss" or "Dog's lives are too short," so I asked for people to share memories when I announced his passing. Every comment helped me, but it was so helpful when they did share a memory. If many people don't know your dog, make and share a short video of your dog's life so that people can share what they see in that. The process of making the video was also helpful to me, as well as rewatching it many times.
  • Stopping the clock. This is what I'm doing right now. I have lost a family member and need this time to sit with the grief. I don't need to go to work right now. I allow myself to have whatever emotions that come through, and I don't berate myself for having strong feelings or try to push them away. I don't force anything, neither trying to be sad nor trying to be happy.If I want to go on a hike or work or whatever, that's my choice, but I have paused as many time commitments as I can right now. Question anything that involves the word 'should' - that's usually a sign that it's not helpful for you in your grief, but rather just something that is motivated by avoidance of punishment.If you work for yourself, take the time off. Put on an autoresponder. If you work for someone else, use your sick leave or vacation time, and if that doesn't exist, see about a leave of absence.
  • More tips in my main grief article.

Here's my announcement of Peanut's passing on Facebook:

Should I Stand Up for My Dog? And How?

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • Due to inexperience with loose-leash walking and fearful dogs, I've conditioned Sunrise to be a reluctant on-leash uphill walker (long story, I had some questions about this about a year ago but finally identified the issue - no medical issues and is fine off-leash). Any suggestions on counter-conditioning her distaste for uphills? It's unfortunately impossible to avoid them here 🙂
  • Our town has a dense population of urban wildlife, particularly deer, who live in wooded spots all over town in close proximity to our homes.
    Deer can excite my dog as much as any dog. In the backyard, I've been working to desensitize her off-leash when
    the deer surprise us. I would love to hear your thoughts on this for on and off leash training. Thank you.
  • I have a foster dog who's life goal is to eat anything that he can find, regardless of if it is edible or not. He was born with PRAA (had surgery in november) and just has a sensitive tummy so it is really important that I do not let him eat things. Especially the kitty poop that is hidden around my apartment complex.Last night I tried bringing him out on his muzzle in the hopes that it would prevent him from eating things. It worked great to stop him from eating the mushrooms that were growing, but when he found the poop all he did was smash his muzzle into it to eat it.Obviously this is disgusting. The only thing I can think to do would be to find another muzzle with a solid, flat front part. What do you guys think? I'm ready to pull my hair out here!
  • This same dog is obsessed with licking things inside the house as well. If I let him, he will lick my carpet (which is full of dog hair and my very long hair, which then gets caught up in his poop) all day long. I assume he is licking because of a tickle in his throat due to PRAA.If he is out of his crate, I spend the entire time watching him out of the corner of my eye so I can tell him to leave the floor alone. I allow him to lick inside his crate.

    He has gotten better about not licking the floor in the past few months, but it is only because I spend every waking moment watching him and telling him to leave it. If I can't watch him I put him inside his crate. That includes just going to the restroom because he takes that opportunity to vigorously lick the floor under the chair I was sitting in. It gets old really quickly. What else do you guys think I can do about this?

  • I also talked about:
    • Advocacy for our dogs
    • Peanut's passing and what I am glad I did for him at the vet's office

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

  • Facebook post about Peanut's passing
  • You're Not Crazy, You're Mourning - blog post on the grief process (written a while ago, still needs to be updated for Peanut)
  • BAT 2.0 book has a whole chapter on Peanut if you don't know who he is.
  • I will ask questions about scent training on the next Animal World Superstars: Monique Masoe June 14
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Terry Ryan (Dog Training, Instruction) Recording

What Can I Do If My Neighbor’s Dog is Off Leash?

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • When/why is it effective to lead in a walk?
  • In Basic Position in Bat with a small dog would it be okay to relax your shoulders and breathe, but still keep your hands up to avoid the leash going under the dog (and potentially getting tangled)?
  • BAT gives dogs a great opportunity to have canine friends. Can you please speak about why you think this is so important?
  • What are your suggestions for someone who is going to a community (for a few weeks) where there are off- leash dogs, and one next door that has little to no supervision ) runs through the yard and over the deck (#*!) ? My solution has been avoid and have my dog on-leash, and use BAT 2.0 at home to try to decrease reactivity to other dogs. My dog is improving but this situation is a concern!
  • Follow up on question from last Q+A. The question was about having 2 dogs meet, in the hopes of avoiding a fight.
    When you described having your dog meet a second dog for a microsecond on leash, what you be your advice for preparing the dog you are handing to move in an urban space? I know you call it Mark and Move, but a microsecond is a very short time frame.
  • Could You please suggest a method to teach a dog not to eat any food from the ground or from the human without a presence of his owner? My client's dog is at risk of being poisoned by his neighbor when being left in the garden so we are looking for ways to prevent this. The ones I've found are unfortunately aversive ones, and I am not convinced of using them. Greetings from Poland.

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

BBA BADGE member area
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Teamwork Empowerment Seminar Recording (2.25 hours)

Online seminar recorded April 20, 2016 - Presented by: Grisha Stewart, MA, CPDT-KA. Looking for a great way to jumpstart your dog training and have a stronger relationship with your dog? Or maybe you're a professional trainer looking for better ways to train or explain?

Professional dog trainer and author Grisha Stewart has a unique perspective on life with dogs. Her training style focuses on using clear communication and empowerment to teach behavior that improves the quality of life for everyone in the family, including the dog(s).


Continue reading Teamwork Empowerment Seminar Recording (2.25 hours)

How Do I Avoid Fighting During On Leash Dog Greetings?

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • I am hesitant to let my dog greet other dogs (both on leash) because I anticipating a wagging tail quickly followed with a snarl. I am doing the BAT 2.0 techniques with the leash skills and the farthest I am letting her go with it is to look at dog, followed by an appropriate behaviour and then moving away. I don't know how to interpret whether or not to go closer and often she wants to.
  • You said that you train a "A dog is coming," cue differently from " another cue that could mean for example "A person is coming", or a cue that means, 'Something in the environment is going to change.' Can you please explain how you have trained these to Peanut or Bean?
  • Thank you for sharing about Peanut's lymphoma on FB. Would you be comfortable explaining what his symptoms were and how you determined how you would treat it / what course to follow for treatment?
  • When on walks if Astra sees/hears something she's not sure about she'll look back at me. What should I be doing to best reassure her/show her it isnt anything to worry about? Camling signals, 'it's okay' cue, etc?
  • Could you explain the steps you would use to teach the dog to ask permission before they jump up on the bed, cough etc?
  • You spoke about not patting a dog' and saying, "It's okay," when a dog is in situation where he/she is not 'feeling okay'?
    What would be a good team approach to 'avoid' this at the DVM both for the DVM and the vet. nurse?
    What would be a good team approach to 'avoid' when the veterinarian or receptionist pats your dog on the head?
  • I also talked about:

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

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Revive Your Yes Life #CelebrateTheGood

Does your Yes life need a tune-up?

I wrote a Facebook post last night. It was very satisfying, at first, because I got to say NO, confrontational dog training isn't right. Stop It.

But that's really yes-iStock_000009246841_Largeironic, right? That I am trying to use something negative to fix the problem of being too negative? I can do better than that. If I really want change, there's a better way to teach, which I use all the time with dogs.

My goal with dogs is to maximize chances for positive reinforcement in their lives, in all forms. I want to be able to say YES a lot to dogs and that applies to people too.
yes-fist-iStock_000021168856_LargeSo what do I want to happen? What do I want to see? I do try to use positive phrasing when talking to people, but sometimes on social media, or with my husband, my inner 2-year-old comes out. No No NO.

So I'm working on my Yes life. Today I started my own challenge, and I hope you'll join me. For the next two weeks (and maybe more) I am going to focus on phrasing all social media posts and comments in a positive way, and add the hashtag of #CelebrateTheGood to remind myself. If I look back and see that I could have done better, or missed an opportunity to be positive, I will revise or repost, and add the hashtag of #CelebrateTheGood to those, too.

yes-iStock_000067452315_LargeExamples of positive posts and comments:

  • Why you train dogs the way that you do (if you catch yourself pointing out negative things about the other side, just replace those with information on what TO do and why it's awesome).
  • Something great that happened to you.
  • What you agree with about XYZ (especially good for comments)

I picked social media because in a way, it's easier than real life. You can take your time crafting your words. You can revise when you see that it could have been better. That's a  great learning opportunity.

Flags that indicate your post may have room for improvement:

  • Words like no, not, never, wrong,...
  • Judgements like hate, can't stand,...
  • Name calling or insulting someone's character (idiot, uneducated, mean, bitch, jerk, troll, you get the gist)
  • Reading through it gives you a bad feeling

Here's my original post from yesterday:

"You're the Dog Whisperer!" Have you ever gagged a little vomit into your mouth? That's what I feel when someone calls...

Posted by Grisha Stewart-person on Thursday, April 14, 2016

So let's try that again, with positive phrasing. First, I would leave off the blog post share because it's all about negative phrasing, "things dog trainers hate."

Here's a new post about the same topic as yesterday but with positive phrasing. See the bottom of this post for why I...

Posted by Grisha Stewart on Friday, April 15, 2016

So there we go. Let's positivize the internet and fix our Yes lives. Can you join with me and take the #CelebrateTheGood Challenge for the next two weeks?

Is It Ok If My Dog Pulls During a Panic Attack?

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • Hello Grisha! I have a 1.5 y/o aus. shepherd that has some sound sensitivity issues. I plan on doing counter conditioning--but, my question is: What is the best way to handle a larger dog that is mid-walk and is triggered by a sound (i.e. basketball bouncing)? I'm afraid bolting and dragging me all the way home is reinforcing because he gets home and feels "safe" but don't know what else to do.
  • I feel like I am constantly taking things out of my puppy's mouth (5 month lab).  What can I do to get him to stop chewing everything!
  • My puppy rules the house already. He brings me the food bowl to say it's time to feed him, and I do. He sleeps in my bed. Is that okay?
  • My dog is becoming a cranky old man. He's 8 and when I pet him sometimes he groans or even growls at me. One time he even showed his teeth. Is there anything I can do about that? Or is it normal?
  • I have a dog that's really playful.  A lot of other dogs seem to growl and snap at her but she's just trying to play. Should I do anything about it or just let them work it out?
  • I also talked about
    • Chemo in dogs
    • New body handling training for Peanut
    • Bucket list for your dog

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

BBA BADGE member area
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How To Train Your Dog the Meaning of “It’s Okay”

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • I'm interested in what kind if positive training you can do with horses. I take my younger siblings horse riding and we've changed riding school due to the way the horses were treated (and I didnt think the horses there liked to riden). Is it possible to use only positive reenforement with horses? Have you done any work with horses?
  • I've been very protected of what other dogs Astra meets and as of yet, she's never really said hello to any dogs on our walks, mostly because I'm terrified I'll misread the other dog. I've taken her to 22 puppy classes which she's progressed through very well. She has an older adult dog friend who she gets on well with and we're doing on going classes (usually two a week). Is this enough?
  • Follow-up: If surprised or too close, Astra will get a barky and growl at dogs. Her confidence is improving, but she's still timid. My question is if I rarely allow her to say hi to dogs (close contact) on walks would this have a negative effect? You talk about dogs not always needing to have face to face greetings. If her main contact with dogs is at classes, will she get reactive on walks?
  • Can you please speak about the, "It's Okay" cue?
  • Can we do BAT set ups indoors? If so, what might a few examples of that look like? (Are there ways, for example, to help a very exuberant 10 month old female German Shepherd to learn to better handle her longing to be with (and often overcome) our senior smaller miniature poodle? I know of some things we can do together outside for BAT setups, but could use some ideas for inside.)
  • You have described Peanut as having reactive tendencies before your BAT work. How were you able to use him in your KPA classes and have other handlers hold his leash for exercises?
  • The person who is showing me how to use the 15ft leash is having the dog make the decisions, and I just follow her with the leash and let it out as far as she wants.  This is fine when we have open space, but one, I live on a busy main street, and two, I am trying to have her not pull and when I put her back on a 5ft, she is at the end of the leash. Do you have any suggestions on having her not pull when I put her back on the short leash?

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

BBA BADGE member area
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Video Reviews – BAT On Leash and Off-Leash Greetings

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • This was a special session where I shared video of two scenarios. One was a sequence of off leash greetings that I posted to the Facebook group. Links to the clips on Facebook: One, two, and three. (Must be logged into Facebook and a group member to see them)
  • ref. video 2 (B with other dogs). If you were able to repeat this situation, is there anything you would do differently to make Bean more confortable / not to growl? Is there a way to teach your dog in situ? For instance, would mark & move be useful? But then, isn't the growl in this situation OK as those dogs are over him?
  • Ref. video 2 (Bean meets the dogs).This is the exact type of situation where Boston will growl at other dogs. We've done BAT which helped but also avoiding as much as we can these situations. The issue is that I don't enjoy my walks anymore because I feel I'm constantly avoiding . So when/how do you know that it is OK to let them learn between themselves as you suggest on the video?
  • I also talked about:
    • Videos of a BAT set-up with coaching by Ellen Naumann, CBATI in Los Angeles
    • Videos of Off Leash greetings with a BAT dog

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

BBA BADGE member area
Building Blocks Members get instant access to video lessons, live Q&A, and more!

Professional, ad-free, expert advice

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Lori Stevens (Fitness, Stress,TTouch) Recording

How to Use a Long Line – City and Countryside

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • In follow up to Friday's question about dog walkers walking multiple dogs, what are your thoughts about meeting the dogs' needs when the multiple dogs being walked by the walker are off leash on an under-populated trail? Sunrise is terrified of these packs, your comments made me wonder if she's picking up on something from them. Typically the dogs are from different households.
  • One last question --you spoke about 'mimicry' with dogs. As a puppy, would Bean be most likely to mimic, Peanut, another puppy, (i.e. dog,). or you, as the purveyor of good things, (i.e. scritches, massage, food, play, etc.)?
  • A friend of mine has 2 rescue dogs. When they rescued the second dog they started having issues with marking behavior. Both dogs are neutered males. Niether are crate trained and may have a bit of separation anxiety. Assuming there are no urinary tract health issues would you work on crate training and strict supervision first? Possibly bellybands, but what if they rip those off?
  • I also talked about:
    • BAT leash skills in New York City (videos)
    • Adapting the BAT leash skills to use with a 50 foot long line (videos)

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

BBA BADGE member area
Building Blocks Members get instant access to video lessons, live Q&A, and more!

Professional, ad-free, expert advice

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If you are already a member, please log in.

Canine Fitness Seminar Registration – Auditor (WITHOUT DOG)

[s2If current_user_cannot(access_s2member_ccap_seminar_028_fitness_with_dog)]Thank you for your interest in the Canine Fitness seminar with Lori Stevens. Please use the form at the bottom of this page to register for this seminar. Please note that working dogs are the only dogs allowed at the seminar. Click here to register for a working spot. [/s2If][s2If current_user_can(access_s2member_ccap_seminar_029_fitness_no_dog)]Thank you, [s2Get constant="S2MEMBER_CURRENT_USER_DISPLAY_NAME" /]! You have registered to attend the Lori Stevens Canine Fitness seminar as an auditor (without a dog).[/s2If][s2If current_user_can(access_s2member_ccap_seminar_028_fitness_with_dog)]Thank you, [s2Get constant="S2MEMBER_CURRENT_USER_DISPLAY_NAME" /]! You have already registered to attend the Lori Stevens Canine Fitness seminar WITH your dog. If you would like to change that, please contact Grisha.[/s2If] The following information is for attendees of the seminar. Please visit the main seminar page for more information about the seminar itself.

Notes & Paperwork:

[s2If current_user_can(access_s2member_ccap_seminar_029_fitness_no_dog)] [/s2If][s2If current_user_cannot(access_s2member_ccap_seminar_029_fitness_no_dog)]Please log in to view the notes.[/s2If]
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