Category: News

Magazine Articles about BAT 2.0

COTD-2014COTD-2014Learn about BAT 2.0 in the Spring 2014 issue of the APDT Chronicle of the Dog and in the popular UK Magazine, Dogs Today. Check them out!

Click to download the BAT 2.0 article in the APDT Chronicle (APDT members also can get the full magazine through the APDT site or in your mailbox).

The APDT article is part of a 2-part series. The first article was how to do BAT 2.0 and the second article looks under the hood to look at BAT 2.0 through a technical lens. Be ready to geek out!


Here’s the cover of the March 2014 Dogs Today magazine. Click the image to go to the magazine’s website.

Dogs Today is available in stores in the UK and also via iPad. If you aren’t from the UK, I’d still recommend checking it out. It may give you an interesting international view of the ethical dog world.

BAT 2.0 and BAT 1.0: What’s Different?

One of the most important aspects of a humane training protocol is that it is minimally intrusive. One way to think of minimally intrusive is that the animal has maximal control over significant events. BAT 2.0 shifts forward to focus even more on allowing the dog to have control of the process within a safe setting. As Dr. Susan Friedman wrote, “The degree to which a behavior reduction procedure preserves learner control is essential to developing a standard of humane, effective practice.”

Here’s an example of a video by Canadian dog trainer Jennie Murphy, CBATI, CGN, DN-FSG that demonstrates a change in BAT from 1.0 to 2.0: we make sure to let the dog choose where to go, as long as that movement wouldn’t put the dog in too stressful of a place.

My first book, Behavior Adjustment Training, came out in 2010. My third book, BAT 2.0 came out in 2016. I developed BAT primarily for the rehabilitation of reactivity with dogs caused by fear, frustration, or anger. In the first book and in my videos, handlers were taught to observe and mark certain behavior and/or body language and to reinforce that behavior by moving away from the Scary Monster and (sometimes) add “bonus rewards” of food, toys, etc.

While the core philosophy of BAT is still the same, BAT is no longer primarily a procedure in which the trainer marks and reinforces social behavior. BAT is now more naturalistic and the trainer’s main task is to arrange the situation to let the dog learn in a way that is similar to how well socialized dogs learned about other dogs, people, and other stimuli as puppies.

We do have a BAT 2.0 procedure called Mark and Move that reinforces social behavior with distance plus tangible reinforcers in certain situations, so some parts of it look a little bit like BAT 1.0. However, and this is important, even with Mark and Move, we do not lead the dog directly toward the trigger as we did in BAT 1.0.

In the first book, I mentioned that BAT is, and will always be, a work in progress, based on the best information available at the time. I have fine-tuned BAT over the years and I have decided that it’s time to officially announce some changes that simplify the process and make it even less stressful and more pleasant for the dogs.

Please click here to get started learning about BAT 2.0, or look for one of our upcoming seminars or online learning opportunities.

NOTE: All articles published before January 2014 are about the older (1.0) version of BAT.

Three main aspects of the original BAT still form the foundation of the new BAT:

  1. Give the dog control over their exposure to the trigger
  2. Continually assess stress and strive to reduce it
  3. Use management tools to lower stress outside of training to reduce setbacks

Here are some of the differences:

BAT 2.0 BAT in 2010 (DVD & Book)
  1. Naturally occurring reinforcers (antecedent arrangements, most reinforcers are naturally occurring, focus on respondent learning)
  2. Very dog-centered (follow the dog)
  3. Controllability due to interaction with trigger and movement in space
  4. Specific leash skills to keep handler out of the way
  5. Simpler: No stages, just a flow of how much we need to prompt
  1. Reinforcement provided by trainer (theorized walking away as R-)
  2. Moderately dog-centered (still followed the dog, but did more encouragement to approach)
  3. Controllability due to trainer marking and theoretically reinforcing behavior
  4. Minimal focus on handler leash skills 
  5. Specific Stages 1, 2, and 3, which took time to explain & learn

Here’s another video example, by Dutch trainer Liselot Boersma, PgDip CABW:

Please click here to get started learning about BAT 2.0, or look for one of our upcoming seminars or online learning opportunities (Books, streaming videos, DVDs, online courses, etc).

Streaming Video: A Critical Comparison of 7 Methods for Fear-Based Aggression

Many dogs do not come to us as clean slates. They have already gone through a variety of other training techniques from the owners and potentially other trainers. It is helpful to know exactly how the other techniques are done so that we can help our clients decide what is best for their dogs.

This new streaming video lecture compares 7 different common methods for rehabilitating fear-based aggression from a humane training perspective, including force-free techniques and punishment methods from popular books and videos. Click here to learn more or buy now!

Instructor’s Course Scholarship Unites Hawai’i and Alaska

Tomoko Nakagawa of Hawai’i is the winner of a $400 scholarship to the BAT Instructor’s Course in Anchorage, Alaska.

Here’s a quote from Tomoko about BAT:

“BAT is the way of helping dogs with reactivity issues by teaching them how to control social and environmental pressures in peaceful manners by using their own language, and they can earn the same functional rewards which they originally wanted with problem behaviors. The dogs will be empowered by learning that they can make choices to deal with situations, and their human understand and respect the choices, which will help rebuilt the trust between dogs and their owners.”

BAT Interview with Victoria Stilwell

If you are wondering what BAT is about or how to use it with your dog, check out this interview on Behavior Adjustment Training with dog trainer Victoria Stilwell from the TV show “It’s Me or the Dog” (Interview with Grisha Stewart is just over 5 minutes. It starts at 22:40 and goes to about 36:00.)

Some of what Victoria said about BAT in the interview: “It’s not just about stuffing food in your dog’s face. It’s about giving your dog what it needs to be successful in this crazy domestic world with us….You’re working along with the dog. I think that’s crucial. So people, if you are out there and you have a question….about how to deal with reactive dogs… you’re going to get better results from doing techniques like the BAT technique. I’ve seen it done, I’ve done it myself, I’ve seen it on videos and Grisha’s DVDs, I’ve heard about it from trainers all over the world who use it. This is a great technique and this is something else that you can do with your reactive dog to help it cope with the world around it.” (our emphasis)

New interview on BAT

Naturally Happy Dogs, a video magazine based in the UK, has published some interviews of me talking about BAT. I thought I’d share the links in my blog, in case you wanted to check them out!

  • Introduction: a free video that introduces you to BAT–what BAT is, how and when it started, and more.
  • BAT for the Vacuum Cleaner. This is a 15-minute demo of using BAT for a dog who was attacking the vacuum cleaner. Requires a paid subscription to Naturally Happy Dogs.

Dog-Dog Issues Article

For a big list of articles and videos including some description of BAT, check out our page called “Other Sites with Info on BAT” under the “More on BAT” tab of this website. Here’s a new one that has just been added:

Sarah Stremming of the Cognitive Canine has written a nice article series on dog reactivity issues. There is a nice comparison of methods at

New Yahoo group for Shelter Staff

I created a new discussion group as a creative space for shelter staff and volunteers to discuss using BAT to rehabilitate dogs in their care. Training in the shelter environment has special challenges and so does working with foster dogs who will have new families, so working with either group is a fair topic. The focus should be on the aspects of training that are unique to work with dogs who are permanently in a shelter or up for adoption, versus dogs who have permanent homes with human families. Case studies, questions, suggestions, etc. are all welcome.

Shelter/rescue staff and volunteers (including foster parents) can join this new group at

2 BAT Talks at APDT

(Lili Chin and I at the book signing)

I did two talks on BAT at the US conference for positive dog training hosted by the APDT. There was a 90 minute talk with videos and a 3 hour talk with live demo. I think both turned out well! Dogwise said they sold all but 4 of the BAT books they brought, and lots of awesome trainers came up to tell me they enjoyed the talk, so I think I did ok getting the word out about BAT.

There were a lot of people interested in participating in the research study on BAT, which will begin in earnest early next year. I’ll post info here soon.

I now get November and December off from speaking, then a full 2012 series of seminars (see many of them on the right of this page). Happy BATting!

Animal Cafe Interviews Grisha about BAT

Check this out! If you are interested in learning more about BAT in an audio form, please visit the Animal Cafe to hear an interview with me by Kelly Dunbar. Animal Cafe is a great new venue with a variety of well-known dog bloggers doing not just regular blog posts, but also podcasts.

The interview is about 2o minutes long. We go over some of the basics and some of the questions you might have about BAT. If you like the interview, please share on FB, Twitter, or whatever else you’re on these days. 🙂