As a Salt Lake City dog trainer, I am constantly learning and looking into new methods of training! About 2 years ago, I attended a seminar on Behavioral Adjustment Training. This type of training has created many breakthroughs for my Salt Lake City dog training clients! However, it takes much expertise and knowledge to apply and I still want to take some time to explain the very basics of the training process.
Many people believe that the only way to shift aggression and fear behavior in dogs is through punishment based training. There are many positive training techniques that produce amazing results and also are emotionally healthy for dogs. Behavioral Adjustment Training or BAT training involves much problem solving on the dogs end. Here is a basic outline of the process.
1.) Determine what triggers your dog. Another dog, certain types of dogs, humans, certain traits in humans, etc.
2.) Enroll a decoy. Create the stimulus that triggers your dog. If it is men with hats then get a man with a hat. If dogs trigger your dog then enroll a dog decoy. Make sure the decoy is relatively calm. The decoy should be very still and quiet.
3.) Have the decoy be at a distance from your dog. Your dog is with you on leash. Your dog should far enough way, where he is barely triggered. This will take the support of professional Salt Lake City dog trainer to determine. If you get this distance incorrect the training will sorely fail.
4.)At this distance your dog will engage or look at the trigger. Immediately after your dog looks at the trigger, you will then pause and wait for a calming signal. A calming signal is a sign that states that your dog is releasing some stress rather than escalating to a reaction (barking, lunging, etc on leash).
5.) Once your dog performs a calming signal, you will then mark the calming signal with the word “yes” and if your dog is willing you will walk away increasing your dog’s distance from the trigger. Your dog wants to move farther away from the trigger because your dog probably wants the trigger or stimulus to go away.
6.) From there you repeat this process using systematic desensitization. This means you gradually decrease the distance between the decoy and your dog by repeating the above steps at each new distance.
This is a quick overview of BAT and we highly recommend that you intensely study BAT training or hire a professional Salt Lake City dog trainer to create an easeful process.
Your Turn! We want to hear from you in comments below!
Do you have a an aggressive or fearful dog? Would BAT training be of interest to you? Please share!
Johanna Teresi, Professional Trainer of Four Legged Scholars LLC, Dog Training Salt Lake City