This week’s Animal Cafe podcast is exciting for two reasons. It marks the debut as a team member of Kelly Gorham Dunbar, co-founder and executive editor of DogStarDaily — the best dog training/behavior site on the planet — as well as a contributing editor at Dogtime.com. And her first guest is a rock star in her own right: Grisha Stewart, the creator of Behavior Adjustment Training, or BAT. She has a new book, Behavior Adjustment Training, hot off the presses, and a variety of DVDs available. She is also embarking on a world tour.
A Quick Aside: I Mean No Disrespect
I don’t know what it is about BAT but — as you’ll see in the posts on my blog that I’ll be linking to — I can’t resist superhero or actual bat imagery when discussing the topic. In my defense, I was calling Frankie “Batboy” long before I knew about the training protocol because he has ears that look like they would make him capable of echolocation. And I wrote a guidebook to Austin, which is Bat Conservation International headquarters. Bats fascinate me.
What’s BAT about?
It’s a positive, dog-empowering technique that allows dogs to feel confident in their ability to negotiate the world. Dogs behave in certain ways — barking and lunging for example — because they are trying to control their situations. But as Grisha says, they’re trying to get control “Not in a world domination kind of way but in a ‘I’m in London and I’d like to learn to use the Underground kind of way.'”
It’s sweeping the world, as Grisha explains, because “It works. It’s humane. And you can see results quickly and tangibly.”
WMDHM’s BAT Series
But there’s no point trying to go into more detail when I was fortunate enough to edit a series of posts on the protocol written by Irith Bloom of The Sophisticated Dog and approved by Grisha: Batboy Begins; Batboy Continues, Batboy Forever and BAT Calming Signals, Some Visuals,
And I had the pleasure of having Crystal Saling, a BAT advocate and trainer at The Delightful Dog, come over and work with me and Frankie using the techniques. One of the posts that describes our progress: Training Tuesday: A BAT Landmark
A Quick Bit of Networking
Grisha is going to be in Sweden and Norway and is looking for “local” gigs: Leo — aka Kenzo the Hovawart: You might want to get in touch with her, because I know that you’ve used BAT successfully with Viva. The schedule is posted in the right hand column of Grisha’s Functional Rewards site.
The conversation between Kelly and Grisha is delightful, a casual chat between two women who know more about dogs and training than most of us can ever hope to know in a lifetime and who discuss it all with ease and joy. So be sure to go over to Animal Cafe and listen!
6 thoughts on “Stress-Free Dog Training: A Chat with (The Original) BATwoman”
Still a lot to accomplish through BAT though: thanks for the heads up! It would be awesome if I could help putting something together in Copenhagen!
I am always looking at new training ideas! No dog trainers exist in Iquitos, Peru where Amazon CARES is based. If you ever feel like a walk on the wild side I’d love for you to come train my shelter workers!
I wouldn’t know how to do the training — though I’d love to come to Peru — but maybe Grisha will put it on the itinerary for her next tour.
I’d LOVE to come to Peru, Molly. If you’re serious about setting something up in South America, let me know…
Wow, thank you for this post. Our rescue Felix still has a few issues that it sounds like this techique could help. I cant wait to dive in and read the links in more detail. (PS – I can’t resist a cute bat either!)
Good luck with Felix and BAT; I really found it was a good technique for Frankie. And I’m glad to know I’m not alone in my bat preoccupation (fetish is taking it a bit too far).