BAT for fearful dog

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BAT for fearful dog

Postby whiteboxerboy » Fri Aug 01, 2014 9:18 pm

ok, my apologies as i should probably not be asking this question before figuring out exactly what BAT is. i *think* i understand the concept in general - the reward is that the scary thing goes away/fearful dog is permitted to get farther away from scary thing.... ????

here's the deal: L was given pick of the litter from a litter sired by Pi's daddy and a local couple's champion female. when they were still young the dog L put her name on was a little fireball, super sassy and outgoing, nothing fearful about her. well, fast forward to about 6 months ago (about 6 months of age so most likely fear period?) and kaboom, the dog became a scaredy cat. she's totally fine at home but at shows she was really struggling. L told the couple to take her home and work with her, that she cannot come back to a show until she's worked thru whatever all of this is. the dog actually does well in the ring if she shows early i.e. isn't sitting around getting worked up waiting her turn. L also just doesn't want to put the dog thru any kind of bad experience in a show environment especially. if she's not having fun or at least OK in the down time then it's not good for her to be there at all.

the lady is a special ed teacher. i didn't realize that until last month when we were visiting. she didn't know i was an OT, either.

L had asked me about working with this dog, was there anything in particular i thought could help the dog work thru the scary, noisy show environment - thinking along the lines of my work with the kiddo's and their sensory processing issues. i told her the dog's issues are not the same issues as the kids but i'd think about it.

the special ed teacher talked with one of her friends and now is all about this BAT for her dog.

i was thinking more along the lines of doing target work as a foundation, give the dog something to do when walking thru show buildings, while waiting ringside, etc.

anyway, my question really is whether BAT is an appropriate intervention for this situation. i'm supposed to get together with the lady and the dog over the weekend or next week. this dog is incredibly beautiful and will definitely be a champion **if** she can work thru her issues with all the noise/scary stimuli in show buildings. no biggie if she doesn't go back in the ring but if we can help her be more confident in every day situations out in the world that's a good thing, too.

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Re: BAT for fearful dog

Postby Jen » Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:50 pm

I think this is a good overview of BAT.

I'm no expert and have a very minimal understanding based in this site and my trainer friend's explanations, but the way I've thought of it is this: Bella's flight mode is broken. BAT has repaired it a bit. So now she knows that scary things can be moved away from and avoided and don't have to be taken down. This gives her confidence that she is actually in control, which allows her to engage the scary thing a bit more without becoming aggressive.

I'd think that they'd have to simulate the show environment to really effectively use BAT training here. But I don't see why building confidence would ever be wrong.

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Re: BAT for fearful dog

Postby Moemer » Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:18 am

I'm driving for the next several days but I'll try tip wrote something helpful when I get a computer up and running. I can't type worth poop on my phone. In short yes BAT could be helpful - buT it's so important that she understands threshold and can execute the training properly . Ideally also finding set ups tip work this and not only going tip shows. I also agree with you that it should be in combination with other strategies, i rarely introduce it as the very first strategy. Always talk management foundation skills basic reactivity work then BAT. And here are two letters for your enjoyment that my phone won't let me delete: ly
Elsie (ACDX) and Arlo (FoxhoundX)

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Re: BAT for fearful dog

Postby Bettyna » Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:28 am

So... We have been doing BAT, and I've been sharing my experience with Kobe and BAT in the other thread. I'm no expert... But I have some thoughts...

I'm not sure how BAT is going to work in a Show situation. The idea of BAT seems to me to be slow desensitising and teaching the dog that you have other behaviours they can do rather than reacting (either fearfully or aggressively).

And BAT also operates on what they call functional rewards. Which is basically leaving the object of fear, whereas you actually want the dog to be happy and more confident in that scary fearful environment?

How shut down is the dog in the show? Maybe regular conditioning and desensitisation would work? Starting from further away from the show ring (Or whatever is the object of her fear) and treating or playing or teaching simple tricks) and moving nearer as the dog gets more comfortable.

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