BAT Instructor Certification Workshop
With Grisha Stewart
By: Rachel Fein, KPA CTP, CTDI
We spent the first day going over the amazing leash skills that Grisha Stewart came up with herself in addition to reviewing the basics of BAT. Did you know that dogs communicate through body language? Whenever you are working with a dog it is very important to pay attention to its body language. Dogs show stress in a variety of ways; posture, speed, ear position, lip licking, yawning, tail position, eye contact, stiff/loose bodies. Note: tail wagging does not always mean a happy dog. In BAT we also use a 10-15 foot snap leash with a back clip harness. The back clip harness allows the dog freedom of movement and help prevent the dog from getting tangled. The longer leash allows the dog to explore the environment and also helps to keep the leash loose which is a vital component when working with a reactive dog. A tight leash signals to a dog that there is something to react to. During the workshop we learned how to shorten and lengthen the leash in a safe way. We also learned skills such as following, sliding, mime pulling and slow stops. To learn more about these skills contact your nearest CBATI.
The second day we got to try out our leash skills on the decoy dogs. These are dogs that are solid and used when doing a BAT Setup. It was a hot day so the dogs got tired fast but it was great practice. Its important to try out new skills on a solid dog before trying them with a reactive dog. It is also important to practice the skills without triggers present so ensure the setups go smoothly.
The third day we got to meet our clients and teach them the leash skills without dogs present. My groups client was great. He was very open to everything we had to say and he learned quickly. Because he has two reactive dogs in the household we expressed the importance of walking the dogs seperately. This is so they do not feed off of each other. He caught on to the leash skills quickly so we had fun testing his skills. I even got to pretend to be a dog. He passed every test I threw at him with flying colors.
The last day we did BAT Setups with live decoy dogs. We knew to start from the other side of the field so we did that from the beginning. Since we were using a live dog this time we had to increase the distance a little bit. This is because of live dog is not completely still like a fake dog is. The setup went great and we all learned a lot. We had some really great BAT moments. After we were done the client could not say enough about how much he loved the new style of handling. He said he was definitely going to use his new skills to help work with his dogs.
The workshop was a once in a lifetime experience. I learned a great deal and I am excited to bring that knowledge back to my clients.
To learn more about BAT or if you need help with your reactive dog please contact Cloud K9 Academy.