Grisha Stewart, Creator of Behavior Adjustment Training (BAT), Creates New Dog Reactivity Certification for Dog Trainers and Behaviorists

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One of the most common dog training issues is over reactivity, often leading stressed-out humans to euthanize or re-home those dogs because they don’t know how to find help. Now owners of aggressive or fearful dogs can be assured of a trusted dog training coach by choosing a Certified Behavior Adjustment Training Instructor (CBATI).

Participants in the BAT Instructor's course received intensive hands-on experience and expert feedback.

BAT is not merely a way to prevent or rehabilitate problems; it also teaches two-way communication, which builds a more powerful relationship between people and their dogs.

Grisha Stewart, MA, CPDT-KA, KPACTP, author, dog trainer, and international speaker, announced today that ten of twelve participants in the first Behavior Adjustment Training (BAT) instructor’s course have met the strict requirements to become Certified Behavior Adjustment Training Instructors (CBATI). BAT is a low-stress, non-aversive technique for working with problem-dog behaviors such as aggression, fear, or frustration.

Stewart, owner and founder of Ahimsa Dog Training in Seattle, WA, developed BAT as an efficient rehabilitation technique to help her own fearful dog, Peanut. She next used BAT with client dogs to rehabilitate and prevent fear, aggression, and frustration issues. After Stewart’s first DVD came out in 2010, BAT gained rapid international popularity, creating a demand for dog trainers and behaviorists to expertly apply BAT to help families with dogs that cower, bark, lunge, growl, or bite.

“As requests poured in for referrals for trainers with BAT experience, I realized the importance of developing a certification process,” says Stewart. “The CBATI program gives dog owners the confidence that they are working with a trusted dog training professional—a person who understands how to teach others the ways to use BAT, works well with clients, and has significant experience working with reactive dogs.”

BAT is a dog-friendly method for rehabilitating and preventing reactivity in dogs. It works by helping dogs and puppies learn socially acceptable ways to handle the things that scare or upset them. Instead of barking, lunging, or snarling, dogs learn to use “cut-off” signals such as head turns and ground sniffs to communicate to their handlers that they are uncomfortable. Stewart has published numerous books and DVDs about this technique.

BAT is not merely a way to prevent or rehabilitate problems; it also teaches two-way communication, which builds a more powerful relationship between people and their dogs. “I notice a significant, positive relationship change between dogs and their owners when I teach them BAT,” says Charmaine Anthony, CPDT-KA, CBATI of Chicago. “Since I often incorporate BAT with my clients, I jumped at the chance to improve my skills and to become certified.”

The BAT Instructor’s course is a hands-on interactive workshop that allows participants to work both as lead trainers with reactive dog/handler teams and as coaches to other participants.

“BAT is a deceptively simple technique that requires considerable practice,” says Muriel Brasseur, BSc, Hons, PhD, owner of Oxfordshire Animal Behaviour Centre, located in the UK. “Getting hands-on feedback from Grisha either during the instructor’s course or via the video case study is invaluable.” Brasseur has already hosted several two-day BAT seminars and will be hosting the five-day CBATI course in the UK in 2013.

The certification process requires a four-hour BAT video case study, a written exam with essay questions, a commitment to the principles of progressive reinforcement training, and 200 hours of experience training dogs using force-free training techniques.

"The BAT certification course provided expert instruction and essential feedback, assuring me that I could confidently promote and execute BAT," says Ellen Gerdes-Naumann, CPDT-KA, CBATI of Agoura Hills, California. "The CBATI certification will help me expand and enhance my services not only to clients but to other professionals within the pet industry; I find that very exciting."

About Grisha Stewart
Grisha Stewart MA, CPDT-KA, KPACTP is the owner and founder of Ahimsa Dog Training in Seattle and the creator of Behavior Adjustment Training (BAT). She is an author, a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, an active member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, and a Certified Training Partner from the Karen Pryor Academy. Grisha specializes in the treatment and prevention of aggression and fear in dogs and puppies.

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