As I look over research on the effectiveness of various methods for treating dog aggression, one thing that strikes me is that people are not very good at actually doing enough set-ups with their dogs. This is true for any kind of treatment (and actually, it’s true of my physical therapy, even though my back hurts more if I avoid it, but that’s a story for a different day).
I figured it would help to give students a chance to see progress, so I have created an overview sheet for set-ups. Clients will make progress if they do set-ups correctly and consistently.Â It’s not enough just to do one set-up, for any method. With BAT, expect the sessions to decrease in length and increase in quality of interaction.Â I did about 20 set-ups for Peanut with adults, and he went from not being touchable by strangers to enjoying working as a therapy dog in an assisted living facility.Â The initial sessions were long and the sessions at the end were short, only a few minutes. 20 may seem like a lot of set-ups, but it only took a month of Saturdays.
Click here for the BAT session Overview sheet. There is a blank form and the second page is a filled-out sample. You might not use the same decoy 4 times, but it allows for that. I usually use decoys 2-3 times max, because the dog starts to remember them. Print a new sheet for each decoy. When you print out multiple copies, you’ll need to set your computer to just print page 1. Fill out whichever rows you think are most important, and do this for each session.
Dog trainers and behaviorists: you can print this out to use with your clients, but please leave the contact info on there. If you are posting it on a website, please use a link instead of putting the file on your domain.
Let me know if you use this, either by email or using the comments section below!Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle Tweet This Post!