Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Archive for the ‘Aggression’ Category

How to Be More Fun, Less Annoying, and Avoid Dog Bites

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

logo-anim-no-bg-rightDo you love to pet your dog? Does your dog love it too? Are you sure?

Here’s a video with a way to ask your dog if he or she likes the way you are petting. I call it the 5-Second Rule, and every person who interacts with a dog, cat, or even horse should know it, because it’s excellent bite prevention and also just basic polite manners! Teaching it to children will avoid bites and also teach the concept of setting their own boundaries for safe interactions.


Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Puppy and New Dog Tip for Spring!

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

20120407-104303.jpgWill this be your dog’s first summer in your home? Have your puppy spend some time in your back yard today to get used to the sights and sounds of spring. The reason to do this is to teach your puppy not to bark at people, dogs, and other distractions in your neighborhood.


Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

National Train Your Dog Month

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

January is Train Your Dog Month! Celebrate by training your dog with positive dog-friendly training. Here’s a little example of what that can do! I did a little interview with my dog, Peanut, on New Day Northwest today. The interview follows a short commercial. If your browser or phone doesn’t show a video below, use this link.

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle [Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

How to Greet a Dog – free ebook download this week

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Sophia Yin has a new book out for adults and especially KIDS on how to greet a dog. It’s illustrated by Lili Chin, the fabulous illustrator who did the pictures in my book on BAT for dog reactivity.

Click here to go to Sophia Yin’s download page. She posted on August 7, so it probably goes through August 13th, 2011.

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle [Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Tuesday Tip: a Sure-Fire Way to Socialize Your Puppy

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

When socializing your puppy, take it at the puppy’s speed. If he wants to walk away from a person, go with him! He may just need a moment to regroup and build his confidence. It’s critical that puppies have good experiences as their own pace, not forced interactions.

Watch for body language while he’s being petted, like glancing away, turning his head, sniffing the ground, walking away, shaking off, or quickly licking his lips. If you see any of those, just happily say, “let’s go!” and walk a few steps away with the puppy. You can even hand out a treat at that point (for putting up with the stranger and for coming with you), and then possibly see if he wants to go back for more.

Do this with everything: other dogs, strangers, kids, garbage cans, etc. Let him check out scary stuff from what he thinks is a safe distance. The more he can trust you on the leash, the more brave he will be. And since most aggression is really just fear, now is your chance to do some aggression prevention.

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle [Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Muzzle Training 101

Monday, July 5th, 2010

Here’s a great YouTube video on how to get your dog used to wearing a muzzle. Dogs hate muzzles when they first go on, so it’s essential to train them to wear them comfortably if you need one. Muzzles do not keep a dog from wanting to bite, they just keep them from being able to. I only use muzzles to introduce a dog to a person or another dog when I’m sure it should go well, but I still want the situation to be safe, in case I’m wrong. I also use them when dogs who may bite have to be handled, as at the vet. We can’t count on our own timing, because dogs are ridiculously fast!!


Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Do You Know Why Dogs Bark?

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

I was asked this question by Marty Unger on Questionland today:

“My golden-doodle is incredibly sweet and wouldn’t hurt a fly but when she sees someone outside, whether she knows them or not, she barks like she wants to rip their head off. If she could speak english, what would she be saying?”


Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Good news from the training trenches

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

Some victories for Behavior Adjustment Training today!

I just heard back from a trainer who started BAT with a really over-the-top freaked out foster dog on April 11th. The dog is so much better and just went home with her new family!! and I think there may be footage to use in my seminar.

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

BAT seminar DVD is available!

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Want to know more about how to rehabilitate your dog or clients’ dogs with aggression and fear? Behavior Adjustment Training can probably help!

Tawzer Dog Videos filmed my 90-minute Behavior Adjustment Training seminar in Novato last month, and it’s now available for sale in our online store (click here). We ship orders out on Fridays only, so if you’re looking to get it as soon as possible, then get it from the Tawzer website, when it becomes available.

Here are some clips from the intro of that seminar:

(if that doesn’t work for you, you can view it on YouTube).

We should get copies on Thursday, February 11th, so orders placed this week will *probably* go out on Friday.

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle [Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

As loyal blog readers know, I have developed a technique for dog aggression and fear called Behavior Adjustment Training. I’m giving seminars on BAT around the country and one thing that I really need is a lot of footage of dogs doing BAT, for use in seminars. We can do the filming so your head doesn’t show, if you or your kids don’t want to appear on film.

I could use a lot of volunteers in Seattle. Are you interested? Here’s what I need:


Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Session overview Sheet For BAT

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

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).


Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Two new BAT videos

Sunday, October 18th, 2009

This a mini BAT session for fear/barking that I did with some kids this morning. The video is on my iPhone, which has the opposite orientation of the program I use to process it, so it stretched Peanut out a bit.

Here are some highlights of that video:

  • At 0:27, he actually does a nice look away and retreats, and I didn’t notice, because I was fussing with the camera. I called him back and we ‘started’ our session, even though he was already starting without me. That’s the cool part about this method, that the dog can train himself after a while!
  • 0:36, 0:37, 0:39 he sees the triggers and we push on because we’re not quite at his threshold – we’re working on head turns and this is still a very easy distance.
  • 0:39, 0:46 I stop and he looks at me after only a tiny glance at the triggers (kids). I decide that’s not close enough, that he can handle more.
  • 0:49 Looks away from trigger, 0:50 big nose lick. I miss this. Another casualty of filming and walking at the same time.  This would’ve been a good place to stop.
  • 0:55, solid engagement with the kids, has enough time to look and see what they are up to, then turns to look at me. I mark with Good! and reward him by walking the other way with him, away from the kids. Note how fast he walks in that direction.
  • 1:10 – some calming touch. Not necessary, but it’s what Peanut and I do.
  • More aware of the kids now. I return to our same spot and do two more trials. During the walk-away on the 2nd trial, the kids follow us, and you’ll see him look back. I like trials 2 and 3 better than trial 1, because it seemed more directed at the environment, rather than an escape into mom’s eyes. I’m more than happy to be his anchor, I’m just glad when he doesn’t need it.

The second video is the use of the Premack Principle to practice heeling. Remember, BAT is not just for aggression & fear, but also for other problem behaviors maintained by the environment, like pulling. The point is to set the dog up to succeed, then reward with what they most want in the moment.

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Confessions of a Selfish Dog Trainer

Friday, October 16th, 2009

Another title of this post could be “Are you secretly plotting against your dog’s rehabilitation?” Or “Do as I say, not as I do!”

The Seattle positive dog trainers group had a meeting yesterday. It was the first time we’d met in about a year and I was going to see some people I hadn’t seen for even longer. It was at a home in the country, so we could all bring our dogs. Yay!

I love going places with my dog, especially now that he can handle it, most of the time. But sometimes, he can’t. I know he has these limitations, for now, because I haven’t done the work I need to make him more comfortable with, say, small children. He came to me, as a puppy, with a fear of just about everything, from dogs to kids to adults, wheeled things, etc. As I’ve mentioned before, he’s able to be a therapy dog and loves going to meet his fan club at the assisted living facility we go to.

But, and this is important, he’s not fine in all situations, and as his human with the schedule and the car keys, it’s up to me to make sure my dog is kept within his comfort zone until I can make that zone bigger through training.


Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Behavior Adjustment Training video #2

Sunday, October 4th, 2009

Here’s another video of BAT in action for dog aggression, from Cassie’s 2nd BAT session. Please read about BAT, watch the first Behavior Adjustment Training video, and then re-watch this video before you try it yourself with a trainer. Dog trainers and advanced students might also want to join our Yahoo Group for BAT and related techniques.

One thing I should mention is that the other dog is kitty-corner across the street, about 40-50 feet away from our first approach distance, maybe a bit more.

After a long break, we are doing her third session today, so stay tuned for video!

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle [Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Video of BAT in action for dog aggression

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Here’s a video from a recent BAT session with a dog-reactive Aussie. For more information about how Behavior Adjustment Training works, read our other blog post.

There are lots of different ways to do BAT, but the main idea is to use what the dog is already working for to pay for a new behavior.

In this case, the dog would bark/lunge at other dogs she doesn’t know in order to increase the distance between her and the other dog. So we do the session far enough away that she can be calmer* and we use ‘permission to walk away’ as the treat for soft eyes, blinks, head turns, etc. We mostly focus on head turns for this session, as that is a nice default behavior.


Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

How Behavior Adjustment Training Works

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

I’ve moved the contents of this post to http://ahimsadogtraining.com/blog/bat, but I wanted to keep the post so that the great comments people wrote were still available.

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle [Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

8 Sure-Fire Ways to Shorten Your Dog’s Life

Monday, August 10th, 2009

I know some of you just can’t stand that fluffy new puppy who adores you, and want to get rid of her as soon as possible. If you can’t find anyone to take this cute bundle of fur, here’s how you can at least make sure she doesn’t live out her natural life. Unfortunately, most of these also make your neighbors mad at you, but whatever.

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

Do Not Try Dog Whispering at Home

Monday, January 12th, 2009

Expose“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” – Elie Wiesel

“Positive” dog trainers throughout the Puget Sound can now celebrate a victory of science and learning over sensational TV.

Because Cesar Millan was coming to Seattle for Seattle Dog Winterfest, KOMO’s Problem Solvers began looking into the global controversy surrounding the methods used on the Dog Whisperer TV show. I was fortunate to able coordinate with the reporter and contribute to the story by providing details and Seattle-area contacts. They interviewed me, but my passion had me tongue-tied, so they didn’t end up airing it. Oh well…I have since thought of several quick sound bites!

Written by Grisha Stewart, Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle




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