Before moving on with my training of Daisy, I wanted to share a wonderful book for treating dogs with fear and aggression issues. Behavior Adjustment Training – BAT for Fear, Frustration & Aggression in Dogs, by Grisha Stewart.
Having a wide array of training books on hand, this is my go to for getting past those most embarrassing situations, case in point Daisy’s aggression.
When I married my husband he had the cutest little Boston Terrier named Daisy. She was great and we never seemed to have a problem around other dogs when off-leash, nor did I notice anything when she was on leash. But for a few months when we moved back to California she stayed with Grandma & Grandpa in Utah. I believe that the separation triggered something in her, and it seemed like overnight she became leash reactive. So reactive to the point that we didn’t like taking her places. I think the title of “frustration” actually has to do with us… because inevitably that is how we end up feeling with a dog who has issues.
BAT teaches the owner to look at growling, lunging, or fleeing as a function of learned behaviors that have helped them cope with the outside world in the past and in turn teach us to replace those unacceptable behaviors with socially acceptable behaviors that serve that same function. She teaches us to build confidence in our dogs and showing them to learn to control their behavior. I like to think of it as this, we teach our children to control their temperaments and behavior in social settings, but we expect our dogs to know how to do it naturally, unfortunately that is an unrealistic expectation. Ms. Stewart teaches you to learn and understand your dogs “triggers” so that both you and your dog can enjoy social situations.
If you do not have an understanding of canine learning theory, don’t worry! Ms. Stewart has a way of combining counter conditioning, desensitization and positive reinforcement methods in easy to follow steps which are very useful to everyday pet owners. In addition she makes many wonderful suggestions for tools and equipment to help people and dogs to succeed. And if you are a fan of Lili Chin and her wonderful illustrations, this book is loaded with them!
This book is available in a wide array of e-book formats and paperback, it can be found at Dogwise.com!
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