Certification in Behavior Adjustment Training validates your expertise to correctly instruct and implement meaningful behavior change through BAT. Working with dogs, and the humans who care for them, requires many skill sets as a dog trainer, especially when working with dogs who may overreact towards other dogs or people. CBATIs are highly skilled in antecedent arrangements, canine body language, BAT leash skills, and the fundamentals of desensitization and counter-conditioning. Results are gained through skilled support, and repeated practice, of meeting the dog’s needs in a safe, organic way.
CBATIs must adhere to the principles of LIMA (Least Intrusive Minimally Aversive) and practice positive reinforcement and force-free training methods. We recommend applicants read the free BAT handouts available, watch Grisha Stewart’s BAT 2.0 Video Series, especially the DVD BAT 2.0 Set-Ups, and read BAT 2.0 for Dog Aggression, Frustration & Fear by Grisha Stewart. Whenever possible attend a BAT Seminar/Workshop or perhaps find mentorship with a certified BAT instructor.
CBATIs are recognized as experts in the prevention and reduction of unwanted reactivity. Certification is granted to experienced trainers who pass a rigorous theoretical exam and demonstrate correct BAT skills.
CBATIs must have accrued 200 training hours (at least 100 must be working with reactivity) using positive reinforcement and force-free training methods as a lead trainer working with clients/shelters
All CBATIs must pass a theoretical written exam at a BAT Instructor Certification Course, or online via an oral exam.
All CBATIs must pass a practical skills assessment whether in person at a BAT Instructor Certification Course, or online via a PSA video submission.
Certification as a BAT instructor communicates to the international professional dog training community and to the public that you are highly skilled in this technique; you know it well, you teach it well.
I became a CBATI in 2012 at the first ever BAT instructors course in Washington. Since those early days of BAT not only has the method evolved but the people using it have as well. For me personally I love how the approach teaches choice and also the ability to honor the choices the dogs are making. I have worked with hundreds of dogs both old and young and have always included BAT in some form from puppy classes to very aggressive dogs with a lot of success. I am proud to have been one of the first CBATI’s and continue to learn more about it everyday with every dog and human I work with.
Dennis Fehling, CBATI, CPDT-KA
I think one of the most important parts of learning BAT properly is being able to use BAT efficiently and accurately while keep everyone safe. BAT is not a simple solution to just let the dog go free with a long line. It needs to be done under a carefully arranged environment with proper understanding about behavioral changes, in connection with constant observation and leash handling skills. Furthermore understanding the emotional state of pet owners and keeping them motivated is another important skill set. You will learn these skills through a certification course which will be very helpful when working in real life situations. From my own experience of raising a dog who was rescued from a puppy mill and had a lot of behavioral issues, becoming a CBATI changed both our lives.
Tomoko Nakagawa CBATI
I value applying BAT methods to help my clients understand how to support their dog’s learning using rewards, praise and the freedom to choose. It can be challenging to move away from a societal focus on punishment and begin to practice a different way of teaching. The beauty of these skills manifests when a client’s dog responds, becoming the proof that helps their person begin the journey.
Wendy Dahl MA, CBATI, SAMT