As head dog here at Wildflower Dog Training, I think a lot about agency.
As dogs, we live in a world defined by you apes. Someone else determines when we eat, where we can sleep, if we get to go outside and what is appropriate behaviour when that old lady that smells like pork chops comes over.
And don't get me wrong. This can be pretty sniffilicious. I lucked out and my human does a pretty good job at helping me live a fun life. But sometimes I need help. And sometimes a little more agency is really what I need.
Agency is an ape word for giving us dogs more choices and a voice in our day and life.
And agency can be really helpful for a dog suffering from anxiety that manifests as aggression. Which is why BAT (Behaviour Adjustment Therapy) is such an important tool for our coaches. And with some dogs, the results are nothing short of stunning.
And I'm not just saying that because I run this place. I'm also a client.
I asked Sean to help me write this blog post because BAT has been super helpful for me in dealing with some of the things that really stress me.
Yeah. I know. It's hard to believe.
But hey, some things really get to me. And allowing me to decide when I've had enough is really, super important. Not only that, I'm told it is like a "safe word". I give the signal and my human turns and runs with me. And that is super cool. I love running! And we're also running away from that worrying bulldog that I know is up to something!
I also love that I choose whether we do another repetition. A big shout out to Chirag Patel for that idea! I would totally give Chirag a big, slobbery kiss if he ever comes back to Canada.
But here's my favourite part of BAT.
My human companion has to start listening to me. It's super awesome. I feel so much more confident when I know what we are working together to get out of stressful situations so I don't have to escalate.
Okay. Enough husky yowling. I've got some squirrel watching to do. Sean says he's going to post his video below.
- Sir Tyson