The Aggression Constellations: Through the CARAT Lens
Each dog can be thought of as a unique constellation of traits which, taken as whole, form the complex fabric we call temperament. Moving far past simple labels like "anxious" or "hyperactive" or "reactive" or "aggressive" the CARAT approach provides a nuanced lens through which we can see that specific dog in detail.
CARAT assesses these temperament traits:
- CORE - Arousal, Resilience, Energy
- SOCIAL - Sociability, Social Tolerance, Social Use of Spae
- INTERACTIVE - Biddability w/Stranger, Biddability w/Familiar, Patience
- SENSORY AWARENESS - Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic, Olfactory
- PERSISTENCE - Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic, Olfactory, Predatory/Chase
- SOCIAL CONFIDENCE
- ENVIRONMENTAL CONFIDENCE
- SELF MODULATION
Using a bi-directional scale, CARAT captures the full range of the classic inhibition<->activation, avoid<->attract, and shy<->bold continuums.
This framework for assessing the individual dog begins and ends with the dog as viewed through the observable patterns of behavior. CARAT recognizes that each trait interacts with the others to balance, exacerbate, or minimize other traits. Further, the full constellation of traits interacts with the environment, genetics, experience and the handler!
Treatment of aggression cases begins with an accurate, detailed assessment of the dog that gives us an understanding of how the dog responds to the world around them, reflected in the quality, frequency, intensity and persistence of their characteristic responses. What makes things 'better' or lessens the intensity of a response? What needs to be taught as a specific skill and what needs to be managed for the dog? How the dog perceives and responds to their world guides us to seeing how best to intervene, and what that dog and the dog's family needs. CARAT provides a framework for understanding where skills, guidance, and many forms of support will be most effective for that dog.
When you understand how CARAT can create a more accurate view of the dog in front of you, you begin to make different training decisions for that dog. This webinar provides an overview of how the CARAT approach to temperament "changes everything!" with emphasis on viewing the aggression case through a CARAT lens.