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Biggest Scam in Modern Dog Training

Using Treats + Extreme Spoiling = A Half Trained Dog

From the Book, "Hidden Secrets Behind Dog Training"
(A Game-Changer in Dog Psychology!)

Contrary to popular belief, relying heavily on treats gets you quick, but short-lived results. Not thousands, but millions around the world have fallen for this theory.
Would you rather train your dog by your Praise, Leadership, Technique and Psychology or bribe it nonstop with cheese, hot dogs, bacon strips and beef jerky?

Which is Rational, Practical and Natural?


Let’s abandon all skill and technique, kick common sense to the curb, give our dogs treats just for being alive and call it, “dog training.” Sounds crazy? Not really. Almost everyone seems to be jumping on this bandwagon these days. The evidence that I've presented in this chapter to debunk this theory are very overwhelming. In a nutshell, you'll know precisely why this way of training backfires and actually ruins your dog’s learning process.

The following bullets will feel like a punch in the stomach—especially for dog owners AND dog trainers who swear in using treats for everything. You’ll find them straight to the point and extremely thought-provoking.

Mind-blowing Flaws of Using Treats with Your Dog:

* Your dog will only listen to you when you are actually “holding” a treat.
* You will gain your dog’s love, but rarely his respect. Hint: You need both.
* You are asked to literally starve your poor dog so he obeys the commands.
* You will spoil your dog. Spoiled dogs often turn on other dogs and people.
* You won’t always have a pouch of hot dogs or your clicker with you 24/7.
* You are unknowingly making your dog bossy, feisty and demanding.
* You’ll end up holding your fingers together hoping to trick your smart dog.
* Your dog will ignore even his favorite treats around cats, dogs or your guests.
* Your dog could get sick, fat, or have explosive diarrhea from so many tidbits.
* You’ll confuse and disappoint your doggie when you finally STOP using treats.
* Your dog will figure out that he HAS a choice and take his sweet time responding.
* You are told to have your dog look at you first. This always stalls the training.
* Your dog may get worse or even go nuts as soon as he sees or smells any treat.
* Your dog will obey based on what type of treats you have in your hand/pouch.
* Your dog might start to beg at the table or even worse, get in the habit of counter-surfing and literally stealing food of your plate.
* Your book/trainer tells you to make sure you never run out of treats; but as soon as your dog gets full, he could stop responding to you altogether. (This usually happens in group classes or with dogs that have little or no appetite. And it doesn't even matter even if you made sure to cut those yummy treats in small pieces.)
* You’ll make your dog so demanding that he’ll keep on barking, jumping, whimpering and nudging at your hands until you toss him some yummy treats or whatever you happen to be munching on.

Dear pet owner, this is what I call a systematic failure at its best. You have to give them credit for earning millions of dollars by lying to you so effectively. After all, just about every dog training book, dog magazine, and the majority of trainers and obedience schools are trained and paid to lie to you. Even Petsmart, which is the biggest pet store chain in America, advocates the food-reward based training, or as I call it by its real name—the bribery approach.

They claim that in order for your dog to get properly trained, you must give it treats for sitting, staying, lying down, and going potty. And that’s not all. They also advocate the use of food for heeling, to stop your dog from charging at dogs or people, and of course, if your dog guards or steals something and won't let go of it.

So that's the solution, folks: Just grab something tasty that your dog drools over, and then exchange it with that item. But is that training or negotiation?

After your dog is trained, or perhaps a better choice of words would be IF your dog is trained by this nonsense, then you are advised to completely stop using all treats. They promise you that your dog will eventually obey just as well with or without treats, anywhere, anytime and for the rest of its life. Hmm...whenever someone makes such a claim, do yourself a favor and look around to see if Ashton Kutcher pops up.

As this clearly sounds like you are "Being Punked"! Come on, Ashton, where are you hiding this time?

My First Rookie Mistake with Positive Dog Training:

Believe it or not, years ago, I too was a hardcore advocate of this method and admit that I was able to achieve some results, but... oh yes, there is a but there. All of my success was behind closed doors, in small backyards, and without any common day-to-day distraction.

Call me crazy, but I still wanted to test the dog’s command response out in the "real world". I won’t lie to you; more than anything else, I was dying to show off my mad skills that I developed through this bribery nonsense.

The particular dog that I was working with at the time, mastered all the commands perfectly. So why wouldn’t he listen to me otherwise? Hey, a trained dog is a trained dog, right? WRONG!!!

Don't worry; I made sure that I followed the training advice to a T. Which meant: Starving the poor dog all day. Hey, I even packed some of my mom’s mouth-watering meatballs in a plastic bag. Half of the walk went great, until the dog spotted the neighbor’s cat. And that’s when all hell broke loose.

My super-trained dog started pulling, lunging and making some weird noises. I'll never forget it. It wasn't a bark, a growl or a squeal—but a mixture of ALL. He stood up on his back legs, started shaking, twisting, while jumping back and forth. Without missing a beat, I reached inside my plastic bag, presented a meatball...nothing!

Now, this was a long time ago, but I could've sworn that he gobbled one meatball in matter of seconds, but never took his eyes off that stupid cat. Long story short, the dog made me look like a dumbass in front of all our neighbors. He kept moving his head out of the way and walking around me to get to the cat.

Here I was screaming at the top of my lungs, holding tightly to the leash, and about to rub all that meat in his face, but my “treat-trained” dog kept ignoring me AND my meatballs. Well, he finally managed to get out of his collar and took off after that cat like a bat out of hell. I started chasing after him, screaming profanities, and throwing meatballs left and right at the dog and the cat.

Moral of My Story: Even my mom’s legendary meatballs couldn't stop that dog from chasing after a cat. I didn’t know whether dogs understood profanity, but I now know for sure that even if they do, they certainly don't care or respond to it. And finally, outdoor cats are usually much faster and more agile than most dogs out there.

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You are probably asking yourself...

Why Then the "Majority" Recommend Treats?

This is a great question. But sadly, the “majority” can't possibly be right about everything and here's how I'll prove it to you:

The majority of people aren’t health-conscious. The majority of us don’t spend quality time with our loved ones. Instead, we give that time to computers, watching television, playing videogames or those lovely mobile devices. Look, I love and appreciate technology and the idea of convenience. But I still find it odd when people rather text or go to Facebook than make the effort to actually talk or meet with one another. You guessed it. Most of us give the majority of our time to technology.

The majority of the population are rarely kind, polite or driven. The majority of the news is negative. And, let's face it, the majority of us don’t always appreciate who or what we already have in our lives. Long ago, the majority also believed that the earth was flat, smoking couldn't harm you, and that there was no difference between breast milk and baby formula.

As you can see, the majority have NOT been right throughout history. Remember the old saying, “Two wrongs don’t make a right”? Folks, you have to smarten up. Don't let them stretch the truth by misleading you.

So just because the majority of dog trainers, dog books or dog schools recommend using treats for every purpose, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the right or smart thing to do.

BOOOO... BOOOO.... Mr. Dog Prodigy!
Using Treats Has Been Scientifically Proven!

Yawn…please don't bring up your Pavlov and Skinner theory. I am sick of reading about this in all positive trainers' web sites and those bribery books they keep publishing. Give me a break.

Here's the brutal truth that was intentionally left out about these tests: They were all conducted in a "controlled setting." None, not even one, has been tested out in the real world. And I will bet my life that none were done around any of your guests, other dogs, a squirrel or your mailman. Am I missing something?

But according to these so-called experts, using treats was proven to be solid advice. In fact, forget proven. It is scientifically based. So who the heck am I to challenge or argue with something that is backed by “science”?

For all you doubter out there; be my guest. Ring that bell, wave the beef jerky, and roll them meatballs all day long towards your dog to see if he drools, but as soon as he spots a squirrel, another dog, or finds himself off his leash and away from you, it's game over, my friend. What can your science and crispy bacon do then? It's checkmate and you’re left looking like an idiot and out of breath.

There is MY scientific proof for ya! Best of all, I didn’t have to starve any dogs or drag a truckload of scientists to prove my point. Sorry. But some things in life are just common sense.

REALITY CHECK: Would you still work for your company if they stopped paying you? Then how can you expect the same from your dog? And when you really think about it, your dog should sit, stay or lie down because of your love and leadership, not because of cut-up hot dogs. It’s the same mentality and principle of how we were raised. We followed directions because of the respect we had for our parents and the fact that they were the "providers." Again, I said the provider—NOT the "briber." There are so many—

Trainers Who Laugh Their Way to the Bank by Scamming You:

Millions of you fall for their bait. Here's how they manage to pull it off: To draw you in, they stay away from the term “bribery” at all cost. They're very sneaky and changed it to "reward-based training,” “positive reinforcement,” or my favorite of all, the “gentle approach.” Wow. Positive AND gentle? Now who can top that?

This reminds me of a priest or a pastor who preaches, “Be positive and gentle, my child.” And if these cookie trainers get away with calling themselves, “Positive and gentle,” then which category do the rest of us fall under? Are we all negative, abusive and hateful? Maybe if we don’t rely on biscuits to get results, then we must be suicidal, alcoholics, and drug addicts who beat dogs senseless. Hey, after all, we are negative, right?

Look, I don't care how stubborn or difficult your dog may be, he is smarter than you give him credit for and CAN learn to respond to your commands and respect your wishes through love, leadership, praise and a "Diverse Method." How is this not common sense?

I am scratching my head trying to understand why so many organizations and dog schools push the use of treats to everyone. For all of you trainers out there who are sold on this theory, I boldly challenge your experience, your technique, and your overall knowledge about training, dog psychology and canine behavior. I mean, come on, everybody knows it doesn’t take much skill or science to bribe a dog with treats and hope you’ll end up with real long-term results.

So here’s my question: If you claim this way of training is so effective, then why does it stop working when you face real day-to-day distractions?

!!! Don’t Just Prove it to Me! Prove it to Yourself !!!
Can You Honestly Stop ANY Dog From:

* Acting up in front of your guests or around other dogs,
* Bolting out the second he finds himself off-leash,
* Chasing after cats, cars, squirrels or kids,
* Barking nonstop at the mail carrier…

All by holding a piece of dried liver in front of its nose? Again, notice, I said ANY dog and not just yours. Many owners can't help but compare their dog with everyone else's. If you can, then stop reading the rest of this chapter. All you have to do is carry liver treats in your pocket for the rest of your life.

Now, be honest. Didn't at least one of the above examples consider as a part of your daily routine? To be fair, I didn't ask to get your dog to respond in front of an alien, dinosaur, Batman, or those weird looking creatures from Avatar.

If you still believe that your dog is a pleaser, then why depend on treats in the first place? Shouldn’t you be able to get your dog to focus or respond to you with or without any food?

A dog that only listens to you when you are holding a treat or even worse, "pretending" to hold some sort of goodie in your hand is only half-trained.

Again, bribery sabotages your dog’s true potential. Here's another undeniable fact:

Using Treats Only Gives You the "Illusion" of a Trained Dog

Let’s say you are having a fancy dinner night after night. I'm talking about: Dim light, fine wine, a crackling fire... and of course, Nat King Cole killing it with “Unforgettable” in the background.

Or, perhaps you prefer the sound of smooooooth jazz. Who wouldn’t want this, especially when it’s every night? But we also know that it’s just a matter of time before this fancy-schmancy dinner loses its appeal. Some of you have already guessed what's coming next: Folks, I'm referring to the power of routine.

Now, if you were having this treat only once in a while and as a surprise, it would be far more special and appealing. Notice I said once in a while, not ten times a day! Think of the old saying, “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.”

Constantly giving your dog treats for every minor or major reason is no different from the scenario I just described. I will say it again until I'm blue in the face: If your training foundation has been built on nonstop bribery, instead of developing a positive attitude and a solid technique, it will collapse. I see it happen all the time.

Still NOT Convinced?!
WOW! You MUST BE Another Cookie-Trainer!

Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are. I've Got Your Favorite Treats For Ya. Mmmmm... these are even ORGANIC!

Still hanging onto that Skinner and Pavlov B.S.? How cute. And if you are NOT a cookie trainer, then they sure have an awesome job of convincing you, Tony Robbins style. (And I'm not talking about Unlimited Power. This one is unlimited cookies.)

Keep reading; the following examples are even more convincing! So convincing, that the most experienced treat-trainers’ hackles will go up and will stay up for a few minutes. (Or as I call it, pulling a Mohawk.) Here are-

More Weak Points About Using Treats with Your Dog:

FACT: Relying heavily on treats to teach a dog isn’t healthy or natural. Just imagine if you tried to teach your kid how to read this way. Every time that he read or spelled a word correctly, you rewarded him with Kit Kats, Twinkies or cookies. After all, you want to be positive, don’t you? As an expert, I can assure you that dogs, just like our kids, can learn to respond through positive reinforcement. But positive reinforcement doesn’t always have to mean giving your dog treats left and right.

FACT: Treat-trainers strongly advise you to NOT feed your dog prior to training. Then they tell you to purchase the best treats money can buy. Genius! Now all you have to do is to cut that cheese brick in small cubes. (Oh, make sure it's made of goat milk.) Problem solved. How else are you going to pull it off? One of their famous lines goes something like, “Treats make it fun and motivational.” Silly me; I’ve been torturing the dogs AND myself all these years by relying on my praise and technique.

FACT: Cookie trainers make statements such as: “Nothing in life is free,” or “You wouldn’t work for free, so why should your dog?” Wait a minute. Let’s think this through for a moment. Folks, we provide lots of FREE things for our lovely dogs. Here’s that wonderful list: free food, free rent, free medical coverage, free dental, free vision, free toys, free baths, free walks, free grooming, free petting… should I continue?

Oh, I can do this all day: free treats, free car rides, free play time, free dog bed, free dog house, free dog run, free dog walker, free doggie daycare, free cleaning up, and even a free retirement plan. For those of you who own multiple dogs, even a free companion. As you can see, your dog may not live that long, but he definitely has it made with you! (Heck, you even clean his poo for FREE!)

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FACT: You are somewhat hoping that your dog will eventually respond to you at the same level, even when you stop using all the goodies. But your confused dog might think that you either have lost your mind, or misplaced your pouch of smoked chicken strips! “What the heck happened to those days when I used to get a treat EVERY time I sat for you?” is basically what your pooch will be thinking. Or even worse, maybe she’ll assume that you just don’t love her as much anymore.

FACT: As you read earlier, using food in your training rarely teaches your dog the respect factor. It definitely builds trust, love and affection, but never respect! Besides, doesn’t your dog already love and trust you? It’s the respect that’s missing. Why do you think your dog only listens to you half the time? It’s because there is that strong love, that strong bond, and also that strong lack of respect. Hey, nobody said the truth is easy to digest. Moving along.

FACT: Spoiled dogs steal food from your plate, your kids’ hands, and even from perfect strangers all the time. Remember, you’ve been giving your dog treats just for being cute or just for looking at you. (I am talking about that unnecessary Watch Me command.) So he’s only snatching what he naturally sees as his. And it doesn’t matter if you never gave him any human food. Food is food to him. So instead of waiting for treats on your terms, your dog is taking matters into its own paws.

Dog Food: To Switch or NOT to Switch?

The other major reason your dog steals food from counters or from everyone is because he is sick of the same brand you've been feeding him all along. Think about it. Wouldn't YOU want to try something different if someone forced you to eat the same thing for weeks, months or even years down the road? And if you complained, you were told, “Hey, your doctor and breeder said to never ever change it or you’ll have major diarrhea.”(Trust me; I'll take the diarrhea any day and I'm sure your pooch isn't any different.)

So despite what you’ve heard, read, or assumed, you should give your poor dog different brands that meet your standard and budget. I switch my dog's food every three months. To avoid loose stools, gradually mix the new brand with the old food over a period of five to seven days. Once you mix the two, don’t be surprised if you see your dog cherry-picking the new food.

Here's another proof: Almost every dog that I get in my boot camp is more interested in other brands than the one they came with. Again, most of these dogs left their dish full, while kept on sniffing, looking for any new flavor. How much more proof do you need that dogs also appreciate variety?

I follow this rule even with my kitties and they thank me with those loud purrs every night. (Unless you own a Lab or a Golden that gobble down their food as if there is no tomorrow, most dogs eventually get sick of the same brand. If you doubt me, just change it for fun and watch how your dog will devour the new food as if there is no tomorrow.)

FACT: The dogs that have been trained through bribery often respond to specific brand of treats. So if it’s that jaw-breaking milkbone or some other treat that your dog doesn’t care for, he might sniff it, give you a dirty look, and walk away. I’ve seen some even give their owners the bird. Well, just about! But if it’s that yummy treat or even better, the steak from weekend’s barbeque party, your dog might as well tell you, “Here’s sit, down, left paw, right paw, roll over and I’ll even play dead for you! Now hurry up and toss me some of that steak, human.”

FACT: Unless you are into competition training that requires your dog to never take his eyes off you, giving treats will only slow down his command response in the long haul. Besides, I seriously doubt that you want to make a soldier out of your pooch. If you haven’t seen obedience trials, maybe you should. That’s where the handlers and the judges expect perfection from every dog. I’ll be honest; most of my clients don’t really care about a perfect performance. They just want a well-mannered dog that actually listens and doesn’t shove his nose up people’s crotches.

FACT: Getting your dog to eventually respond to you without treats isn’t as most of these trainers claim. (Even they know this, but of course will never admit to it.) So why open that can of worms in the first place. At the end, you'll have to completely retrain your dog to respond to YOU, and not because you are going to lure him into a desired command with bunch of treats in your hand. In a way, it requires a major re-adjustment of your technique and your dog’s expectations.

FACT: As you read earlier, spoiled dogs have a natural tendency to become dominant or at the least, very demanding. This often results in bullying and in some cases, getting aggressive toward people or dogs. Some go as far as turning on your other dog or terrorizing kids. And if your dog guards his bones, toys, rawhides, pig’s ears or his food from you, I'm betting that you are doing lots of bribery followed by plenty pampering, or have done so in the past.

FACT: The easiest and quickest way to teach your dog tricks is by using food or her favorite toy. But, if you think about it, teaching “tricks” is not the same as teaching “commands.” So when you decide to teach your dog bunch of commands by relying on treats, your dog automatically assumes that you are asking him to perform a trick, and NOT a command. Can you blame him?

Even agility drills are taught with lots of praise, guidance, treats or with the dog’s favorite toy. They are impressive to watch, but every trainer agrees that you can’t really put them to use in the real world. Now commands, that's right, commands, ARE an important factor of our daily lives. And that's why they are called commands! They are not referred to as the “sit trick,” the “down trick,” or the “stay trick.”

Look, you might be disappointed when your dog won't perform those cool tricks that you've been practicing all this time. But, I’m sure you’ll be furious when he flat out ignores you by running down the street. Now unless that agility class also taught him to jump over moving cars, then I rest my case.

FACT: If you don’t have much patience or want faster results, cookie training is definitely NOT for you. Although working with dogs and people has taught me a lot of patience, the theory behind this method takes more patience than most people have.

This is because you are ultimately giving "your dog" the choice of obeying.

Let me explain: If your dog doesn’t listen, then it will NOT get any treats! So most dogs just love having this option. This also explains why treat-trained dogs always take their sweet time responding in hard-to-avoid situations. (Don't forget my meatball story!) Some of you make the mistake of giving your dog treats regardless of whether he listens to you or not.

Here's a different perspective: Just imagine taking a class and not studying at all or doing any of the homework, yet you STILL get an A from that teacher. Is that fair or productive? No, of course not. You only accomplish three things, nothing, zip, and nada!

Here's another example: In order to make kids behave, some parents say, “If you want to go to the movies, you'd better get your homework done.” Or, “Stop that or there won’t be any videogames, internet, Disneyland,” or whatever. This only works with some kids. We all know the day will come when your kid snaps back at you by saying, “Fine then! I don’t want your stupid videogame and I don't care much for Mickey Mouse OR Goofy!”

I totally agree that even mature kids are making choices and learning that there are consequences and rewards to their actions. But, as strange as this sounds, positive-trainers’ philosophy is all about letting the DOGS figure things out on their own. Sorry, but our pooches do not have that ability to learn the same way kids or even adults do. Folks, that's just wishful thinking. Don't be just an optimist. Be a realist!

Take another example: Say you have two dogs and you trained one with treats and the other with plenty of petting and verbal praise. Now, guess which of the two would most likely beg for food at the table or even dare to steal food from counters, toddlers or even from your plate? I rest my case.

In conclusion, dogs that have been trained through love, praise and a "Diverse Method" rarely turn on you or others. This is because they love AND respect you. That’s right. I said respect, not fear. So here is their logic or as I call it—

The Dumbest Dog Training Advice on the Planet:

Just Ignore Your Dog When He Misbehaves!

That's right. Food-reward trainers stubbornly refuse to correct a dog when it makes a mistake. So instead, they recommend that you do your best to catch your dog doing something good. Really? Is that the best advice you can give me?

Just catch my dog in the middle of good behavior and hope and pray to God that he doesn’t make no more mistakes???

That is absurd. You can’t even teach a highly intelligent person with this kind of mindset let alone an animal! Just imagine a teacher who never bothers to point out any of your mistakes. Would you be able to learn much? Take driving, for example. Would you be able to walk away, alive and well, with not even one dent on your car if you didn’t learn to do it correctly? (Whoa. You almost killed that pedestrian, but let's just keep going. There are plenty more.)

Besides, I don’t even catch ME doing something good every minute, every day of the week. How can I expect this from poor Boomer? (I know, I know, I never cared much for Spot, Fido or Rover. Okay?)

So bad habits like jumping up, barking excessively, growling, lunging at dogs, and chasing the poor cat should all be ignored? Isn’t that the same as sitting back and doing NOTHING? Sorry, but everybody knows that ignoring is the same as not doing anything!

Just ignore that big gut, it will get flat and even grow a six-pack on its own. Ignore eating unhealthy; your body will make it ALL organic. Ignore ALL of your bad habits; people will have to accept you for who you are. Ignore being lazy, being a procrastinator, or being a loser; everything will work out just fine. (And, oh. Ignore this paragraph. What do I know?)

Let's Compare Positive Dog Training to Newlyweds:

Positive reinforcement is a lot like how newlyweds interact. We've all seen them. They're lovey-dovey in the beginning and always put their best foot forward. Men are perfect gentlemen and never pass gas in front of their lady and women never step out of the house without their makeup.

Both are kind, polite and smell sexy. They never get sick of each other. You see roses everywhere and at every occasion. And for some strange reason, you hear Marvin Gaye at night and Mozart during the day playing in the background wherever they go.

Everything is fun and all arguments are minor and forgettable. And of course he pulls out the chair and holds the door for her. “I love you, babe.” “No, honey, I love YOU!”

And now, I'm going to count to three. And on three, I want you to wake up. One... Two.. and... THREE!!! Wide AWAKE!

Folks, we know that not all couples will act like two love birds forever. And unfortunately, even if they do, people will think something is awfully wrong with them or that they must be faking it. So here's what ends up happening after years of being together: You give one another a high-five on Valentine's Day and call it even.

Training your dog with treats is not much different. Think about it. At first, you are so nice, giving your dog a variety of treats for every little thing. But as weeks go by, you start cutting down on the treats and eventually stop them for good. In case you forgot, they call this, “positive reinforcement.” Or, I like this one even better: Positive reinforcement equals positive results. Awwwwww… how cute!

Let’s Study the Facts Once Again: What’s so positive about bribing your dog with treats and then putting a complete stop to it? How can that be positive? Frankly, I see it more as deceptive. Wouldn't you? Not you! The dedicated cookie trainer! I am talking to frustrated dog owners who prefer their dogs listen to them, NOT because of some sliced salami. So, here's

My Challenge to All Clicker/Treat Trainers in the Universe!

I'm a very competitive person and I don’t enter any race unless I know I can win, and win BIG! I guess it’s the Aries in me. So I challenge any treat-trainer who claims that she can train or rehabilitate ANY dog just by using a bag of treats, a regular collar, or a head halter. Oh, what the heck. I'll even let you use your Halti, Martingale or Easy Walk harness. Easy now! (May the Pryor, Pavlov, Skinner force be with you.)

This test will eventually have to move to a real-life scenario. You guessed it. I am talking about testing it around other dogs, cats, kids on bikes or skateboards and people engaged in many activities.

To compare how dogs of different sizes and temperaments respond to this test, we'll use a shelter in my hometown of Sacramento, California. Fifteen dogs will be selected: The first five will remain untrained to see how they react in different circumstances. You can train the next five with a clicker or your treat-based method. I’ll train the last five using my “Diverse Method.” Then we’ll take all these dogs and put their training ability to the test.

You are more than welcome to starve the poor dogs before you bribe them with your mouth-watering treats. I will make sure to follow the same guidelines but without any starvation, any treats or any shock collars.

Talk is Cheap. So Here's Where it Gets Interesting!

I’ve had this challenge on my website for over ten years now. That's right. Ten long years. To this date, I've never had one positive trainer step up to shut me up, or even better, to prove me wrong. I'm still waiting.

If you happen to be the first challenger, contact me and I can make all the arrangements. The media will cover this event so we can get some publicity for that shelter. This also should help get these newly trained dogs adopted faster. And with the cameras rolling, the public will be able to see for themselves who is full of B.S. and who knows how to deliver eye-catching results with just any dog. Best of all, there will be no abuse or animal cruelty. I'll make sure of it.

If you want to bet money, we’ll bet whatever you can afford. Since I won’t be losing, it doesn’t really matter to me and I’ll donate the prize money to the shelter that lets us borrow their dogs.

This will prove again that it isn't all about the money or fame for me and that I am just trying to prove a point.

As I mentioned earlier; it’s one thing to be able to pull off these tasks with your own dog, but it’s a totally different ball game to be able to put it to work with dogs you know nothing about. That’s when you HAVE TO rely on your technique, experience, instinct, reading the dog, as well as finding the proper tool that's the best fit for that dog and that owner. It shouldn’t matter whether it is a Labrador, Pit Bull, Doberman, Jack Russell or a snappy Chihuahua. A truly skilled and versatile trainer will gladly take on the challenge.

Now, if you have achieved outstanding results all by the use of treats, there are only two possible explanations for this:

1. You started training your dog from a very young age and have been consistently involved in its training on a daily basis.
2. You got lucky with a dog that is not as stubborn as the majority out there, and in fact, can easily be labeled as a pleaser.

What other reason can you possibly think of?

!!! Or Maybe, Your Dog is One in a Thousand !!!

Look, I’m not going to lie to you! I've seen a few dogs that were trained strictly with the use of treats. What impressed me more was that they even obeyed around the most tempting distractions life has to offer.

But, these dogs also fall into the "one-in-a-thousand" category. I say we should put them in a museum, because they are as rare as they come.

Let me ask you this: Do you really want to gamble when the odds are so much against you? Usually only those who compete in obedience competitions get to this level. These folks train their dogs even in their sleep. I’m lucky if I can get my clients to practice twenty minutes a day. People are busy, lazy, or just procrastinate with most things in life and training their dog is no exception.

Don’t forget that even those "obedience competition dogs" are performing an exercise that has been rehearsed hundreds of times. It’s the exact drill that has very little to do with our daily activities. Think about it, how is walking your dog in a figure-eight pattern, having him pick up a dumbbell, drop a dumbbell, and jump over a few obstacles considered a real-life scenario?

I know that the majority of you don’t really care about any of these fancy moves and would rather have your dog listen to you anywhere, anytime and without the need to yell at your dog. Am I wrong?

Now, if you are working with some cookie-trainer at the moment, she is probably doing her best—which is also the sad part. Your poor trainer has been brainwashed, is too stubborn, or too naïve to be diverse. These folks have been programmed to believe that their training method is the only way and the best way to achieve results with ALL dogs.

And if their approach doesn’t work, they’ll ask you to put your dog down, to make sure you always muzzle him, crate him, distract him with a squeak toy, change your walking route, or try a different kind of treat. Yeah. That will work. All your dog wants to do is kill the other dog and here you are squeaking some little duck next to his ear hoping that will do the trick.

Is There Such a Thing as Outdated Method?

To come across even more convincing, they refer to other methods as “outdated.” Actually, your bribery nonsense has been more popular than ever for the last 10-15 years.

I am NOT talking about hundred, fifty, or even five years ago of how dog training used to be. I am talking about TODAY! That's right. It's 2012, for crying out loud. Hello? Some even predicted this would be the end of the world. I say, let's make it: The end of stuffing your dog with treats year.

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After listening to all the propaganda, it seems as though these trainers are living in a world of fantasy and don’t get the real picture. But hopefully YOU do!

Mark Twain said it best: “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” Treat-trainers always ignore the weaknesses in their theory. Again, “Positive Reinforcement” has been highly promoted for nearly two decades, but has never been truly effective. Even if it seems to be working for some of you, I doubt that you will see long-term results that you can rely on. If you still doubt me, just test it around distractions that are inevitable.

I also know some of you will be skeptical and prefer to learn from your own mistakes. And I really admire you for that. After all, that is how I discovered the flaws of different methods. You can learn a lot from others' mistakes and failures. Some people have to try a technique or learn something through personal experience before it becomes "reality."

It just never made sense to me to limit myself to only one way of training. I don't know about you, but I always analyze my options from every angle. No trainer or dog book explained these facts to me. Certainly not the way I've presented them to you here. I wish someone had, which is part of the reason this book took over a decade to finish. (I still cannot believe it. I started working on it the middle of 2001.)

Never rely on just positive or negative reinforcement.
Be smart and trust a “Diverse Reinforcement.” I'm sure you'll agree that just with people, positive doesn't always work on every dog and neither does negative.

Let's face it, everything comes with its pros and cons. So if you prefer to work with your cookie trainer, ask him or her to explain the possible flaws behind their method. If they are honest, experienced and fully educated, they should tell you something. Wouldn't you agree?

Bottom line, if you still continue to train based on this logic, once you stop giving those treats; your dog will go on strike barking at you,

“Sorry, Mommy. NO TREATS??? NO RESPONSE!!!”

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