One of the terms I use often helping new dog owners gain some insight into why I approach training the way that I do is what I call "relational packaging". What my relational model and approach clearly shows is that dogs share a very special and profound connect with us which is deeper than many appreciate. This is where appearances, as it governs the motives which underpin why a dog responds, gets us into serious trouble when we make certain assumptions regarding what appears to represent that change is happening when often it isn't. The issue of relational packaging represents both mind and body as it aligns with this special connection. When a misalignment is already ongoing and behavior issues are the result than you can pretty much guarantee that the owner needs some help changing how they think. This is where motivating agents, such as treats, become very problematic as it relates to how a dog's decision making process responds and whether or not meaningful change at the relational level is taking hold. While someone who already meets the leadership criteria can get away with using treats and role change will advance those who do not won't be so lucky. The problem is based on what I show regarding response most won't even realize that it isn't even as they are sinking. This issue of response being disconnected relationally is the most misunderstood problem currently happening in the dog training world. This is the reason why I strongly recommend trainers stay away from using treats as the pivot point within the learning script. To go further by approaching training for what it really is, an intervention, this issue related to response can be avoided altogether.
Dale McCluskey is a published author with 20 years experience in the dog training field including numerous awards, distinctions and achievements. Dale uses a one of a kind relational approach which offers hope for all dogs and owners.