There is really no such thing as balanced training. The fact is that when you introduce anything into the equation outside the boundary lines of approaching training as an intervention you are elevating the risk level regarding devaluation. One of the popular misconceptions is regarding counter conditioning and how it is used to paint a picture of change. Many who use treats as a bridge to get the dog to accept others including other dogs and people are not away of the type of relational scripting happening within this popular method. While counter conditioning can change how a dog relates the issue of devaluation is often the support pillars from which the bridge is being built. Many assume that because the dog is not challenging and expressing power onto others that this represent meaningful change when often times it simply is not the case. It follows the same path as calming the waters via the selfish brat getting what they want however they still how zero respect for others. All this has done is brought others into the devaluation script with little or nothing meaningful to show for it in the process. The fact is that trainers need to steer clear of using treats and certain concepts such as counter conditioning due to the issues associated with the issue of devaluation. Dog owners need to also understand that trainers who use treats and promote learning theory as a way to get around bringing a dog under leadership are playing a shell game when it comes to the relational dynamics at work. Many are failing within these feel good systems without even getting a sense of it until they return to the real world only to discover that nothing has really changed. Trainers who promote this way of training shift the focus onto the dog as the problem rather than the ideology which sets this devaluation issue in motion.
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.