They Laughed When I Issued My $10,000 Dog Trainer Challenge – But Still Nobody Has Stepped Up To Claim The Money!


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Think you can ‘out-train’ him by using a dog training
approach that is fundamentally different than his?

“If you win… then you keep the $10,000 bucks!
But if I win, then your money will be donated to the ASPCA,”

says Owner Adam G. Katz!


January 14th, 2000
Torrance, CA.

Angered by the false claims and propaganda of various “doggie-biscuit-bribery” internet dog training gurus (and tired of listening to ridiculous dog training advice that never works on the most difficult dogs) owner Adam G. Katz decided to put his money where his mouth is.  As the author of the wildly popular dog training book,  “Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer!”, he has issued the following $10,000 challenge to anyone who claims that they can “out-train” him using an approach to dog training that is fundamentally different from his.

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“If you’re looking to train a happy, reliable companion dog in a minimal amount of time… you’re not going to do it by bribing him with cookies,” said Katz, who has owned South Bay K-9 Academy, the Torrance, California dog training business for six years.

Katz’s dog training approach is based on correcting Fido when he makes incorrect decisions, and praising him when he makes the right decision.   But Katz’s detractors claim that they can train dogs without corrections, by simply using food as a bribe.

Katz is a non-believer.

“They’re right… about one thing,” said Katz, “It is possible to train a dog without corrections, and by using food as a bribe.  However, it takes several months to achieve the same results that I can get with a dog in only a few minutes.  And even after months of cookie-bribery… if the dog finds something more interesting than your cookie treat… it’s hasta la vista, baby!”

Many of Katz’s detractors have tried to claim that cookies, hot dogs, children’s toy noise makers, massaging touch, and getting down on hands and knees and growling like a dog are the most effective ways to teach Fido to listen.

Still, Katz is unconvinced.

“At best, it’s Tom Foolery and a waste of time,” said Katz.  “At it’s worst, it’s outright fraud.”

To prove his point, Katz created the, “$10,000 Dog Trainer Challenge!” with the following rules:


#1:  You Must Use A Dog Training Approach That Is Fundamentally Different From his: Interpretation: Any approach to dog training that claims that dog training collars, leashes and corrections are some how “wrong” or “cruel” will do fine.  If you consider yourself an  “Anti-Correction Collar”: Cookie Trainer, Food Trainer, Clicker Trainer, Psychic dog trainer, New Age Dog trainer (Energy) or Massage (Use-Only-Your-Hands and No Dog Training Equipment) Dog Trainer… then you’re exactly the type of person he’s looking for!

#2:  Time Limit:  Four hours.

#3:  Number of dogs to be trained: Each participant will train THREE DOGS.

#4:  Both participants will be training dogs of similar sizes & temperaments.
The first dog will be a small dog.  The second will be a medium-sized dog (50 to 75 lbs.).  And the third will be a large dog (75 to 100 lbs.).  All dogs will display no prior training and will be borrowed from a local animal shelter, humane society, rescue organization or neutral private party.

Either a medium or large size dog for each participant (challenger and Mr. Katz) will already show extreme dog aggression and will demonstrate little or no “ball or food” drive/motivation, but will otherwise be of sound mind and temperament.

Either the small, medium or large size dog for each dog trainer will already show average to above-average “ball or food” drive/motivation.

All dogs must be estimated to be between 9 months and 4 years of age and in both sound physical and mental health.

#5:  All SIX dogs will be selected by Adam G. Katz.  However, the challenger will have first choice as to which SET OF THREE dogs that he desires to work with.
A “SET” of dogs is defined by one of each of the dogs described above.

#6:  This challenge will take place in a public park environment located in the South Bay of Los Angeles, California. Location to be determined by Adam G. Katz upon acceptance of challenge, but will likely be in either the Beach Cities, Torrance or Lomita.  Why in the Los Angeles area?  Because the challenger always comes to the one issuing the challenge!

#7:  To win, each of the three dogs must display an understanding of the following behaviors and the ability to do each behavior around 4 types of distractions (see below for explanation of distractions) during the final evaluation period, at the end of the expired 4 hour time limit.

The dog trainer that exhibits those three dogs which most successfully complete the exercises will be declared the winner.

In the event of no clear winner, the winner will be decided by a soon-to-be-announced sponsor.  This sponsor will be a neutral party to both the challenger and Mr. Katz.

Exercises that each dog should be trained to do, within 4 hour period:

a.)  Do not jump up on human when greeting.  (The same human will be used for the training process as for the final evaluation, in the interest of time.)

b.)  Walk on a loose leash without pulling. This must be done without continual interaction from the human at the other end of the leash.  Handler must demonstrate visible slack (U-shape) in leash.

c.)  Stop at curb regardless of distraction and without prompt from human.  This will be demonstrated at the same curb used during the training period, in the interest of time.

d.)  Hold down-stay position for a reasonable amount of time and around all four distractions, until handler issues release command.  Handler may stay present at dog’s side, but may not interact with dog.

#8:  Distractions for each dog and participant during final evaluation period:

a.)  One tennis ball, continually bouncing.

b.)  One handful of raw hot dogs scattered on ground, within access to dog.

c.)  One already trained dog, holding a long down-stay.

d.)  One human.

Each of the distractions used during the final evaluation will be the same distractions that were used for each dog during the four hour training period.  (Again, this is in the interest of time.)

#9:  Acceptance of Challenge: In order to accept this challenge (and prevent cancellations and last minute drop outs) the following must be done:

a.)  Challenger must submit in writing a signed and dated declaration to proceed with  challenge, which includes a declaration of agreement to the terms specifically stated on this web page.  This written acceptance of the challenge must be submitted via the U.S. Postal Service, Return Receipt Requested. This must be mailed to: South Bay K-9 Academy, 3128 Pacific Coast Highway, PMB#33, Torrance, CA 90505 U.S.A.

b.)  Challenger must also submit a $10,000 “Good Faith” check or money order, payable to an escrow account which will be managed by a sponsor that has yet to be announced.  Challenger will be notified of sponsor and escrow account within three weeks of receipt of the declaration to proceed with challenge (9a.).  This “Good Faith” money must also be sent via the U.S. Postal Service, Return Receipt Requested.

c.)  The above mentioned $10,000 check or money order must be received and cleared within five weeks of receipt of the declaration to proceed with challenge.  If check does not clear, the challenger will lose by default.  Upon receipt and clearance of challenger’s money, Mr. Katz will match $10,000 to the previously mentioned escrow account.

#10:  South Bay K-9 Academy will retain all video and reproduction rights of this event, as well as any sponsorship monies received in exchange for the promotion and organization of this challenge and event.

#11:  Challenger agrees that South Bay K-9 Academy and Adam G. Katz will not be liable for any damage or loss resulting from this challenge or any occurrences resulting from this event or from this challenge.   Challenger also agrees to sign an industry standard safety waiver/release.

#12:  In the event that the Challenger does not follow through with this challenge, abide by stated rules, or does not show up for the event, he acknowledges that he will lose the “Good Faith” money.  In this case, the money will be relinquished from the escrow account to South Bay K-9 Academy, as reparations for the time, energy and money spent in organizing this challenge and event.

#13  This challenge expires on January 14, 2001.

Copyright 2000-2011 By Browning Direct, Inc..  All Rights Reserved.
(Also Published in the print version of “Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer! and distributed on AP Wire in 1999”)