Dog culture is lazy and unoriginal, and profoundly stagnant. The desire for easy answers, simplistic how-tos and formulas for success is rampant. Just do this one simple thing!
Breeders eschew complexity, uncertainty, and experimentation. They fear change and embrace unproven tradition on face value. We do it this way because we’ve always done it this way.
Reason gives way to mimicry, and that is the true mark of conformation: not in the dogs keeping to a written standard but in breeders kowtowing to the unwritten rites and rituals to fit in.
One cherished ritual that can be found proudly advertised on numerous breeder websites (usually after the “Our Boys” and “Our Girls” links) as a sign of their reputable status and deep commitment to superior dogs is the adoption of the “Bio-Sensor” program as the one true path™ to dog raising.
In only 15-25 seconds a day for only 14 days in a dog’s life you will realize “life long lasting effects:” “improve performance,” “respond maximally,” “attain sexual maturity sooner,” “resist cancer and infectious disease,” “withstand terminal starvation,” achieve “psychological superiority,” “stronger heart beats,” “stronger adrenal glands,” and “improved cardio vascular performance!”
That’s less than 6 total minutes of work to make a super dog! AMAZING!
“If you come upon a treatment or product that seems too good to be true, consult this handy guide to finding pseudoscience, scams, and quack medicine. Remember, it only takes one match to be considered suspect! Be safe, and be skeptical!”
This widely tauted “Bio Sensor” a.k.a “Super Dog” a.k.a “Early Neurological Stimulation” program has many warning signs of quack science.
Let’s start with who is peddling this pseudoscience: Dr. Carmen a.k.a Carmelo Battaglia, Board of Directors of the American Kennel Club.
Dr. Carmen L. Battaglia, of Roswell, Georgia, owns and breeds German Shepherd Dogs and is Delegate and Past President of the German Shepherd Dog Club of America. Carmen has chaired the Committee for the Future and Business/Planning Committee and as a former AKC Director, served as Board liaison for the Health, Parent Club, HEC and By-Laws Delegates committees. He has published articles on breeding and legislation as well as several award-winning books. He also serves as an AKC expert witness in dog legislation cases and has written county dog legislation which resulted in the model that is used in several states. Carmen possesses a Doctorate from Florida State University and has been Assistant Dean at Emory University and Regional Administrator at the US Department of Education. He is also the President of Atlanta Student Aid (financial aid consulting Firm) as well as the past president/owner of three post secondary schools which were located in two states.
You’ll remember Dr. Battaglia from his resurrection of Lloyd Brackett and his infamous “Brackett’s Formula.” Dr. Battaglia gives lectures on cruise ships to up-and-coming brown-nosers in the AKC hierarchy who want to buy the secret knowledge and pay the right gate keepers to fast track show success. He’s the closest thing the AKC community has to a celebrity doctor.
Carmen L Battaglia holds a Ph.D. and Masters Degree from Florida State University. As an AKC judge, researcher and writer, he has been a leader in promotion of breeding better dogs and has written many articles and several books.
Dr. Battaglia is also a popular TV and radio talk show speaker. His seminars on breeding dogs, selecting sires and choosing puppies have been well received by the breed clubs all over the country. Those interested in learning more about his seminars should contact him directly.
Visit his website at http://www.breedingbetterdogs.com
What he doesn’t advertise anywhere that I’ve found despite an extensive search is what subjects his degrees are in. So I contacted the Curriculum Publications Coordinator at Florida State University and found out the unpublished truth: B.A. Psychology 1958, M.S. Social Welfare 1960, PhD Joint Doctoral Program in Criminology Corrections and Sociology 1968.
So by way of education, Dr. Battaglia is more equipped to run a prison than a breeding program. His dissertation was titled “Deviant behavior of parolees and the decision-making process of parole supervisors.”
The next indicator that “Bio-Sensor” is quack science is because it’s being SOLD as a how-to guide to success without having been vetted in any way by scientists in peer reviewed publications resulting from studies done according to the scientific method.
Dr. Battaglia sells his program along with breeding and puppy selection advice as part of his self-help for dog breeding commercial venture. You can buy books, videos, DVDs, and subscribe to his newsletter and attend his lectures.
In accordance with yet another quackery red flag, Dr. Battaglia is pitching program that offers medical benefits but he (nor anyone else) has no peer-reviewed journal articles on his protocol. And it’s not for lack of trying. If you visit his website you will find a link to request his so far unpublished journal article. When you do so, you will be e-mailed a copy of an extended version of his Bio-Sensor article spruced up to look like an actual experiment with “Methods and Materials” and everything.
It appears from the file that Dr. Battaglia has attempted to get this article published since at least 2007, but he will warn you that the article is still under intense review and thus you can not share it.
This wouldn’t be the first time that the “Bio Sensor” program has been used to sell a self-help program, however, as Dr. Battaglia collaborated with Stanley Coren–king of marketing shoddy dog science to pet owners in book form–who included the information in his book Why Does My Dog Act That Way?
Battaglia and Coren’s considerable influence on the dog fancy combined with Battaglia offering the super simplified how-to instructions for achiving super dog success for free on his website as a teaser for his suite of videos, books, and lectures the “Early Neurological Stimulation” program has saturated the hobby pet breeder culture. Breeder testimonials and reprints of the method are everywhere.
Diligently following Dr. Battaglia’s advice, there are breeders out there inbreeding their lines and producing singleton puppies who none-the-less credit Brackett’s Formula and the amazing Bio-Sensor program for giving them a super puppy abounding with exceptional qualities.
Apparently I’m part of a silent minority who have even questioned this program’s merits and the academic bona fides of the man who peddles it from coast to coast, as I’ve found no online criticism of the methods and not even one other soul who questioned what Dr. Battaglia’s field of study was until I sent out feelers over a year ago.
But it’s clear to me that Bio-Sensor is being marketed just like quack science is marketed, by people who have a vested financial interest in selling easy answers and quick fixes to gullible pet breeders who spend fortunes trying to rectify their ignorance with short cuts and feel-good nonsense.
In a quadrumvirate of quackery, Battaglia also uses his “Breeding Better Dogs” website to sell Japanese (think Eastern medicine) magic magnetic shoe inserts and magic magnetic dog beds that are “combined with magnetic technology, another ancient principle” and “enhance the body’s energy flow to allow healing and proper metabolism.” This is a man perfectly willing to market quack science as a miracle product for profit.
So far I’ve shown that Bio-Sensor looks like a duck, and in a future post I’ll show you how it quacks like a duck as well.
All posts in this series:
Bio-Sensor is Bad Science: Quackery
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