Plenty of R+ trainers advocate the use of the dog's meal in training. Dr. Ian Dunbar and Susan Garrett both recommend feeding a puppy nearly all of their food while training even at the beginning. I don't see anything wrong with it in the context of the pushing exercise either, as great care is taken to make sure the dog is not stressed at any time during the exercise. Your use of the words "tease" and "intimidated" make me wonder if you even read the whole article. There was nothing in the description of the exercise that even remotely suggested either of these.I'm going to join the bandwagon of those who think you should steer clear of "the pushing exercise". It was bantered about a long time ago on another forum I'm a member of, loads of deep discussion about it with the originator. Personally, I just don't see the point of the whole thing. I agree with Mutt, dogs should be allowed to eat in peace, not have to "push" for their food, nor should they feel "teased" or intimidated in any way. Their meals are their meals, they shouldn't have to do anything to get it -- some things in life should indeed be free. (And if you want to ask for a "sit" or something before putting their meal down, feel free, I'm not talking about that).