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July 27, 2012
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July 27, 2012   |   2 Minutes, 15 Seconds

New DVD
Establishing Pack Structure with Your Puppy DVD -- NOW SHIPPING!
New Michael Ellis DVD
New Michael Ellis DVD

This past spring we had planned on producing two new DVDs with Michael Ellis. Due to unforeseen circumstances (basically me getting two total knee replacements that took longer to heal than anticipated), we had to reschedule. At the end of July, Jeff and I will be flying to California to spend a week filming these new training DVDs with Michael.

Michael Ellis

Our main project will be a DVD titled “Preparing your Dog for a Competition.” When I first explain this to friends they always ask, “What kind of competition?” The answer is every type of dog sport competition. This new DVD will teach people who train with markers (operant conditioning) how to wean their dog off food rewards and/or toy rewards in preparation for taking their dog into any dog sport competition. This is an extremely important skill to learn because to do it correctly and still maintain motivation and drive is an art form.

The DVD is also going to teach trainers how to introduce their dog to aversives (corrections). We will explain when it is appropriate and when it is inappropriate to use aversives. We will also explain how to approach this work based on the temperament and the drive of individual dogs. Internal dogs are trained differently than external dogs; hard dogs are trained differently than soft dogs. Trainers must learn how to tailor their training program according to the temperament, the genetics, and the drive levels of their dog.

Our training is directed to those who use a positive training system, or in other words, those who use a foundation of markers or clickers in their work.

If you would like to be notified when this DVD is ready to ship, send us an email at newellisdvd@leerburg.com

Leerburg Q&A
Ask your training question

Question: My rescue dog runs agility for me very well, everywhere EXCEPT for the training center where I train. She will play with me and heel but she won’t do obstacles. She’s very sensitive and will act like she’s crushed if I use a negative marker. Any advice would be appreciated.

First, let me say all of your videos/articles on engagement have made my life much easier, but I've run into something where I'm stumped, as is everyone at the dog school where I take agility. My 2 year old pit runs great for me at home and everywhere, except our dog school, where she will run for everyone but me. When I walk in the main agility ring with her, she stops and looks like I'm about to beat her. I can do my engagement exercises with her and get her engaged and playing with me, do focused heeling and everything else, but can't direct her over obstacles. This just happens in the agility ring at the dog school, and only if I'm handling her. If we set up the agility obstacles in a different ring, she acts like she has a blast doing agility with me. She is a rescue, not sure what happened before we got her, but she is VERY sensitive, she acts like I have to be careful how I use negative markers or she acts like she is crushed. Appreciate any ideas you can give me.

Cindy's Response:

I wouldn’t ask for obstacles in the area she shows stress. I’d do restrained recalls and very fast sessions of engagement and then put her away. I wouldn’t ask for any heeling or any formal behaviors.

She obviously feels a lot of stress with you in the main ring so stop taking her in there and asking for things she has shown you she’s not comfortable doing. Just play with her there and don’t ask for her to run obstacles.

Our goals and our dog’s comfort level aren’t always on the same page.

I’d definitely recommend

The Power of Training Dogs with Food
The Power of Playing Tug with your Dog
Advanced Concepts in Motivation

I would NOT use any negative markers with this dog either.

Cindy Rhodes

For more questions on this topic, see our Q&A on Marker Training.

We get a number of Q&As every week, if you would like to read this weeks's Q&As, click here and check out the 'Recent Questions' section!

Have a question for Ed & Cindy? Try the Leerburg Q&A Search. If you can't find the answer to your question by using our search engine, you can email Cindy here at Leerburg at cindyr@leerburg.com. If you have your spam filter on, make sure you set it to receive our replies!!!

Customer Comments

On Leerburg's Para Clear

I have been a Leerburg customer for a couple of years now. I rescued a dog at the age of 4 months old, and when I adopted her she was very sick. I spent thousands on veterinarians and she was diagnosed with everything from allergies to IBS. Out of frustration from dealing with vets and specialists, I turned to Cindy Rhodes. Let me tell you, despite not being a veterinarian, this woman knows her stuff. She pointed me in the right direction simply through reading my short 2 paragraphs and it turned out she was 100% correct. My dog was suffering from giardia and vaccinosis. NOT IBS or other ridiculous diseases that certainly would have kept her medicated for life and lined my veterinarians pockets for years to come.

I solved the first problem by not vaccinating her again. The giardia was a little more difficult. I wound up treating her with panacur initially to kick-start her treatment, and I put 1 teaspoon of diatomaceous earth in her raw diet daily (she's 10 lbs). Her stools went from a watery mess to firm and mucus free in 3 days. I haven't had issues with her stools since. I truly believe that between Cindy's advice and diatomaceous earth, my dog parasite free. As some of you may know, giardia never fully goes away once a dog has it and it can be very difficult to manage and can flare up often throughout a dogs life. For my dog, this has been a game changer and I believe it has saved her from a life full of chemical dewormers and flagyl. I can't recommend this enough, and I think anyone who has a dog with a history of giardia can benefit greatly from a daily diatomaceous earth regimen.

Thanks Cindy!

The Michael Ellis School for Dog Trainers

In the fall of 2012, Michael Ellis will be moving his school for dog trainers to Santa Rosa, CA. The new location is much larger than his current location and will allow Michael to add additional classes and courses to the curriculum. In early 2013, Michael is planning to add a course for military veterans. This course will be specifically tailored to veterans who are getting out of the military.

Read more for additional information and dates.


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Prices valid until Sunday, July 29th, 2012 at 11:59 pm central time.

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