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DVDs & CDs Obedience Training Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet
Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet
Based on 10 reviews

Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet

Based on 10 reviews
Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet Cover Art
  • 4 hours long
  • Released Winter 2007
  • Instructor: Ed Frawley
  • Dog ages and skills: Dogs 10 months and older
  • Immediate streaming access when purchased with Leerburg account
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Leerburg dog training is available in 3 formats:
  1. DVDs
  2. Video on demand
  3. Online courses

Leerburg video on demand and online courses both have instant access that never expire. Video on demand has a "notes" feature that allows viewers to pause the video at any point and create a personal note. Whenever they come back to the video they can see their list of notes, and then can click on any note and the video will start from the point that note was created. Viewers can create an unlimited number of notes.


The goal of this 4-hour training DVD is a calm, submissive dog. Our pack structure training program aims to produce a dog that is calm and submissive and a dog that follows the rules of the pack leader. This DVD teaches people how to become a pack leader that their dog respects and loves.

Most people are not born pack leaders. In fact far from it. The majority of dog owners (many who have owned dogs their entire life) simply don’t know anything about the instincts that control our dogs or how strong these instincts are in the domestic dog. Oh people may have heard that they need to be a "pack leader" or they may have heard they need to be an "ALPHA" with their dog but they don’t understand what this really means or how to accomplish it.

Current shows on TV about dog training lead people to think they can deal with behavioral problems but the fact is these shows are often misleading. In many cases these TV shows offer limited to dangerous advice that only a professional dog trainer with years of experience should attempt. While these shows are interesting to watch, because the dog owners are so inept, they don’t offer a program that pet owners can follow.

Many men think being a pack leader simply means they have to dominate and control their dog, even if they have to put a choke collar on the dog and show him the “WHAT IF” when the dog doesn’t mind.

Many women think none of this really matters so they ignore it – because they love their little dog like one of their children.

Our DVD outlines a program that I have developed over the past 45 years of owning, breeding and training German Shepherds. This program works on every breed of dog and dogs of all ages. This program is the foundation for solving almost all behavioral problems, especially those related to aggression.

New pet owners are often told the road to a calm, submissive dog is to attend obedience classes and socialize their dog. In our opinion this is not correct. The road to a calm dog is to first establish pack structure and leadership. When that's done you can obedience train your dog.

Dogs are pack animals. Every breed of dog is hard wired with genetic pack instincts. From the smallest Chihuahua to the largest Great Dane, dogs wants to live in a family pack. Once they find their pack they genetically need to determine their rank within that pack.

Dogs need pack structure before obedience training. The vast majority of dogs do not want to be pack leaders. They are much more comfortable when someone else becomes a pack leader and they are happiest when this job is taken by their owner.

Once a dog accepts a pack leader, that dog becomes calm and submissive. The dog knows his new pack leader will take care of all of life's needs. He understands his leader feeds him, waters him, exercises him, and protects him from stray dogs and bad people. The dog learns that guests to the home are the pack leader's guests and not intruders or people for the dog to either play with or become aggressive towards.

With this said, the road to a calm, submissive dog is to first establish leadership. This DVD explains the foundation on how to get your dog ready for obedience training. Once that's done, the pack leader can introduce his rules and begin to obedience train his or her dog.

My groundwork program teaches a dog that your family is now his family pack and that you are the pack leader. The road to leadership teaches the dog that "YOU HAVE RULES" that you expect him to live by. It's through the application and enforcement of these rules that the dog learns that you are a consistent fair leader.

The goal of this program is to not only establish leadership but to allow the dog to maintain his dignity. When I introduce my rules I do so in ways that creates a clear level of communication and respect.

I like to remind people that hundreds of thousands of dogs with behavioral problems go through obedience classes every year. The vast majority of these dogs come out of class with exactly the same problem they had when they started training. That's because most obedience classes teach exercises (i.e. come, sit, stay, and down) and ignore pack structure training.

The reason we have so many dog rescues that are full of dogs; so many dog bites; so many behavioral problems; and so many dog fights is because owners don't establish pack structure and leadership.

When you establish leadership and a meaningful bond with your dog you will both wake up everyday wanting to spend time together. Don't ever underestimate the happiness this kind of relationship can bring to your life.

DVD Topics

There is a chapter laying out the groundwork to our pack structure program.

We explain what training equipment is needed and then outline the first weeks and months of pack structure training. I explain in detail where the dog needs to be in training before he moves from one level to the next level of our program.

We want our dogs to anticipate our every need. To do this they have to understand our rules. Our DVD explains Genetic Pack Structure Rules that a dog is born with and genetically understands, along with a List of Handler Rules that we teach the dog. We also explains the rules handlers are expected to follow when they work with their dogs.

There is a section on Learning to Become a Pack Leader. Some people are born leaders while others are not. Becoming a pack leader can be a learned endeavor. Our groundwork program will walk you through the steps of becoming your dogs pack leader.

This program can start at any time. It does not need to be started when you first get a dog. It can be started 5 years after you get a dog. It can also be started at the first sign of a behavioral problem.

There is a section on Earned Privileges.

There is a section where I discuss a timeline of training.

There is a detailed section on How to Approach Crate Training. We show how to make the crate a fun place to go to and explain in detail the steps to get there.

There is a difference between taking a dog outside to relieve himself and taking the dog outside for exercise. In the beginning, there are important reasons to teach these as separate exercises. I explain in detail how and why you should do this.

There is a detailed section on teaching the dog to be calm and submissive on a walk. We show how to maintain control when you walk your dog in a public place where it is exposed people and their dogs.

Being loose in the house is an earned privilege. There are clear cut steps to accomplishing this and our DVD covers these steps. We also explain what to do when problems arise.

There is a section on How to Train a Dog to Ride Quietly in the Car. We show how to use motivation tp train a dog to accept the car. We also cover car sickness.

Dogs need to learn how to interact with family members. I included video footage of 4 dogs from my kennel to demonstrate they instinctively interact to establish rank among themselves. This video footage shows how non-aggressive dogs will resort to aggression to establish rank. I then use this footage to help you understand how to approach dogs and family members.

You're the only one who can make the decision to allow your dog to be near children. This section will help you determine if your dog is capable of being safe around children.

I explain how we introduce family members to our dogs.

Many people don't understand the correct way to praise their dog. Our section explains how to praise and when to praise. We also demonstrate what happens when your praise too much.

There is a large chapter titled Living with Your Dog. This chapter contains: a detailed section on feeding your dog. Feeding time can also be a motivational training moment. We demonstrate this with our dogs. We also demonstrate a very safe way to allow your children to feed your dog so the dog understands that your children also have control over parts of their lives.

There is a section on diarrhea in dogs and what to do when your dog has diarrhea.

We discuss what we look for in selecting a vet.

There is also a segment on jumping up, on barking, on neutering and containment systems.

There is a segment on grooming which shows how we use motivation to train our dogs to make it easier to be able to trim their nails, check their ears and look at their teeth. Many dog owners who have leadership issues also have problems in these three areas.

Bought this product?

This dvd is of lower production quality, but packed with years and years of great experience and information. If you have a situation where your dog does not mind, or you have a multi-dog house hold where problems occur, this is a great starting place for how to live with your dogs. Also if you have a new dog coming into the house and you want to keep your family, kids and the new dog safe, this dvd is a great place to start.

Most trainers breeze through what it means to establish pack structure, its a process that takes time and patience. Ed explains in detail. I have been working with dominant and aggressive dogs for the past 2 years and Ed Frawley is the only trainer who gets it 100%.

Proper pack structure training is more important to a dog than exercise or behavior training. It's the one thing, that if established properly, can eliminate problems. This dvd shows you how to do just that. It could be better, more organized, better production quality, but the information is all there. Better than and Caesar book or Discovery dog show.

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This contains so much useful explanation and illustration that it shoud be in every family's video library. The concepts are simple, but the explanation and 'how to' examples make it come alive. It's just these basic handling situations that most people never learn unless they find a good trainer and take classes. But it's MUCH better to "study first and then take the test"!

How to properly fit a prong collar, control access to a door or gate, and so many more are illustrated. Notice how the presenters do not get angry or scold or nag the dog. They immediately correct or reward because that is how dogs need reward or correction : within 1 second. To understand what is shown in this video is to have a grasp of why a dog needs simplicity and consistency. Learning that a dog is not a toy or a 'Disney dog' that is human-like is a revelation to most dog owners. But seeing a professional handle a dog as a dog makes it so clear how remarkable dogs really are. They are far more than a plaything or amusement. They are a miracle among animals that are the only creature to have a relationship with people, practically speaking.

Dog rescue and rehab people can speed up the dog's adjustment and reduce its fears using this man's methods.

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I discovered your incredible website a couple of months ago when I got a new puppy. Recently, I noticed some dominance issues emerging in the now-5-month-old (who, as a small-breed dog, is already quite mature), and I was feeling extremely frustrated by the behaviors. Then I watched "Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet" and realized the problem was all me! As soon as I corrected my own behavior, the puppy's followed. My household is again calm and orderly, and I and both my dogs are deeply grateful. We have returned to our obedience work with fresh energy and responsiveness. We're all having fun again!

I want to take this video around to all my dog-owning friends, because it offers such incredible insight into handling and living with dogs.

Keep up the outstanding work!


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As a new dog owner, I found this video to be most helpful in giving us a better idea of how our dog thinks and how to relate to the dog. Due to the videos length, almost 4 hours, Ed not only tells you how to handle and train your dog, he shows you. So it is like spending 4 hours with Ed learning how to train a family dog. You can tell Ed loves dogs, but also, he understands dogs.

I have always hated it when people have dogs that behave like idiots. You know, you go over to their house, and the dog jumps on you, and the owner can't get the dog to stop. Then the dog barks like an idiot, and the owner can't control it. So when we got our dog, I knew I didn't want that. I feel like this video has helped put me on a course to properly training and handling our dog.

Also, since following the ideas and recommendations in this video, I am finding I am enjoying our new dog more. Properly training a dog is fun, and I can tell our dog is happier to. I rate this video 10 stars.

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Just a note to say thanks for the great website and DVD "Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet."

I rescued an 85 lb. bundle of love Labrador named Lola, and she's perfect with everyone - except other dogs. After an incident in which she (on leash) was confronted by a barking dog (off leash) and dragged me behind her to pin the other dog to the ground, I was afraid that it was hopeless.
I found your DVD, and have started to work with her while waiting for her crate to arrive. What a difference! In less than a week, she's learned not to charge through the door, and I'm learning how to be a calm, effective "pack leader"... We both have a lot to learn, but I'm sure we'll go far.

I will tell every dog owner I meet about your website!

Thanks so much! You've helped save a really great dog!

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For those of you who forgot your basics for pack structure training here is an awesome reminder for the knowledge that we take for granted. There were some elements in this video that I really totally forgot. I have been training dogs professionally for about 3 years and I have recently made several purchases on some of the other videos. Most folks don't want a competition dog they want a member of their family to live with them. This video helps to establish a value in patience and progression. Thanks Leerburg.

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If you never watch or read anything else about the dynamics between dogs and humans, get this! This should be mandatory viewing for ever person who gets a dog regardless of it is their first or their fifth. Absolutely the best information I have ever seen on the fundamentals of having a healthy and satisfying relationship. This will save you and your dog all sorts of frustration. Buy it!

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I'm ordering the video now, was sold after watching the introduction video. I'm thinking every dog owner prior to bringing a dog into their home should be required, by law to watch this video and certify proof of education........... I believe if that happened, there would be less abused, abandoned and sheltered dogs. Can't wait to sit down with the family and watch the video and implement it as a daily part of our pack structure. Thank you Leerburg for helping so many to understand what it takes to live a happy life with fur children.

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Ever since I got my German shepherd puppy everything I have heard is "Its all about leadership!". Well, before I found Leerburg nobody ever showed me how to do it. No matter what I tried I just couldn't muster up he mystical pack leader quality of Cesar Millan. :)

If you are having any sort of rank issues with your dog this DVD is a great place to start.
If you are about to get a new dog, especially an adult dog, you should definitely check it out.

Each Leerburg DVD has at least one "ah ha!" moment. If nothing else the section in this DVD that breaks down the interaction between two dogs is worth the purchase.

The only reason why I am not giving it 5 stars is that there is some product placement in the DVD. But to credit Leerburg, the product placements are tied in where the product actually would be advantageous to understanding a broader concept that has been presented, or when a proper tool would be very helpful.

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I find this very contradictory. You are saying that the lower ranking pups are showing aggression to protect their right to the bone, then you apply the revers psychology when you say that chilren are lower ranking than the pup that is brought into the home and that is why children get bitten. You have also said that the handler who removed the paper didn'y get bitten because she is higher ranking, but you have already said (as above) that it is the lower ranking pups that show aggression. Also, the alleged highest ranking pup did show aggression towards another pup, although it was restrained.

Surely the way a pup reacts depends more on its personality, confidence and reactivity than it's apparent rank within the pack. For example, a greedy puppy will react more over food resources than one that is not as interested in food.

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Equipment used in this dvd
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