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DVDs & CDs Michael Ellis Finishing Work w/ Michael Ellis DVD
Finishing Work w/ Michael Ellis DVD
Based on 2 reviews

Finishing Work w/ Michael Ellis DVD

Based on 2 reviews
Finishing Work w/ Michael Ellis DVD Cover Art
  • 2 hours, 33 minutes long
  • Released Summer 2012
  • Instructor: Michael Ellis
  • Also available as a self-study online course! CLICK HERE to sign up!
  • 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.


This DVD will cover how to prepare your dog for a competition. People have asked, “What kind of competition?” The answer is every type of dog sport competition. This new DVD will teach people who train with markers (conditioned reinforcement) 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 punishments. We will explain when it is appropriate and when it is inappropriate to use punishment. 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.

What's the difference between this course, the DVD, and the stream?

DVD: 2 hours, 33 minutes (physical copy and immediate streaming access)

Stream: 2 hours, 33 minutes, lifetime access, stream from anywhere

Online Course: 80 videos (150 minutes), text content, discussion board, lifetime access, stream from anywhere


  1. Introduction
    • What this DVD is covering, how it fits in with the rest of our DVDs, and how it will be laid out
  2. Definition of Terms
    • Positive Reinforcement / Negative Reinforcement
    • Positive Punishment / Negative Punishment
    • Aversives
    • Reward vs. Reinforcement
    • Stimulation / Arousal Level
    • Generalization
    • Over-Shadowing
    • Learned Helplessness
    • Self-Reinforcing Behaviors
    • Competing Motivators
    • Internal vs. External
    • Active "Stressor" vs. Suppressive "Stressor"
    • Primary Reinforcer
    • Conditioned Punisher
    • Conditioned Reinforcer
    • Escape and Avoidance Training
    • Reward Based Training
  3. Rewards: Methods for reducing the rate/number of rewards
    • Schedule - continuous, variable, random
    • Value/Quality
    • Intensity
    • Duration - Variable duration of reward event, effect on attention (engagement), and energy available for next behavior
    • Use of Conditioned Reinforcer without Primary Reinforcer
    • Expectation of reward type as motivator (dog must expect "better" reward if it is to work longer and harder for it), the fallacy of "jack potting," and rewards as a way of controlling behaviors (i.e. not rewarding slow behaviors)
  4. Punishment: Types, concerns, and our philosophy on punishment (punishment is punishment!)
    • Negative Punishment
    • Positive Punishment
    • Discomfort: traditional tools like training collars and electronic collars
    • Social Pressure
    • Psychological Pressure/Surprise
    • Conditioning Punishers: Punishment "Marker"
    • To "Mark" or Not to "Mark"? - "Markers" more personal than some other forms of P+ or P-
    • Punishment as it pertains to self-reinforcing behavior and competing motivators
    • Traditional tools of punishment and their use as guides in the teaching process
  5. Concerns
    • Fear and P+
    • What can dogs know? Heeling? Fronts? Small qualitative differences
    • Mistakes vs. Disobedience
    • P+ to improve "quality" of behaviors
    • Classical conditioning and involuntary behaviors
    • Inconsistency and the application of aversives
    • The role of frustration and the use of P- -- "good" vs. "bad" frustration
    • Problems related to reducing the rate of reward while adding P+
    • Pitfalls of pre-emptive corrections - the dog must have the chance to escape or avoid - learned helplessness
    • Suppression: a false sense of understanding and the allure of temporary fixes
  6. Tangents and topics of general interest
    • Getting ready for competition and when to "stretch" your dog
    • Classical conditioning revisited - it's use in preparing for competition
    • Dopamine "Spikes"
    • Factors affecting speed in execution of behaviors
    • Basics of electronic collar conditioning and the dangers of superstitious associations
    • Overshadowing as an impediment to finishing work
    • Condition a CP vs. using one - the difference and what can go wrong
    • Active "stressors" vs. suppressive "stressors" and what that means for the use of punishment
    • Revisiting good frustration and its effect on duration of behavior and effort
    • Generalization - where the real work lies
    • Can your dog do what you are asking
Bought this product?

Probably the best ever video on the how and why of dog training.

Michael Ellis is the best at that from the get go but this video carries it to a new level.

The different explanations of terms is excellent.

The explanation of what can go right and what can go wrong with each step.

How to avoid those things that can go wrong.

I've trained dogs since the 1950's and I've always felt that understanding the how and why when it comes to dog behavior is KEY to becoming a better trainer.

Michael has give me more "WOW" moments in explaining simple things I've always just taken for granted.

Just short of 70 yrs old I truly believe I'm still learning and Michael Ellis' videos, in particular this one, have been a huge eye opener.

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I've read dog training books,, watched videos, attended training classes, and seminars on the subject of dog training. However, it wasn't until I watched this video that I got a clear idea of the basic fundamentals behind dog training. Mr. Ellis clearly explains his philosophy, the science on which his philosophy is based, and then demonstrates practical application of it.

Of course, this video is not for the novice who only wishes to teach his dog to come when called. Instead it deals with a narrow (but essential) part of dog training, namely how to use rewards and punishment in motivating and training a dog. Its a vital part of training to those of us who exhibit our dogs but its one that often remains a mystery.

Now Mr. Ellis provides a clear approach to the task based on science combined with experience. The video is both informative and thought provoking. Its one to watch again and again to both learn and absorb its principles. It won't collect dust on my book shelf.

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Equipment used in this dvd
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