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Selecting Motivators

Selecting Motivators

Both food and toy play can be used as tools to motivate your dog. Although they are different, they both have their place in our training program. In this short video, Michael Ellis will discuss why we would use one over the other for a specific situation.

Leerburg Online University Student Comment

Leerburg's Online Basic Dog Obedience Course

In my opinion the most important aspect of balanced dog training that I learned from this course is to understand and read your dog. A person can understand the steps it takes to train a dog, but unless they understand the dog and how the dog learns they will have a difficult time training the dog (not to say that they can't... because enough time and consistency and the dog will learn).

Every dog is going to learn differently. From the tools you use to train them to the high value rewards that they receive. It is up to you as a trainer to determine what works for your dog. Every dog will respond differently to a food treat VS a toy treat. The same can go for corrections, sometimes a firm No will get the dog’s attention, other times you might need a quick pop of the prong collar.

As a balanced trainer you understand how to get your dog motivated and engaged with you. You know what reward to deliver when they perform the command. You proof these behaviors/commands until you are certain the dog knows the behavior that is expected of them from a given command. You practice the behaviors in a variety of environments and distractions. Once you are 100% confident that your dog will listen and that they understand you will correct them if they chose to ignore the command. But you always give the dog the chance to listen to you. But most of all you know and understand the dog.

Read more student comments on Leerburg Online University

Leerburg Q&A
Ask your training question

Question: Do you have a video specifically for the job of the handler in protection training?

Do you have a protection video that focuses on the job of the handler in training? Even such things as keeping long lines (we frequently use 2) from tangling in our dog's legs & equipment, how to set our dogs up quickly and cleanly so we don't spend time "futzing," how to quiet our dog after we out the sleeve and tell him to sit, how to watch the helper & our dog for maximum engagement, how much & timing of praising & correction, can all be helpful to "2 left footed handlers" like me. Thank you. You & Ed rock!

Cindy's Response:

We don't have a handler specific protection video but we do have 2 videos that focus on the foundation for the puppy/young dog that show how to do the basics yourself. 

The Foundation of Puppy Bite Work
Teaching Protection Skills without a Decoy

I think you'd get good info from them.  Much of the skill needed to be a good handler simply comes from practice. :) 

Cindy Rhodes


Thank you, Cindy!


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

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 Educator Quick Snap Bungee Collar


This item should be the basis for every training collar. The quality is superb and I almost believe that my dog likes to wear it! (LOL)

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