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January 19, 2015
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You make a living doing this?

You Can Make a Living Working with Dogs!

"You make a living working with dogs all day?" This is a common question those of us who are fortunate enough to have turned our passion for dogs into our careers are often asked. The simple answer is "yes," you can make a living working with dogs. Not only can you make a very good living, you will have the ability to work for yourself and enjoy coming to work every day. This course is going to allow you to end the 9-5 monotonous job and finally blur the lines between work and play.

We designed this course for fellow dog lovers who are just as passionate as we are, but may need a bit of help or guidance starting out. Most people dream of being able to turn their passions and hobbies into their careers. We here at Leerburg are very fortunate that we have been able to do just that. With Leerburg Online University, we are now in the position where we can help others do the same. The goal of this course is to pass along the necessary information and tools to be successful in this industry. By the end of this course you will be ready to launch a brand new career or supplement your current living with your passion of dogs.

This course will teach you the inner-workings and behind-the-scenes knowledge you need to know to start a successful pet sitting and/or dog walking business. The course will focus on how to set yourself and your business up for success. We are going to give you a step-by-step method to setting up your business, finding clients, managing clients, marketing, organization, future growth, and how to stay sane through it all.

Gary Cassera is the founder of popular pack-walk business Balanced Dogs, LLC, which operates today in New Jersey. Over the years, he has trained hundreds of dogs (and humans) and worked with owners to help them understand their dog's needs. He has been featured on the 10! Show (NBC) and in Smart Money Magazine, Disney Family Magazine, and American Profile Magazine.

Gary is an advocate of a clear & calm communication system, consistent feedback, and a strong vision for what you want to create and maintain a loyal, trusting relationship with your dog. He believes strongly in Michael Ellis' methodology and is honored to help share his message with the world.

This is an interactive 5 module course with weekly live chats where you can ask Gary any questions that come up while setting up your business. Live chats are also recorded for those who cannot fit them into their busy schedules. Along with the live chats, you will have access to weekly discussion forums to post questions that did not come up in the live chat, as well as communicate with other students to see how they are doing with their new business. We will also be hosting 3 additional live chats 1 month, 6 months, and 1 year after the class is over. These will allow us to check back in and help you through any of the trials and tribulations you may have already gone through once you have had a chance to get up and running.

If you have ever considered what it would be like to make a living working with dogs, Gary will teach you both how to make it happen and how to become a very successful entrepreneur.

Leerburg's Online Teaching Engagement Skills

The course has met its Aims and Objectives in my view; I would not change what is a comprehensive and concise explanation of what the course is all about: developing engagement and understanding the process of being able to achieve this goal. A lot of thought and development has been put into the course content, from the very beginning at the introduction and explanation of understanding of terminology used throughout the course content, to seeing the results that are achievable by better understanding and developing the skills explained. Putting into practice the learnt skills and seeing the rewards that it brings to the relationship between oneself and the dog. A must introduction course for all owners / handlers new and old, well done.

Read more student comments on Leerburg Online University

Leerburg Q&A
Ask your training question

Question: I just adopted a 1 year old male German Shepherd and am wondering if the Basic Obedience course is right for me or if I should be looking at a different course.

Hi. I was interested in taking the Basic Obedience course offered online, but I am unsure if it is relevant for me. I have just adopted a 1 year old male German Shepherd from a very good breeder that recommended me to your site. He does know a bit more than the basic commands. I would like to learn the recall, better walking on a leash... he's not bad, but could be better. Basically I think my question is, is this course for teaching a puppy and should I be looking into a different course? Or is this course relevant for a teaching a 1 year old as well? In the short time we've had him, he has learned to play fetch, and learned the command to come when in the house, but basically ignores it half the time when we are outside. (I did read briefly a few mins ago that I am only to call him for a recall if I am sure he will come). Currently he is being walked on a prong collar, and he does know that look command, and will go into a fully submissive position by saying shhhhhh. I have not gone to obedience training yet, as nothing was really available over Christmas time (we've had him for 1 month), and the place that I was recommended is about an hour drive each way (in the snow), which I will end up going to, but I wanted to get started. A bit of background, this is our first dog, and we are a family with two kids 7 and 8. I know this is a pretty long message. I appreciate any info you can provide, or any suggestions of a different video that would be more suitable. Thanks in advance.

Ed's Response:

A couple of points. When I used to import selection tested police service dogs (in the 1980's) I quickly learned that even though a dog may have had previous training (many times they were Schutzhund titled) that meant nothing to the dog following my directions. They may for a while but sooner or later they found out that I didn’t handle them like their previous owner or owners.

So I changed my ways. When I got a new dog, I assumed he knew nothing and I took him from the beginning through my training. Doing this taught the dog "my commands" and "my reinforcement methods" and it learned how I approached mistakes he made in training – sometimes corrections sometimes with holding rewards. That training often went quickly if the dog had good training before or it took longer if the dog was not fully trained (which was to be expected).

So my answer to your question is "Yes, take the course!" Based on what you have said in your email you need it. It contains 150 videos and is open to students for a year.

We have a course overview video that you can watch. This web page also contains the course outline.

Now, on your comments on the "COME COMMAND." You are making huge mistakes in how you are handling this dog. When it is outside it should be on a leash (either a long line or a Flexi) all the time. By not having him on a line and calling him you are training the dog that he can be selective on when he comes and when he doesn't come. You are allowing him to practice bad behavior.

There are a ton more things that need to be set in the foundation of the dog before you worry about off-leash recalls. If you are managing the dog properly you don’t need an off-leash recall for a long time.

Here is a free video on I recently produced on Management for one of our newsletters. Learning how to provide good management is a huge part of training. I hate to say this but it sounds like you dropped the management ball. The fact is this is a very common thing for dog owners to do.

Frankly, you have much more to learn than your dog. That course is open to you for a year. Study it, have your husband study it.

Read the articles I have written on kids and dogs.

I hope this helps

Ed Frawley

For more questions on this topic, see our Q&A on Introducing Dogs.

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 If you have your spam filter on, make sure you set it to receive our replies!!!

Customer Comments

On Leerburg's 3/4 inch Flat Leather Collar


Received your 3/4 wide Leather Collar, what a super collar. Great for my Long Haired German Shepherd. Great workmanship, super in ever way. Have been telling everyone that has a GS to look at your products. This collar would be a good buy for anyone with a large breed dog.

Thank you again.

The Michael Ellis School for Dog Trainers
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