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February 3, 2014
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Leerburg Online University - NEW Online Course! - Basic Dog Obeience - 6 Weeks - $99

An Overview of What's Covered in our Basic Dog Obeience Course

An Overview of What's Covered in our
Basic Dog Obedience Course

If I was going to take an online course in any subject, I would want to know exactly what that course was going to teach me. By that, I mean I would want to know more than just the title of the course. I had that criterion in mind when I produced this video on my Basic Dog Obedience course.

My Basic Obedience course is 6 weeks long. Each week is divided into a number of segments. The course has over 150 short videos that cover the most important aspects of learning how to train a family pet. These vary in time from 30 seconds up.

I have also included the streaming version of our 4-hour DVD titled Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet (which sells separately for $40.00) and the streaming version of our 3 1/2-hour DVD titled The Power of Training Dogs with Markers (which also sells separately for $40.00).

This course is designed for people who are new dog owners and have never trained a dog before, as well as for those who have owned a dog for years but now find it's time to learn how to do a better job training their dog.

The course can also be recommended for people who work at Humane Societies or shelters, or people who want to start a dog training business and are looking for a way to start learning the nuts and bolts of dog training.

In our opinion, students can learn a great deal from our online course, far more than they can learn from a DVD.  But with this said, we still recommend that students get hands-on instruction under the tutelage of an instructor like Michael Ellis or others who share our philosophy on dog training in a balanced reward-based system.

I produced my first Basic Dog Obedience video (VHS) back in 1982. Since then, I have updated the material in the videos and DVDs 7 or 8 times. The online course is a culmination of 32 years of work. It is very good. We have gone through a Beta testing program with 25 students from around the world and got excellent reviews.

Week 1 - Gives you a foundation to begin your training. There are 6 segments in week 1.

Segment 1 covers my philosophy of a balanced reward-based training program. It explains how this philosophy has evolved over the past 50 years.
Segment 2 covers the difference between Management, Obedience Training, and Socializing Your Dog. It explains what they are, how they are different and why they are all important.
Segment 3 covers the terminology that will be used in our course.
Segment 4 covers the different types of training systems being used in dog training today. We explain why we chose to train with our system.
Segment 5 covers training equipment. Students that are new to dog training need to understand the various training tools that are available to them.
Segment 6 is the full 4 hour training video I produced titled Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet. This video has been broken down into chapters so our students can easily go back and review those chapters.

Week 2 - Teaches the students what a Reward-Based Training System is and why it works. There are 7 segments to week 2.

Segment 1 explains what marker training is, why it's important and how it's used.
Segment 2 deals with using Food Rewards in Training. This is a detailed segment that covers selecting high value food rewards, how to deliver a food reward without getting fingers bit, and how to wean the dog off of food rewards in our training.
Segment 3 covers Charge the Mark
Segment 4 deals with Engagement Games. It teaches students what engagement is, why it is important to dog training, and how to put engagement on CUE.
Segment 5 covers impulse control
Segment 6 talks about how students can produce their own training plan. Training plans are designed for a specific dog. There is no cookie cutter training plan that fits every dog.
Segment 7 is our 3 1/2 hour DVD titled The Power Of Training Dogs with Markers. This video has been broken down into chapter to make it easier for students to review the content.

Week 3 - Covers the difference between a Gesture and an Lure, as well as training the Look/Touch/Sit and Down command. There are 4 segments in week 3.

Segment 1 covers the difference between a Gesture, a Lure and a Command.
Segment 2 shows students how to teach the LOOK command. Look means look into my face. We explain why this is an important command and how we use the Look in later training.
Segment 3 teaches the Hand Touch. This command trains the dog to touch his nose to your hand when asked. It is a valuable tool to use for the rest of your dog's life.
Segment 4 is where we train the SIT and the DOWN.

Week 4 - Covers the training steps for the Place Command, the Recall, and Walk on a Leash. This week has 3 segments.

Segment 1 teaches the PLACE command. This command teaches a dog to go to a specific spot and stay there. The spot can be its rug, or its dog crate or a Touch Pad (which is used in training competition dogs).
Segment 2 deals with how to train the Basic Recall.
Segment 3 trains the dog to walk on a loose leash.

Week 5 - Covers stressors, distractions and corrections. Week 5 has 3 segments.

Segment 1 teaches students the difference between avoidance training and using a correction in a balanced training program.
Segment 2 teaches students to understand what a stressor is and how to introduce distraction into their training program.
Segment 3 covers corrections in our training system. We spend a good deal of time explaining that the purpose of a correction is to change behavior and not to correct a dog for bad behavior. We teach when a dog is ready for a correction, and we teach students that the correction must fit the crime.  It is important that students learn to evaluate the temperament of their dog so they can determine how to correct their dog and what type of correction to use. Withholding a food reward may be a correction for one dog while another dog may need a strong leash corrections. Every dog is different, and it is important students learn how and when to use corrections.

Week 6 - Explains where students should go from here.

Segment 1 covers Q&A on the course.
Segment 2 covers what students may want to consider for more advanced training.
Segment 3 covers Dog Sports.


This course is laid out as a 6 week course. Students will have access to course material for 12 weeks.

This course is set up as a self study.

In our Basic Obedience course, students will be able to move through the course as quickly as they like. In other words, if they want to jump ahead to see what's in week 5, they can do exactly that. We recommend that new students progress through the weeks and segments of each week in the order we have established.

View the course description page here.

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Question: My 6 month old pup is now in the correction phase of training behaviors. He often lays down when I ask for a sit after receiving a correction. Do you have any suggestions?

Hey Cindy,

I am contacting you because I am a dog trainer and I have recently stumbled across something that I have not encountered before and I am not exactly sure how to correct it. I have a 6 month American pit bull terrier that I am using for a demonstration dog. He is very smart, and attentive. I have taken him through the learning phase for basic obedience (come, sit, down, down stay), so he knows the difference between sit and down. But when entering the correction phase I have found that he will often just lay down when given the command to sit. It seems he thinks this position is the ultimate safe zone when corrections are concerned. If I am just doing the training using positive reinforcement he sits a Que every time and knows the difference between down and sit. But once given a level 4 or 5 correction for refusing to down, it seems that every time he is told to sit, he just goes into the down position (and he seems to do the same when given a level 1 or 2 correction). I have both your video on Basic Dog Obedience and Remote Collar Training. I have a fairly strong understanding about dogs drives, how to judge their hardness or softness, and how to gauge the level of correction for refusals. If you have any suggestions please let me know. I look forward to hearing from you.

Cindy's Response:

I would avoid giving physical corrections to a 6 month old puppy for making mistakes in performing behaviors. I don’t know of any 6 month old pups that are ready for the correction phase in obedience behaviors. There is nothing to be gained by adding corrections at this point and you risk losing your dog’s desire to work with you and you may damage his confidence as well.

I would go back to positively reinforcing the correct behavior and back off on physical corrections. If you haven’t watched the Michael Ellis videos yet, I’d recommend them, specifically the two I will list below.

The Power of Training Dogs with Food
Advanced Concepts in Motivation 

I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes

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

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

Have a question for Ed & Cindy? Try the Leerburg Search Engine. This search engine was written specifically for Leerburg by our in house IT manager. Our search engine is specific to Leerburg and only searches and the Leerburg web forum. 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 Training Information and Videos

Ed and Cindy, 

First of all I would like to thank you for all the excellent information obtainable from your videos. I have followed your advice to a "T." I now have the most behaved dog of any breed that I have ever met, every one I know will say the same thing. When asked by friends and family what I do, I say "LEERBURG!" I have mentioned your website to countless friends and family and random people I have met. I have saved countless puppies and dogs from having their noses rubbed in carpet from having a mistake by explaining the need for kennel training. Even more from being physically disciplined for nipping as young puppies by simply saying "ouch." It absolutely amazes me how many people believe these are "the way you train a dog." I have had numerous calls thanking me for the advice. So, again I would like to thank you for showing me, how to show others. 

I wish I had more characters left to say how much I appreciate what you do. 

-Shane & Birdie<-Border Collie

The Michael Ellis School for Dog Trainers
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