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Winter Fun for the Dogs

Winter Fun for the Dogs

Hurtta vests are not only great for keeping your dogs warm in the cold winters, they also provide an added level of safety both at night with their reflective properties and during the day with the bright colors.

Leerburg Online University Student Comment

Leerburg's Online Basic Dog Obedience Course

There were so many things that I could not possibly name just one. I am getting a service dog in May and you have brought together so many of the questions that I had in one course. Pointing out the commands and why they are used the way they are was eye opening. I will continue to use all that you have made available to us. I will be taking another course with you very soon.

Read more student comments on Leerburg Online University

Leerburg Q&A
Ask your training question

Question: Your DVDs have set us up with a wonderfully trained dog. We're debating on doing more with our dog, but I'm not sure if I will be able to maintain such a high level of training long-term. Is it a bad idea to play tug, get her into bite work if I never plan on having her go to the level of meeting a handler?


First, my wife and I wanted to thank you for providing us the information in Your Puppy 8 Weeks to 8 Months DVD and Obedience training DVD for setting us up with a wonderfully trained dog for life. The training has been fun and rewarding, so rewarding we are debating on doing more. We have a high drive female Doberman that just turned 17 weeks old yesterday. I have been interested in protection work and Schutzhund competition but we don't have any good trainers locally. Also, I am not sure if I will have the time to maintain such a high level of training long-term. I would like to get my dog involved in something as she seems to get bored easily. Is it a bad idea to play tug, get her into bite work etc. if I never plan on having her go to the level of meeting a handler? We did get her for companion/threat deterrents. I would just like your opinion if it is wise to begin any of this work without intending to have the finished product as she is a pet first. If you think starting bite work isn't the best thing for my situation and my dog, do you plan to make a DVD that teaches a command where the dog will put on an aggressive display? Is this covered in any of your DVDs?

Thanks for your time and sharing your expertise,

Cindy's Response:

I teach all my dogs the foundation skills for protection through playing tug even if I never plan on going any further (with our little Border Terrier pup, for example).

It's a great bonding exercise, it's great exercise and teaches the dog self control. Doing these activities with the handler is a lot like a kid taking karate lessons, it's good mental and physical discipline that teaches mechanics & skills.

I'll list the videos I'd recommend below (keep in mind that your pup is starting to lose her baby teeth right now, so her mouth may be sensitive). We don't recommend playing a lot of tug with teething pups, they can have a negative association with the game if their mouth hurts.

The Power of Training Dogs with Food - PERFECT work for the teething period!
The Power of Playing Tug with your Dog
Advanced Concepts in Motivation
Foundation of Puppy Bite Work
Teaching Protection Skills Without a Decoy

As for teaching the dog to put on an aggressive display, Ed wrote an article about that.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes

For more questions on this topic, see our Q&A on Health or our Q&A on Leerburg Products.

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 Monday Newsletter Q&A


I just read about the 3.5 month old pup that wanted to lay down when tugging. I had a pup that I thought was the most socialized pup I had ever seen. He was so calm, he would lay by my chair at the obedience classes. He did everything I wanted but then would lay down.

It ended up that he had two pelvis hop joints that were ) shaped ( with no real socket. He had to have a double hip replacement.

Maybe she should have his hips checked before asking him to do things that may be hurting him.

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