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February 9, 2012
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Michael Ellis on Environmental Stressors

Michael Ellis on Environmental Stressors

Michael's lecture on environmental stressors from the DVD, The Power of Training Dogs with Food

February 9, 2012 | 3 Minutes, 14 Seconds

Leerburg Q&A
Ask your training question

Question: Our dog was crate trained at the foster house he lived in before. However, we've been having trouble getting him into the crate. Can we reverse his reaction to his crate?

I've been trying to crate train my 9 month old collie mix. We've had him for 8 days. He was crate trained at the foster house he lived in before we adopted him, and would willingly go into the crate with or without being told. However, when we say, "Go to bed," he tries to get away, will roll over and play dead, or do anything that it takes to not go into his crate. I'm thinking about moving his crate into the family room and luring him in with treats to get him to start liking it again. We don't take the crate upstairs to bed with us, so he sleeps by himself in his crate downstairs (currently in the kitchen). We have a wire crate and it's plenty big for him. However, every day we struggle to get him in the crate before we leave for work or before we go to bed. Can we reverse his reaction to his crate?

Thank you so much!

Cindy's Response:

You’ve only had him for a short time and I’d make sure he only got his meals in the crate and I would DEFINITELY start him with our groundwork program.

I’d keep him leashed at all times when he’s not in the crate so he can’t make bad choices.

I’d highly recommend the video Pack Structure for the Family Pet.

Any new dog to our home is run through this program.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes

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


We get a number of Q&As every week, if you would like to read this weeks'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 leerburg.com 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 cindyr@leerburg.com. If you have your spam filter on, make sure you set it to receive our replies!!!

Customer Comments

On Leerburg's What Would I Do if Attacked by a Dog? Article


I would like to say how grateful I am for this article. It has been very informative and at the same time an interesting read. This article has been a huge lifesaver this evening when my sister and I took our dogs out for a walk. 

First some background info, I am 19 and about 5 feet tall and my sister is 7 years younger but roughly the same height. Not exactly what you'd call intimidating in people terms.

Anyway, we went our separate ways as we left the house. She, walking my malamute puppy and heading towards the park, and  I, handling our newly adopted working line GSD who was still pretty nervous toward the neighborhood. After 15 minutes, I crossed paths with my sister who told me that she had just run away from 2 stray dogs in the neighborhood that came after her. I advised her to get back to the house as quickly as possible and continued on my walk. Along the walk, I passed a house with a doxie which was barking loudly at us and that was what probably alerted the roaming dogs who whipped their heads around and headed straight for us. I recognized them as the dogs staying in a house close by. I did what you advised and looked the alpha (I recognized him as the one who instigated the other dogs to also run at me) dead in the eye and let out a loud NO as I stood in front of my GSD. It worked! the dogs turned tail and ran back. I am currently still fuming over the fact that these dogs were let loose in the street when they had even displayed aggression through their own house fence towards people who passed by. I'm considering writing a letter to their owner to give them a piece of my mind. 2 dogs could severely maul someone and that is something I'd rather not happen to my sister or other people. It could have also done some harm to my GSD both mentally and physically. One of my regrets is that I forgot to take my umbrella during the walk to defend myself as things potentially could have turned severe in an instant. 

Once again, thank you so much for that wonderful article and I hope you will write more in the future.


Leerburg's Video on Demand
Leerburg's Video on Demand Tutorial



Leerburg's Video on Demand Tutorial
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A tutorial on how to use Leerburg's Video on Demand program. We cover the basics on navigating the website, finding free and paid videos, including troubleshooting issues that you may stumble upon. We want you to maximize your experience here on Leerburg's Video on Demand and take advantage of the features we have to offer.

The Michael Ellis School for Dog Trainers

NEW! Advanced Obedience 2 Course

This a a purely practical course for those that have taken our Advanced Obedience class. Advanced Obedience is very compressed course (like most of our classes) that covers our approach to teaching exercises, but leaves insufficient time for heavy practice. Read more.

More details on courses, course content and dates available on Michael's website.

Openings are limited! Register now!

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*Order must be a minimum of $75 after discounts and not including shipping charges or tax. Must use coupon code to receive offer. One time use only. Offer valid until Wednesday, February 29th, 2012 at 11:59 pm central time.

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