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Starting your New Business with Gary Cassera

Leerburg's Newest Online Course
Starting a Successful Pet Sitting or Dog Walking Business

with Gary Cassera

Most people dream of being able to turn their passions and hobbies into their careers. Here at Leerburg we are very fortunate that we have been able to do just that.

We've 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. The goal of the 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 for dogs.

Throughout the course, you will learn 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.

Along with the course material, this is also a fully interactive course with discussion forums and live chats where students can ask questions and communicate with each other about their new businesses.

While this is a 5 module course, we will also be hosting 3 additional live chats 1 month, 6 months, and 1 year down the road for you to check back in and ask any additional questions that have come up along the way.

If you have ever considered what it would be like to make a living working with dogs, this course is going to teach you both how to make that happen and how to become a successful entrepreneur.

Leerburg Online University Student Comment

Leerburg's Online Basic Dog Obedience Course

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to spend some quality time learning about the aspects you hold dear to your heart and the training methodology you use.

Balanced dog training: In my opinion it is critical to improve our understanding about all the aspects of a dog, it’s not just about how a dog learns, but how we must learn how to educate ourselves, in order to understand the dogs’ mind, how and why the dog displays certain behaviors. The cause and effect we can and do have on that process.

A dog is a dog, it is an animal and we have to respect it and treat it as such, it is hard wired and has instinct and genetics, as do we, but we and they are different in many aspects. My motto is “Training dogs is or can be simply but it is not easy”

I have been training dogs for many years, but will never know all that there is to know, and have to modify my thoughts and processes along the way with each and every dog that I come into contact with. This course has given me the opportunity to put into practice those learnt theories i now better understand.

I am a firm believer that in order to progress ourselves and our dogs we have to make daily advancements in all that we do with them. This course has given me that opportunity to do just that, by better understanding what I am doing, why I am doing it, and how it can change or modify the manner in which I do things for the better.

By having a balanced training ethos, it can only be for the good of the dogs and us. By better understanding the critical periods of the dogs’ development and by undertaking a study course, helps to embed the importance of such learning, that we and the dogs’ need to go through in order to achieve that status-quo.

By understanding classical and operant conditioning, and how this can and is used by the balanced dog trainer, the terminology and explanations given in its use and meaning makes training techniques more understandable, they can sometimes be confusing until understood properly. This course is a good grounding for both the inexperienced and experienced dog trainer/ instructor to better understand what we are doing, why we are doing it, and how it can be improved upon.

Yours and others (within the content of the course material) experience and knowledge speaks volumes, the weekly sessions (and segments) flow logically in content, each and every part is explained in detail, so the learner can fully understand what it is that is being said, or demonstrated in the video clips.

For me the words that have now been embedded in my mind are:

  • Management
  • Engagement
  • Pack structure
  • Marker training
  • Stressors
  • Distractions
  • Corrections

I have learned a lot from taking part in the learning process, some I already knew, but other parts I was unclear on, by having the opportunity to do the study programme at a time convenient to me with the ability to review and reflect on areas that I was unsure of, has now helped me to better understand what I am doing, why I am doing it and the benefits it has for both me and the dogs.

I look forward to participating in future courses with you and thank you for taking the time to make this facility available to everyone interested in bettering their knowledge and understanding in canine training.

Read more student comments on Leerburg Online University

Leerburg Q&A
Ask your training question

Question: My young adult dog is targeting the end of the hard sleeve where the jute has no area of hard casing under it. Is there a way to soften a hard sleeve?

Hi Cindy

I just have a query regarding the bite sleeve with jute cover. My Malinois loves his bite work but we have noticed that he is specifically targeting the jute sleeve where it overhangs the end of the hard arm as this is the area with no hard casing beneath it. He has learned that this is the softest part and has just exhibited re-bite to ensure he gets that part only. Is there a way to soften the hard arm itself? Indy is 16 months of age and plenty big enough to tackle the sleeve, but we think that it may be too hard and that he will end up going for a hand or finger bite only if and when we go to a hidden sleeve.

Any advice would be great.

Cindy's Response:


I'd actually recommend going to a softer sleeve for a while.

The only way I know to soften a hard arm is to let dogs bite it. Back in the days when I did SchH we would let some of our harder biting adult dogs "break in" the sleeve. We had a big SchH 3 Rottweiler that was always on task for that. :)

By using a hard sleeve with a dog that is not far enough along in bite development you can actually create bad mechanics & set back their confidence for biting. I would not continue using it right now, I would switch to something softer and easier to grip while your dog builds strength and biting skills.

Even with my finished dogs, I spend a significant amount of time letting them bite a softer arm. It's more fun for the dog to bite something they can really dig into and for young dogs, it's very important to let them be successful while they build strength, mechanics and confidence.

Cindy Rhodes

Another Question:

Hi Cindy,

Thanks for the reply. Yes you have confirmed what I was thinking. Okay, so lets say I was to go for something like the Level 4 Intermediate sleeve with the Neoprene Sleeve underneath would that be a good combination? And is there a bite puncture resistant component in the intermediate sleeve?

Many thanks

Cindy's Response:

Since I'm not sure of your training progression I'll list the steps I use when developing a young dog for bite work:

Then bite pillow,
Then soft sleeve,
Then intermediate or advanced sleeve.

I don't use a hard arm too much unless the dog is going to be competing in Schutzhund.
I use a variety of materials (jute, linen, leather) because I want the dog to be comfortable biting any surface.

Whether you need a neoprene sleeve underneath or not really depends on the gripping behavior of your dog. I don't know about being puncture resistant, again, it depends on the dog's biting style and strength. My dog can puncture even an advanced sleeve but he's had lots of bite development and a genetically full and very hard bite. He didn't start out that way, training and proper development paired with his genetics (his parents are extremely big biters) created a very nice finished biting dog.

At your dog's age he was still biting softer arm and leg sleeves, we were building his technique and confidence while allowing him to build his strength.

Cindy Rhodes

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

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