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Leerburg.com February 21, 2011
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The Importance of ENGAGEMENT in Dog Training Video

The Importance of ENGAGEMENT in Dog Training

New trainers who want to train their dog motivationally need to learn how to change their dog's state of mind so that the dog wants to be with them and the dog must want what the handler has. This is called getting engagement in their dog. When a trainer can get and keep his dog engaged, training exercises are easy. This lecture by Michael Ellis highlights the importance of making sure your dog is engaged with you.

February 21, 2011 | 7 Minutes, 40 Seconds

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Training the Send Away with Michael Ellis DVD

Training the Send Away
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Dog Bite

To view these dog bite photos, click here.
Warning: these photos are very graphic!

We are always looking for photos of people who have been bitten by their dogs while trying to break up a dog fight. If you send us photos and the story on how the accident happened we will put them on our website with the hope that your mistakes will help other people realize how dangerous it is to try and break up a dog fight the wrong way.

Dog Bite:

Mr. Frawley,

Here is a picture of my brother's nose after his brand new 9 week old pup so ferociously jumped up to lick his face. I am in the habit of reading through the Q & A section on your website every night before I go to sleep. The ignorance of so many dog owners is incredibly sad at times but I must admit I find myself in hysterical laughter so often just based on the answers you give them. So when I read about people with "vicious," "ferocious," or "aggressive" 8 week, 9 week or 10 week old puppies that are usually just being puppies using their mouths I gotta laugh. So I felt obligated to send this to you. The pup got him on both sides of his nose and it went completely through!!! OUCH!! We were all able to laugh about it after the bleeding stopped.

I must write you an entirely separate email expressing my appreciation and gratitude for You and Cindy. I have 2 of your DVDs that I received this week. I am watching Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet for the 2nd time right now. My Australian Cattle Dog Pup, Anthem, is snoozing in her crate and I just admire what you do so darn much it cannot be expressed in this short email. THANK YOU!

Your Appreciative Friend in California,

Have a Question on Dog Training?

Have you checked the Leerburg Discussion Board? It is one of the most active dog web boards on the internet. The Leerburg Web Board has over 16,500 Members with over 165 forums and 269,000 posts in its archives. The web board also has an excellent search engine that only searches the web board's 293,000 posts.

This Week's Featured
Question & Answers

Question: What makes the Dominant Dog collar different from a regular choke collar?

Hi Ed,

Following your advise from one of your DVDs I did recently purchase from Leerburg a Dominant Dog Collar together with a Herm Sprenger Prong Collar. When I received it I realized that your Dominant Dog Collar is functionally a Choke Collar albeit with a somewhat different design. I am somewhat confused since you in the same DVD (along with other trainers I have talked to) argue against the use of Choke Collar. I am hesitant to putting this Dominant Dog Collar on my 8 months old Dobie since I don't want to risk any neck injuries.

I would appreciate you explaining why the arguments against a Choke Collar don't apply to a Dominant Dog Collar as well.



The dominant dog collar is used in a specific way that doesn't involve a "jerk and release" the way choke collars are used. The correct use is outlined on the website and in the dominant dog DVD.

If you are only using it as a back up collar, then you would not be applying any pressure to the dog's neck with the DD collar anyway, so it should not be an issue.

If you use the DD collar properly, it should not be a problem. If you try to apply a jerking type of correction with a snug DD collar, it could cause the dog's neck to be injured.

Cindy Rhodes

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


Question: After being on vacation for a week, our dog now barks at every noise while in his crate. We tried what you suggest in the Q&As, but they aren't working. Any suggestions?

Dear Cindy,
My 9 mos old male German Shepherd has just recently begun barking for prolonged periods of time either loose or crated and we need some guidance.

When crated, day or night, as soon as either my husband or I go upstairs in our house, Dio will bark for 30-60 minutes nonstop and repeat this behavior several times a night. FYI, he is always taken out before being crated, has chew sticks, a toy, and some water in his crate. We have tried classical music & a sheet covering the crate without success.

This problem began about a month or two ago around the time we went on a trip and left him with our in-laws for a week. The day of our return, he developed a foreign body obstruction (from a piece of my in-laws carpet :( and required emergency surgery and 2 days in the ICU. While he has recovered 150%, we just can't make sense of what has changed since we crate trained him at 10 weeks and never had any problems until now.

Similarly, when out of the crate, he has started barking at noises we can and can't hear. We have tried diverting the behavior (as you & Ed suggested in Crate and Barking Q&As) with Down or Sit, but he immediately jumps back up on Alert and barks. He seems to do this more at night than during the day and more when I am home alone with him. We do live in a Suburban area with close neighbors, other barking dogs, and road noise, but it is very annoying for any tiny sound to cause him to raise hackles and bark.

I have read the discussion forums re: bark collars & nuisance barking, but don't want to prevent Dio from true protective barking, especially when I am home alone or sleeping and wonder if he would have to wear one all time time given the barking frequency. We are frustrated and unsure how to change this behavior. Any suggestions would be most appreciated!

Many thanks for your help,

Best Regards,

Cindy's Response:

A bark collar isn’t going to change the dog’s ability to alert you when he’s not wearing the collar. I would use the Tri-tronics Bark Limiter when he goes in the crate. I don’t know any other way to make it clear to him that the barking is NOT allowed. 

He sounds like he’s anxious about being left alone, to me. He was stressed at your in-laws, probably tore up and ate some carpet in an effort to curb his own anxiety and ended up in surgery instead. The barking is a manifestation of anxiety and stress. 

I’d try the bark collar. 

Cindy Rhodes

For more information on this topic, see our Q&A on Barking.


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!!!

Leerburg Testimonials
See Previous Testimonials

Hello Ed,

I wanted to say thank you! I just received the ‘Service Dog In Training’ bandana that I ordered last week. I am delighted by the quality of the bandana! I expected a screen print on stiff cotton and it is a beautifully made double layer of satin like fabric.  It is so much nicer then I expected I just had to write and tell you.

Thank you,


I love the leather [belt] leash! I've always been one for nylon, but I don't think I'll ever use anything but this one ever again!  And my border collie can't get enough of the treats!!!! Keep up the outstanding work!  =D


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