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March 3, 2014
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The Heeler's Toolbox

The Heeler's Toolbox

Last week we began production on a three part series with Forrest Micke titled "The Heeler's Toolbox." All three courses will be offered as fully interactive courses on Leerburg Online University, as well as in DVD format. We wrapped up the filming on the first course last week and plan to have it released in mid-April.

iClick Clicker -- $2.09Marker Training
Flat Leather Collar -- $8.00-25.00
Treat Tote -- $8.99-10.99

Soft Grip Leashes -- $14.50-20.00Liver Biscotti -- $7.99

Heavy Rubber Tough Tub -- $10.00Hurtta Agility Vest -- $95.00

2014 Clearance Event -- Over 70 Products, Up to 55% Off
Leerburg Q&A
Ask your training question here

Question: I am interested in purchasing the Training the Retrieve Michael Ellis DVD. If I am not familiar with "marker" training, will I need to to buy 2 DVDs?

I am interested in purchasing the Training the Retrieve with Michael Ellis DVD. Particularly to get my dog to be better at delivering to hand. I am not a fan of "force fetching" and a trainer recommended this web site to me.

My question is: If I am not familiar with "marker" training, will I need to to buy 2 DVDs? Or is there another way to learn "marker" training without paying another 65 dollars? Also, how much time would I need to dedicate to marker training before I could start the "hold" part of the retrieve training?

Thanks for your help

Cindy's Response:

If you aren't familiar with Michael's system at the bare minimum I would definitely recommend the video The Power of Training with Food first. 

Not only do you need to be comfortable with the system, your dog needs to learn the cues, gestures and reward method you'll be using for communication. The retrieve is a multi step exercise and we don't want there to be any question in the dog's mind about when he's right and when he's wrong. I also do not want my dog to think when he's wrong that there will be any fallout from making a mistake. I simply want him to have the desire to keep trying to be right. Our goal is to  build a great desire to participate in the whole process before we start adding a slightly stressful lesson like the retrieve. 

As for how much time, that's something that I can't really answer. It all depends on how well you grasp the exercises, your timing and your dog's motivation level, etc...

For me, I also want my dog to be playing tug well before starting any retrieve work.
The Power of Playing Tug
Advanced Concept of Motivation

Cindy Rhodes

For more questions on this topic, see our Q&A on Obedience and our Q&A on Marker Training.

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 Online University's Basic Dog Obedience Course

Let me first slather you with praise and tell you how much I am enjoying this course. There is nothing as good as watching these videos for practical understanding. I've had my dog for less than 6 months and at this point I have confused the heck out of her between youtube videos, local classes, books. She needs structure. I need structure. She needs training. I need training. But I love it. LOVE it. I will definitely enroll in your next course.

Thanks for your time. Like so many others, I really appreciate your website, your courses, your sharing of experience.

The Michael Ellis School for Dog Trainers
2014 Schedule Now Available!

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