Click to Unsubscribe
March 9, 2015
Leerburg Online University
$4.99 Flat Rate Shipping on Orders over $100. Some restrictions apply, see details.

The Principles of Dog Training with Michael Ellis

The Principles of Dog Training with Michael Ellis

Even the most advanced concepts in dog training require a solid foundation, and the Principles of Dog Training with Michael Ellis is going to give you that foundation. The skills learned throughout this 16-week course are going to carry over into every aspect of your training program and handler relationship. This course is for people who are looking to become dog trainers and want to learn from the best in the world. The course will give you the necessary tools to become a successful dog trainer.

This course is modeled after Michael's 2-week obedience intensive class at his school in northern California. The course is comprised of footage from that class, as well as footage from multiple Leerburg DVDs and several trips Michael made to Leerburg.

The course details all the fundamentals of Michael's approach to obedience and the dog/handler relationship, and helps the trainer build the “toolbox” he/she will use throughout the training process. This course thoroughly covers classical and operant conditioning, reward-based teaching systems, and the use of verbal markers for communication. It also focuses on building behavior through luring, spatial pressure, “leash pressure,” and shaping, and we will also discuss the thoughtful introduction of aversives and the creation of motivation in your dog through productive play. We will also cover the foundation for focused heeling and the entire progression of establishing the recall.

This is a 17-week fully-interactive course. The course has 15 modules, two of which are two weeks long, as well as a 16th module that will act as an appendix. The appendix of this class contains three complete Leerburg DVDs: The Power of Training Dogs with Food, Advanced Concepts in Motivation, and Training the Recall. These three DVDs will be available for the duration of the course.

Students will have access to a live chat with Michael Ellis every week. During these live chats, you will be able to ask Michael any questions that come up during your training sessions that week. If you are unable to attend a live chat, they will be recorded and posted in the course for students to review. In addition, students will have access to a weekly discussion forum that will be monitored by Michael and his very knowledgeable staff of trainers.

The feature that really makes this course an amazing opportunity is the student video uploads. Each week, students are given a practical demonstration or homework assignment. These homework assignments will allow students to practice the skills learned throughout the week’s material, film a short video of themselves training, and upload it for Michael to critique. The student video uploads are what allows Leerburg Online University to put Michael Ellis in your home and really give you a hands-on approach that you could never get without attending his school in California. The added benefit of watching your own videos after reading Michael's critique allows students to recognize the subtleties of dog training and perfect their technique.

Michael is an internationally renowned dog trainer and teacher with 30 years of experience in the competitive dog sports. He has taught extensively to a very diverse group of trainers, from competitive sport trainers, police departments, and the US military, to search and rescue groups, service dog agencies, and pet dog trainers. Michael’s clear, concise, and patient style has made him one of the most popular coaches of trainers in the country. He has given over 300 seminars in the United States, Canada, and South America---well over a thousand days of lecture and practical work in the last eight years alone---and as a result, he has been one of the driving forces in popularizing reward-based training systems for the protection sports.

Basic Dog Obedience Self-Study CourseTeaching Our Dogs eh Rules of Play Self-Study CourseTeaching Engagement Skills Self-Study CourseThe Heeler's Toolbox I Self-Study CourseHousebreaking 101 Self-Study Course

Leerburg's Online Basic Dog Obedience Course

I gained a ton of insight on learning about building a trusting relationship with my dog and being a good pack leader. I now can understand why "engagement" is such a valued skill to teach your dog. its all about building a strong connection with your dog and being able to have them follow you and listen to your commands no matter where you take them. I think socialization is so important and them always looking to you because like you say, they always want what you have and look to you.

Balanced dog training is awesome because you teach the dog through motivation and only use corrections once you know they are 110% sure of the command (using durations and distractions).

I don't have any suggestions other than maybe more short essays at the end of the week to write an example of how your training for that week with a story about your training sessions... and us have access to read others like in the discussion board. Just more live examples of what people are doing wrong so we can learn from that. it helps me to do comparisons.

I really enjoyed how this course is broken up and how we have extra long access. Thank you.

Read more student comments on Leerburg Online University

Leerburg Q&A
Ask your training question

Question: Is there a way to break up a dog fight when you are alone or should it just be left to continue?


I recently tried to break up a dog fight between my 4 year old golden retriever and 5 year old yellow lab (both neutered males). The fight occurred in the middle of our large yard. I was alone but still tried to break up the fight by grabbing the back legs of the dog that was wining and lifting and pulling back. As soon as that dog would let go, the other dog would attack. This went back and forth several times. Each time I was able to get one dog to let go, the other would attack. The fight did not stop until my lab lay dead with a broken neck. I was never injured as I used the proper technique but was alone. My question is, is there a way to break up a fight when you are alone or should it just be left to continue?

Ed's Response:

I am sorry for your loss. The answer to your question is YES, there is a way to break up a fight when you are alone. It is covered in both the article I wrote titled How to Break Up a Dog Fight Without Getting Hurt.

The short version is you take a dog leash and make a loop by running the snap through the handle. Put that loop around the back end of one of the dogs – so both legs are through the loop and then its tightened it snugs up around the loin of the dog.

Then drag the pile (both dogs that are fighting are a pile) and secure the snap end of the leash around a tree, fence, or put it through a door and slam the door closed on the leash (you may have to run the leash around the inside handle of the door and then slam the door closed. Now the fighting pile is locked on one location.

The go around and grab the back legs of the dog that is not attached to the leash. Pull the fight apart and continue to drag the dog to a location where he cannot get back at the dog that is tied out (I.E. into the garage or another room). I demonstrate this work in the video I produced titled Dealing with Dominant and Aggressive Dogs. Instead of letting two dogs fight to demonstrate the work – I had two young adults that played very, very rough (they created a rolling pile when they played). So I used them to show how to do this work.

I am glad you didn't get bit. Breaking up a dog fight is a dangerous endeavor. Here is a web page of photos that people have sent me over the years of owners who have been injured by their own dogs when they tried to break up a dog fight.

I also have a file of emails like yours of people whose dogs have killed one of their other dogs. It happens far more often than the average person thinks. Most people mistakenly think this only happens to Pit Bulls and Rottweilers, when in fact that's not true. It happens to people with all different kinds of breeds of dogs.

I am starting an online university with my company and will begin posting classes in 2014. One of the courses I want to build will be on how to deal with aggressive dogs.

Ed Frawley

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

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 Chuckit! Glow Ball

  My 100 lb pit bull is obsessed w this brilliant and truly indestructible ball. It is solid and malleable as well as safe (w nothing metal inside). The glow aspect is rechargeable by placing the ball against a common light bulb, flashlight, car headlight etc. If you spend a solid 3 mins recharging it to full capacity, 30 mins of glow in the dark results. Then the balls glow will gradually dissipate. Trick is to recharge it again or put it away before it becomes one with the nights' darkness and can't be seen anymore. The largest glow ball is my best for sandy beach play w/ larger breeds because the smaller ball can get smothered by sand from a charging 4-legger. Losing the visibility of the ball makes it challenging to find especially on terrain unlike concrete. Just bring your best flashlight with for more glow.
The Michael Ellis School for Dog Trainers
Check out the 2015 Schedule!

Leerburg Webboard | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Google+ | Tumblr | New Items | Video on Demand | Unsubscribe

Prices valid until Sunday, March 15th, 2015 at 11:59 pm central time. Questions? Please email us at

Copyright Leerburg® Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved. US Copyright Link. By accessing any information within, you agree to abide by the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Please do not reply to this email address.