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  March 21, 2013
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2 Part Ecollar DVD Series

2 Part Ecollar DVD Series

Michael Ellis takes a minute to discuss both of the electric collar DVDs that Leerburg is currently producing. The first DVD "Selecting & Conditioning Your Dog to the Collar" is currently available for purchase. The 2nd DVD "Common Applications of the E-collar" will be released later this spring.

March 21, 2013   |   1 Minute, 12 Seconds

Leerburg Q&A
Ask your training question

Question: I have some questions after watching the new Power of Training with Food.

Hi Cindy,

I just finished watching the new training dogs with food video with Michael Ellis. Owning the old and the new, I found the new one to be considerably better - good job Leerburg!

I do have one question, which was highlighted after watching the new one (I thought I understood it before watching the new one). At the end of the video, Michael talks about reward schedules. He gives a few examples, all of which skip the marking - he simply just gestured like he was giving a release marker and then continued on without rewarding. When he did decide to reward - he marked the behavior.

I found this to be rather confusing on two fronts... First, I don't understand why you wouldn't mark the behavior - it seems to me that it may lend itself to self-doubt in the dog if not executed well. For example, the dog may decide that he must be doing something wrong and start offering different behaviors before the next reward comes around. Second, if we use physical cues to release the dog - won't this just create problems later when we expect the dog to ignore more and more physical cues? I'd hate to accidentally release my dog in a trial because he had been conditioned to look for a physical release cue. What does a verbal only variable reward schedule look like? Does it exist? Am I over-thinking this?


Cindy's Response:


Reward schedules and phasing out rewards is covered in the video Finishing Work, which I believe you already own. I don't ever phase out rewards completely with my own dogs but I do vary the schedule and sometimes mark without rewarding as they become  fluent in the behavior I'm working on. 

It's really a complicated topic, so Michael did a video on this.  I'd review Finishing Work video and if you still have questions, pass them on to me and I'll see if I can't get Michael's input.

Cindy Rhodes

For more questions on this topic, see 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 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 Arachnoid Ball

I read mixed reviews about this product but decided to give it a try. I have a 50 pound pitbull mixed who was about 1 1/2 years old and no toys would last her. All I know is she likes to chew on plastic and anything that rolls. I bought the first one and it lasted her about a week. She chewed the yellow ball off and it no longer made the squeaky sound, but still her most favorite toy of all the toys I bought for her. I bought her 3 more of the same kind right after that. I guess she then learned on her own not to bite it off anymore. The 2nd one lasted her til now, still fairly new (she's a lil over 3 years old and 60 lbs). I left one inside the house and one outside in the backyard for fetching (her most favorite fetch ball as well) and it seems to last w/ the hot weather in Texas. I still have one more still brand new in the package that I haven't used. If you're looking for heavy duty then it's not. It's semi-soft and squeezable which can be a good or bad thing. They can be easily chewed up like the first one I got or they can last you forever. Another thing I like about it is when I play fetch w/my pet, I can easily pull it out of her mouth when she doesn't want to let go of it. I would highly recommend this product to any pet mamas and daddies. If it fails the first time, give it another try. I did and I'm glad I gave it a second chance.

The Michael Ellis School for Dog Trainers

2013 Schedule Now Available!

Read more for additional information and dates.

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