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April 1, 2013
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Slow Motion Agility Demo

Slow Motion Agility at Leerburg with Cindy & Rush

Cindy & Rush playing around with some agility in our training center.

April 1, 2013   |   3 Minutes, 3 Seconds

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Leerburg Q&A
Ask your training question here

Question: My dog pays too much attention to the neighbor dogs behind the fence and he won't come when I call him. I need to work on his recall, do you have any suggestions? Do you recommend a tug toy?

I have a 2 year old (65 lbs) Belgian Malinois. Have had trouble with him fence fighting. He pays too much attention to the dogs behind the fence because they are barking at him. I need to work on his recall. I have been working with someone that has me putting him on a long line and calling him when he starts to get too close to the fence. I was watching some of your videos on YouTube and I saw the restrained recall with the tug toy. Is there a video you recommend to learn more about the recall? Do you recommend a tug toy? If so, which one do you recommend for his size and age? 

Also I am using a prong collar right now. What do you recommend to take him off the prong? He doesn't really like a collar slipped over his head? 

Cindy's Response:


I'd recommend the video Training the Recall.

As for tugs, the intermediate set would have a variety of tugs that would work for your dog. I like to have several different biting surfaces for the dogs to experience.

The prong could be left on him, but I'd recommend a harness or at the least a buckle collar for restrained recall work. You may eventually want to go to a remote collar but for the beginning stages of this work, a long line and collar paired with lots of rewards are how I would proceed.

I hope this helps.
Cindy Rhodes

Another Question:


One more question. Do the tugs promote biting? I mean, I don't want to train him for "bite work" with the fence fighting issue. I just want to work on the recall.

Thanks for the info.

Cindy's Response:

Tugs promote interactive play with the handler, which is why they make such great rewards especially for the recall.  The toy or tug motivated dog runs back to engage in a game with the handler. I do this with all my dogs from my working dogs to my Border Terrier to my Shih Tzu.  It has nothing to do with bite work.  It’s about engagement with the handler

Cindy Rhodes


Thanks. That is great information.  I was always under the impression that it promoted aggressive behavior and stayed away from it. I think he will really like that sort of play.

Thanks again.

For more questions on this topic, see our Q&A on Recalls or our Q&A on Playing Tug.

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's Article: Taping German Shepherds Ears

Hi Cindy,

This floppy ear issue keeps coming up. We had a GSD with a floppy ear when I was a teenager (in the 1950s), and my mother went so far as to get the dog a cartilage transplant, and it didn’t work but cost plenty.

We bought two GSD puppies from a breeder in July 2002. The male had a floppy ear, so I tried almost all the solutions on your website, except that I also cut a piece of x-ray film into an ear shape and taped it in. We visited several “experts” in Mendocino County and got the same advice you offer:  sponge hair rollers, rolled-up cotton, even Tampax. Nothing worked.

So eventually, I took one of the clear Breathe Right strips I apply to my nose at night, and used Super Glue to stick it to the outer edge of the inside of the ear (which is where the ear creases). It stood up fine and was essentially invisible. Strangers could not tell we were splinting our dog’s ear.

In a couple weeks it started to loosen, so I glued another clear Breathe Right strip to his ear, this time on the back edge, to prevent tissue damage.

We alternated front and back for about three months, and Voila! The ear stayed up on its own for the rest of his life.

Unfortunately, both dogs died at 10 years, about nine months apart, of cancer.

I emailed the Breathe Right manufacturer with this info, but got no response. We would not hesitate to use this method again.

I hope you have occasion to pass this on to others. Please let people know it’s important to switch from front to back every couple of weeks to avoid tissue damage or impairment of hair growth.

Best regards,

The Michael Ellis School for Dog Trainers

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