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Leerburg.com April 11, 2011
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Cindy and Elka in the 1991 Mid-Central Regional Schutzhund Championships

Cindy and Elka
1991 Mid-Central Regional Schutzhund Championships

This weekend we were digging through some 20 year old VHS tapes and found this video of Cindy winning the Mid-Central Regional Schutzhund Championships back in 1991 with her female Doberman, Elka vom Schoenenberg SchH 3 IPO 3. The video quality is what you would expect from a 20 year old VHS tape.

Cindy bought Elka as a puppy and did all the training on her.

In this competition  Elka scored 93-93-98=284 and was high scoring protection. The judge was SV Judge Peter Dittmier and the trial was at Purdue University, Lafayette, IN.

April 11, 2011 | 18 Minutes, 31 Seconds

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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:


Here are photos of some dog bites I received when attacked by a new neighbor's Akita dog. I had not met it before and it got out accidentally when the owners were having an argument. It came up to me growling when I was on the sidewalk talking to another neighbor. I turned and walked away and my husband yelled out my name. When I looked back the dog had lunged and was off the ground with its head level with mine. It knocked me down in front of my house and I rolled from side to side to protect my neck. If my husband had not got him off me I think I would have been killed. He weighed over 100lbs.


Ed's Response:

This looks terrible! Thank you for sending it. I am sure it will help others understand how dangerous dogs can be.

What was the end  of the story? What happened to the dog and the neighbors? Did they pay for this?

Ed Frawley

More of the Story:

The owners thought that I must have done something to their dog! They were sure of this even though they admitted to the neighbor who witnessed the attack (and who had nightmares for months), that the dog had bitten the woman owner too. Of course it was not the all out attack he launched on me. 

The local dog warden wanted the owners to put the dog down but they refused. He said his hands were tied because the county was in the middle of a state court battle appealing their vicious dog ordinances. He couldn't even force them to put a muzzle on the dog which would have helped me feel better. He suggested I seek legal advice.

The owners kept the dog locked in their upstairs apartment most of the time, (which I thought was not fair for a big dog), and I think they walked him in the middle of the night. They also fixed their backyard fence and would exercise him in the yard with them staying with him. Sometimes the dog would be on their front balcony and he would growl at visitors to the neighbor who lived next door to them. The owners thought it was funny when the neighbor expressed concern that the dog may jump off the balcony and attack them!

I realized I had become afraid of large dogs and stopped walking in our neighborhood. My husband's health insurance included some free counseling so I visited with a counselor who recommended I carry mace. The warden told me that could be dangerous for me but to carry pepper spray instead. 

I was attending university at the time and decided to speak to the student legal aid office to see if there was anything that could be done about the dog. I was upset at the owner's attitude. It was obvious they didn't really think their dog was dangerous even though they saw me covered in blood after the attack. They were sure I had provoked their dog and refusing to admit it! The legal aid office wrote a letter to the dog owners and also to the landlord enquiring about their insurance. They contacted the rental insurance company to see if they would do anything about my expenses and pain and suffering.

The thing is I didn't really have any expenses because the health insurance paid for my visit to the hospital emergency room. Luckily the dog had had a rabies shot. The owners brought a copy of the paperwork to the hospital while I was being treated. I was told money for pain and suffering is based on a formula related to my costs. I didn't really have any costs though and then I was due to graduate and also leave the state. One of the reasons we moved actually is that I no longer felt safe in the neighborhood.

I am still working on being less terrified of big dogs. Anyway to cut a long story short the owners kept the dog and I received $5,500 in compensation after the hospital had been paid back. Now I wonder if I should have held out for more. Being afraid of dogs has really limited my quality of life. It is so annoying.

Thank you for what you do with dogs. I came across your website by accident and now will have a lot better idea of whether a dog owner is in control of his pack or not. I also now know not to look a dog in the eye (it was a bit difficult not to when he was level with my crotch and growling), or to turn my back and walk away. Thanks for listening. It has been nice to unload. I usually don't talk about it because I think people don't really understand the terror I felt during the attack.

After my husband got the dog off me I looked up to see the dog starting to circle me. Luckily his owners then appeared and called him away. I hated feeling so helpless and don't think I could have been as brave as my husband if it had been him who had been attacked instead of me. The warden wondered if there was domestic violence in the dog's home and that he was stressed and attacked me because I was a woman. I had a feeling I should not have walked away from the situation, but I was so scared, and I was walking away from the dog's home, not towards it. I cannot believe the dog's owners could be so irresponsible. They obviously do not think their dog is aggressive, which is amazing to me. I hope the photos help someone else too.


See the photos.

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: My dog has become destructive when we leave. Would a muzzle help and is it ok to leave it on him during the day?

Hi Ed – my fiancé and I have a dog that is wearing on our patience as he is incredibly destructive and does not deal well with being kenneled. He has actually broken out of two steel kennels – the ones with the thin bars of metal. Now we keep him and our other dog in a room in the basement, and as you can see from the attached photo, he is slowly destroying it, day by day. That is an older picture and since then the damage he has done has tripled.

I’ve heard so many things about muzzles and my main question is – is it ok to leave a muzzle on him during the day while we’re both at work?? I don’t want to traumatize or stress him out at all, so that worries me, but we are running out of solutions for this problem.

Any advice or guidance you could provide would be greatly appreciated – I’m determined not to give up on this dog!!

Dog tore apart wall

Cindy's Response:

I would highly recommend you read this link on Dogs that Break out of Crates.

Your dog has severe separation anxiety, we also have a Q & A section on separation anxiety that may help you. 

A muzzle would be part of the retraining program, along with a SOLID and sturdy crate. We have directions on how to measure the dog for a muzzle.

I would also be sure that this dog has clear understanding of the rules and leadership in and around your house and I would make sure he gets lots of exercise. Tired dogs are less likely to engage in this type of behavior.

We also have a number of eBooks, which include topics that may help you. 

I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes

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


Question: When I play tug with my dog, he gets overly excited and will not out. Is it too late to teach him a realiable out or is there a way to do it?

I have a 2 1/2 year old male Mal with high drive. I did not tug with him as a young puppy and teach him a reliable out.  When he gets overly excited he will not out the ball, bite pillow etc.  Is it too late to teach him a reliable out or is there a way to do it? Holding the object still, he holds and holds. Trying to trade one object for another does not work, food does not work as he is more toy driven.


Cindy's Response:

I would recommend reviewing The Power of Playing Tug with your Dog. Teaching the out is covered there, even for dogs that are possessive of the item.

You should not use a bite pillow or a ball if the dog won’t out. You need to use a tug that is easy to stabilize, otherwise the dog can self satisfy while you are trying to get the out.

Cindy Rhodes


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


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!!!

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Thank you very much, Cindy, for your response. And I would like to add as well, that I really enjoy watching you work with Rush, what a great dog, and a great performance. 

Regarding the linking of behaviors, this is what I was assuming, and what I have been doing, but I really wanted the confirmation just to be sure, as I didn't want to be doing it incorrectly. As you well know, I'm sure, it's always easier to start off right, than it is to have to fix what was done wrong. 

I am a dog trainer, but I am in that transition stage right now, as my training and background has been military based, I wanted something that fit me and the dogs that I work with, more comfortably. I have been looking for a better approach for a while, and there are so many methods out there, but once I saw Michael Ellis, I knew instinctively that this is exactly what I have been looking for.

I most certainly plan on attending Michael's school at some point, but for right now, it is just not an option financially, as it is located half way across the continent from me. I really appreciate the work that Leerburg puts into producing these DVDs and Videos (I love the Video on Demand feature, as it means not having to wait for shipping!), this is such a wonderful way for those of us who simply don't have the means or the access to Michael's school in California, to still have access to this valuable information.

My only suggestion, if there is a "suggestion box," would be to have more Mondioring training informational videos.

Thank you again.

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The Michael Ellis School for Dog Trainers

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On April 18th, Michael Ellis is adding a new course to his school for dog trainers, MOTIVATION: Advanced Techniques for Increasing Motivation and Drive. This is a 5 day course in which trainers will learn about "making the reward an event,” using restraint to build drive/motivation, proper play techniques (tugging and retrieving games), individual play styles, the use of “food as a toy,” and channeling a dogs energy during development. Read more here.

Advanced Obedience Intensive April 11th-15th, 2011 4 spots left!
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