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Leerburg.com April 18, 2011
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Keeping Your Puppy Engaged
with Michael and Cappy

Engagement is the most important thing you can have with your puppy. Engagement means your puppy wants to be with you and it wants what you have. In this short video you will watch Michael Ellis and a new puppy he just got working with food and toy engagement.

April 18, 2011 | 5 Minutes, 13 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:


I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction for some material in training my dog not to bite. We have a 7 month old male shitzu/ Yorkie mix that is showing signs of aggression towards my 6 year old son. He has bit my son twice to the point of drawing blood. We had a trainer come out and work with the two of them to try and repair the bond. It seemed she worked more with training my son than with the dog. She taught my son not to stare him in the eye and not to be ground level with the dog and to stand tall. The first time he bit my son was a couple of months ago. I was holding him and my son reached in to pet him and he bit his hand puncturing it and drawing blood. Last night he bit my son again in the face. He took one of my son’s toys and when he reached down to get it the dog lunged at my son’s face growling and snarling and bit him and held on until I swatted him. Luckily he only weighs about 6lbs and didn’t do much damage… I have been researching Yorkie pet rescues today for placement. But I am wondering if he is fixable at this point and can be trained to be a loving dog with my son. He is fine with myself, my husband and our 9 year old daughter. He is currently being crate trained. And when out of the crate we keep him on the leash in the house at our sides while the kids are home until he can be trusted. He bit my son yesterday while on the leash. We planned on having him neutered this month. I’d hate to give him away if there is some hope for him but then again I would never forgive myself if he seriously injured my son or another child for that matter. Any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated.


See the photos.

Ed's Response:


Most self described professional trainers don’t understand dog aggression and dominance. I can’t tell you how often I get emails like yours.

The fact is this dog is the way he is because of how you have lived with him. I don’t mean this in a negative way – most people just don’t understand how important this is with SOME (not all) dogs. Yours happens to be the kind of temperament that needs very specific rules and it needs to understand the consequences of not following the rules. It’s no different than raising a child.

You need to change the way you live with your dog. Run it through a pack structure program – this is details in the DVD I produced titled Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Dog.

You should also get the DVD titled Dealing with Dominant and Aggressive Dogs. I would also have this dog wear a dominant dog collar when on leash - how to use it is explained in the dominant dog DVD and on my web site.

This can be fixed if you make the decision to educate yourself and your family.

Ed Frawley

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: What is the benefit of picking up a dog's food after a certain amount of time?

Hi Cindy,
I remember seeing somewhere on your site that when your dogs are fed it's picked up after a certain amount of time. The time I can't remember, 20 minutes to an hour, I think. My question was what is the benefit of this?  My German Shepherd never eats all of her food in one go and I feel guilty about taking it up after a set time, as I know she always goes back to it before bed time and finishes it off.  Is this bad for her?

Cindy's Response:

I give my dogs 15 minutes to eat.  Believe me, none of them need more than 5.

Allowing dogs to eat at their leisure is not something we do. We feel it’s healthier for a dog to eat regular meals as opposed to grazing whenever they feel like it. Their digestive tract is designed to fill up at one specific time and then empty. Horses and many other animals do better taking in small amounts of food more frequently, but we don’t believe it’s the best for our dogs.

It’s also a leadership thing. I use food for training and I also control my dogs’ feeding times as their leader. I want them to look to me for food, not a bowl. I want my dogs to have a lot of drive for food.  Dogs that have the option to eat whenever they wish are often difficult/impossible to motivate with food. Food is a primal need for all animals, if we can use it to help teach our dogs things and to make ourselves more valuable to them as leaders why wouldn’t I take advantage of that?

For many dogs, allowing free feeding can make house training more difficult too. By knowing when your dog takes food in, it’s much easier to set up a potty schedule.

A lot of people do free feed, but we don’t recommend it or do it with our own dogs. I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes

For more questions on this topic, see our Q&A on Feeding Dogs.


Question: I tried a Walmart e-collar on the highest setting, but it didn't work. Which of your e-collars would you suggest?


I have a yellow labrador. He is 2 years old and very friendly, but when he sees people, he takes off... Tried the Walmart e-collar and put it to the highest level but that won`t stop him at all. So, you have so many e-collars, I don`t know the right one for him. Please help...


Cindy's Response:

Did you do any type of collar conditioning or training with the ecollar first? If you want dogs to respond to the stimulation from the ecollar they need to learn about how the stimulation works first. these collars are a tool that work very well IF you teach the dog about it first. You don’t just buckle the collar on the neck and push the button. 

I’d recommend making sure your dog is trained in his basic obedience commands ON LEASH first. 
Basic Obedience 
We have an excellent video on how to train a dog with the electric collar Electric Collar Training for the Pet Owner   Watch this first before attempting to use the ecollar again.

For your needs, I’d recommend  the 7000 M.

Cindy Rhodes

Martha's Response:

Well, for your info I do know how the e-collar works---- I find that you are very rude.... And the e-collar you suggest is for a small dog. I don't want a e-collar like the one I have... Any ways, thanks for the help...

Cindy's Response:

The ecollar I suggested is what we use on our Malinois and German Shepherds every day here, with great results. I’ve been using these collars for years and have a bit of experience with them. 

I was not trying to be rude, but from the email you sent you can see why I answered the way I did.  You said you put a Walmart e-collar on your dog and tried the highest level. That’s NOT the correct way to use an ecollar. It’s not only incorrect, it’s unfair to the dog.

I’m an advocate for the dogs out there, because most people don’t really understand how to correctly use the ecollar. If that offends you, I’m sorry. You wrote for advice, and I offered it. Who’s the rude one?

Cindy Rhodes

For more information on this topic, see our Q&A on Electric Collars.


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!!!

Nice Emails from Customers
See Previous Emails


I just wanted to let you know that we received the e-collar and the video yesterday. Thank you so much for giving me the advice on the questions I had about the correct e-collar to purchase as well as the video on e-collar training. I was hesitant about going to an e-collar because of previous information circulating about how the collars were inhumane and training with one would ruin your dog. I watched the video in its entirety  last night and will view it again and again as my dogs training progresses. Ed’s video  made everything so clear and the steps used made so much sense to me. I will be following his training to the letter, beginning with the initial 2 week adjustment to the collar. I really like the idea of making sure the training is positive and the dogs attitude is maintained on a working level. Thank you so much for all the information and training that you and Ed provide. It is abundantly clear how much you care for and respect your animals.


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We Support & Recommend
The Michael Ellis School for Dog Trainers

A few openings available!

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.

Motivation April 18th-22nd, 2011 3 spots left!

Email Michael directly on class openings.

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