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Leerburg.com April 28, 2011
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Engagement in Adult Dogs with Cindy and Rush

Engagement in Adult Dogs
With Cindy and Rush

This training video is about engagement in adult dogs. It is intended to show new dog owners what an adult dog looks like when it wants to work with the owner and just as importantly, what a dog should look like when you're ready to start training.

April 28, 2011 | 6 Minutes, 46 Seconds

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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.


Featured Question & Answers

Question: My dog became over stimulated by the bark collar while walking and bit my leg. Did I address this situation correctly?


I am writing to see if I am going in the right direction. I was walking my blue heeler/ border collie,  Blu- he was wearing his tri tronics bark collar, he's been using it for over a year. We had just seen 5-6 does on our last walk, he was pretty excited about that. Next walk 2 little shi tzu puppies approached from about 25 feet away. Blu began the long howling barks, you could hear each time he barked the collar set at 4 shocked him, and he just kept going off, this was the 1st time he's ever displayed "over stimulation" from this collar.

He's normally a dominant dog, but not dog or handler aggressive. I began to reconduct him away from the approaching dogs back to our garage, he would not give up on barking and snarling. He gets walked on a prong collar ( plastic-dipped prongs) with a dominant dog slip collar - he has a tendency to pull when were on a pleasure walk without it. I normally will put myself between him and whatever he's fixated on, at arm's length. I got bitten in the thigh, I didn't mark the behavior because frankly I was shocked, but he was very aware he'd done something wrong.

I walked him home immediately and he's been in his cage continuously since, like just starting over with the week of cage / no freedom, like when he was a puppy that 1 week Ed instructed in the groundwork video. Is this the correct way to address this issue? I just don't know what else to do to re-assert my dominance over him.


Cindy's Response:

Personally, I wouldn’t use the bark collar while I was out walking with my dog.  The reason is because of exactly what happened to you.  I use the bark collar for times I can’t correct my dog for nuisance barking, not for corrections while I’m walking the dog or training the dog.

The reason is the dog barks, gets a correction and IF the dog is over stimulated he may vocalize upon getting the correction which causes another correction, which causes him to vocalize….the cycle will go on and on and if the dog is looking at something that makes him over excited (deer, another dog, etc) he may redirect that over excitement into any person or dog that is close to him.  I typically recommend not putting bark collars on two dogs running in the same enclosure, for the same reason.  One dog may get a correction and redirect into the other dog when they feel the stimulation.

If you want to use a collar to correct him while you are out walking, then I would recommend an electric collar. NOT a bark collar.  We have an excellent video on how to train a dog with the electric collar Electric Collar Training for the Pet Owner.

I’d save the bark collar for times he’s in his crate or in your yard to correct him for nuisance barking when you can’t be there.

I would go back to your normal training after a short groundwork refresher. 

Cindy Rhodes


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


Question: Do you consider the Bouvier Des Flanders a breed for personal protection?

Hi Cindy,

Reading your website I see the importance of the dog having defense genetics, I have just received my third Bouvier (4 y.o.male) and am considering personal protection training for him, to protect our home.

Do you consider the Bouvier Des Flanders a good breed for this?

Cindy's Response:

Personal protection dogs need to have specific traits, and just because a dog is (or is not) a specific breed it’s no guarantee that the dog can do the job.

All German Shepherds are not suitable for police work, all Labs are not suitable for hunting, etc…. It’s really a matter of each individual.

If you like Bouviers, then I would find someone reputable in your area to evaluate the dog.  A 4 year old dog is completely physically and mentally mature so you should get a good idea of whether or not he has potential.

A Bouv would not be MY first choice for a protection dog, but that doesn’t mean your dog doesn’t have potential.

Good luck!

Cindy Rhodes


For more questions on this topic, see our Q&A on Personal Protection Training.


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
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Hi Mr. Frawley,

You like receive dozens of emails per week similar to the one I'm writing you. But I can't thank you enough for the information provided on your site. 

My family adopted a 3-year old corgi/jack mix and overall he is a superb dog. Unfortunately Max has been in at least 5 homes over the last year, and we have no record of his life previously. Let's just say this lifestyle left him with undesirable dominance issues. My husband and I haven't owned dogs since we were kids and we wanted to wait until our children were old enough to handle a dog. They are now 5 and 8 and very responsible and good-natured, so we thought this was the perfect time. 

We adopted Max a month ago and he was as sweet as ever when he first came home. However, what the foster mom told us about him before we adopted him, and the load she dropped in my lap the day we brought him home were two different stories. 

In other words, he wasn't who we thought he was. It's like renting a cabin off the internet, I suppose. 

Regardless, we wanted him. At his foster home he lived with two other dogs. He got into the trash, ate birthday cakes from the counter, woke his foster parents up by jumping on their heads, slept on the furniture, stole food from other dogs. The list went on and on. 

He was also walked on a halter with a retractable leash. 

None of this was his fault, of course. This was how he was taught to behave. 

So, I knew I had a lot of work ahead of me. I was his leader. We decided that ahead of time. Slowly I began breaking him of habits. Lucky for us he never jumped on our heads or ate the trash. He never stole food even if it was within reach of him.

The biggest issue we faced was dominant aggressive behavior toward strangers, other dogs, and my son. 

At first he would snap at my son when he touched is food or came near his toys. He would growl at him and nip him even when they seemed to be getting along just fine. 

And walking... forget it. He pulled me around like a wild stallion, and he's only 18 pounds. He would go ballistic when someone walked by and when other dogs were around. Yikes!

I worked with him via the guidance of 'dog whispers' in books and online. It would work for a few days and the placebo effect wore off. Then he seemed even worse than before. 

I finally started researching aggressive dogs because I was seriously afraid he would hurt my son or another dog. That's when I found your site. 

In two days he's a completely different dog. He was already crate trained, so the crate works well for us. Today and yesterday I've done as you "demanded" :). He's been crated except for walks and training. I only interact with him outside. I also groom him twice a day for 2-3 minutes. 

And the prong collar! What a blessing. Everything I read about training a dog to walk on a lead was horse crap. Halties and harness don't even make sense. The harness was like giving him a boost of nitrogen when he wanted to go at something. And how was I supposed to lead my dog my his head? 

No one addressed aggression before. It was like these methods were supposed to magically transform my dog. He was supposed to forget the guy in the scary outfit mowing the fields, the kids screaming at him, the other dogs barking at fences. Yeah, right!

The prong collar serves as a reminder that he is safe with me. That I will protect him and he doesn't have to worry about all this other stuff going on around him.

Today I successfully walked past 5 joggers, 2 fields of doves, and a school yard filled with screaming children without a lunge or a growl. Normally his head would have flown off from all the excitement. 

I bring treats in my pocket and acknowledge his good behavior. He seems more relaxed and happier than ever. 

I work at home and my days usually existed with uncontrollable barking at every little sound. This did not work well with conference calls. He would also jump on everyone when they came in (other than me). Now he is as calm as ever.

We are moving this weekend, but once we settle I can't wait to dive into your DVD collections. For now I will continue to read the wealth of information on your site. I seriously think EVERY dog owner should read your site. I feel like John Milton when I click through your pages. I literally stay up all night absorbing everything you have to teach.

With tremendous gratitude,

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