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Leerburg.com May 9, 2011
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Question for Michael Ellis

Michael Ellis was visiting Leerburg the week of April 26th to film new training DVDs. During that visit Ed and Michael sat down and filmed a number of the most common questions they get on the training program. We will stream one of these emails each week in our newsletter.

This question concerns a viewer’s question on if it is too late to start our training methods on a 1 year old dog.

May 9, 2011 | 3 Minutes, 48 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:

Enclosed are two pictures: the first, is a bite I had from a pit-bull three summers ago. I was trying to keep my dogs away from an iron gate where the pit was, and made the mistake of giving the pit-bull my back! He grabbed my leg, but didn't tug nor pull (thank God). The moment I felt him clasp down, I ever so slightly, moved forward, that's what tore my leg! It had to be simultaneously, because as soon as i felt it, I turned and opened his mouth with my hands, he immediately let go!!! The second, is a picture of my dogs at "play!" This is not the first time that I've been bitten! I actually had an encounter with an Akita when I was 9 years old! He was biting into my scull for more than 30 minutes!! Not more than three months later, that same dog bit me again, this time on the face!! All together, I've had 85 stitches from dog bites!! Being the resilient male that I am, I'm truly a pack leader now and everyone who sees my dogs with me, can tell.


See the photos.

Ed's Response:

Not many emails of dog bite make me cringe anymore – yours did. You are a tough SOB.

Thanks for sending these photos. I will include them in my newsletter. Too many new dog trainers underestimate the potential for injury when handling dogs and dog fights. You learned this lesson the hard way. I believe your story will help others.

Ed Frawley

More of the Story:

I thought that would get a cringe out of you! It was a big ordeal! The cops showed up before the ambulance did and they kept wanting me to show my leg to the new arrival of cops! They where just as astonished as you were! What made them freak out, was the fact that I was totally cool and calm! I was joking around flashing them my leg and laughing at their reactions! Needless to say that my adrenaline was off the charts!! I was just soooo happy that "hammer" the pit, let me go!! I was expecting the worse! I could have been really hurt, you know?  But like you said, I am a tough SOB!

Ed's Question:

Did you have to have surgery? How did they fix that, I can't imagine they just flushed it out and stitched it up???

How long was your recovery?

Ed Frawley


A plastic surgeon did stitch me up and flush it, but thank god it wasn't a long healing time. I was on crutches for three weeks and I even put out a fire at school, running on one leg to get the hose from the stairway!!! The scar healed up amazingly, I must say!

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: Is it better to say "no" or "come" and then give a correction via e-collar when he does not listen or it it better to not say anything and just correct him with the e-collar?

Dear Cindy,

My question is regarding avoidance corrections. I have a 2.5 year old cattle dog mix that I have just adopted. I am constantly around horses and my dog will be as well. When the horses are not really moving the dog leaves them alone but if they start running around his herding drive takes over and I can not get him out of the zone. He chases them and barks at them while nipping at their heels; characteristically of his breed.

He understands "come" and "no" and is almost always obedient off leash. I do have an e-collar for him.  

My ultimate goal is for the dog to come trail riding with my horse and I and not have a problem.

My question refers to when he starts chasing a horse. Is it better to say "No" or "come" and then give a correction via the e-collar when he does not listen or is it better not to say anything and just correct him at a high setting to eliminate the behavior via the avoidance correction method?


Cindy's Response:

You need to interrupt the behavior BEFORE it gets to chasing. If you just adopted this dog, you should spend time laying a foundation of obedience and coming when called. He should not have the option to chase and nip their heels.  He also needs to learn what the ecollar means away from high arousal scenarios like horses.

Just using it for corrections when he’s in a high drive state will likely end up backfiring on you, he’ll either learn to toughen up to the stimulation or he’ll be so superstitious about the situation he felt the correction in he will be nervous in the future. A dog that is “almost always” obedient is not trained. It’s a good start but not good enough, especially when mixing with a potentially dangerous situation like trail riding. Horses have the potential for danger enough without adding an overexcited dog to the mix.

I’d recommend doing all the foundation with the ecollar first, before every considering corrections.  We have an excellent video on how to train a dog with the electric collar Electric Collar Training for the Pet Owner.

We also have a video on horses & dogs.

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

Ed and I trail ride and camp with our horses a LOT and nothing makes me angrier than people who bring partially trained dogs out on the trail with them. It can be so dangerous, and I’ve seen a lot of accidents. Personally, unless I know I am riding alone and won’t encounter other people (with horses that may be scared of my dogs OR with untrained dogs themselves.) then I leave my dogs at home. My dog is trained to stay ON the trail directly in front of me and my horse. I don’t let him run through the woods or follow behind my horse. If you’ve ever seen a dog run through the woods and pop up in a group of riders, you’ll understand that. We saw a dog kicked almost to death by a horse in our group last year in the Black Hills when we were camping. It was very disturbing for everyone involved. This was a horse that lived with dogs, and a dog that lived on a ranch. The dog chased something right up under the back feet of a mare while we were out riding.  Bad stuff.

Cindy Rhodes

For more questions on this topic, see our Q&A on electric collar training.


Question: My breeder said not to feed raw meat because it will "awaken" his hound hunting instincts. Have you ever heard of such a thing?

Hey there,

Let me just start with a big thanks for the wonderful website and DVDs you've created. They've been a huge source of information for me and they really help me a lot!

If it wasn't for you, I would've been raising my Beagle the "old school" way and would probably have had a sadder dog to live with. I'm sure he is also very grateful for you teaching me better! :)

I've read most of the stuff you wrote about the all natural, raw diet, and I have just one thing i had a problem with and couldn't find an answer to:

The "breeders" ("breeders" because it was they're 3rd or 4th litter :D) I bought my Beagle from told me to be very careful NOT to feed my beagle raw meat, because it will "awaken" his hound hunting instincts, and he'll be running all around round town - well hunting - face down on the ground, sniffing every little inch he can find.... 

He eats stuff off the ground all the time, and he almost died once (when I had just got him), he had either a slight case of parvo, or a very severe case of enteritis... he wounldn't eat OR DRINK for a whole week and survived only thanks to two daily IVs and two plasma transfusions.... and he just got sick again two weeks ago... all that being 8 months old and 3 months under my care....

This make me very worried that a raw diet will increase his off-the-ground-eating habits...

So my question is have you ever heard about this kind of a phenomena with Beagles or any other hound/species? Is there a risk in getting a hound on raw meat?

Thanks a million,

P.S.If you have any quick tips on getting my dog to stop eating things off the ground I would be even more grateful... :)

Cindy's Response:

The information you got from these “breeders” is just another one of the many myths out there about raw feeding.  It’s based on ignorance and lack of knowledge on the subject.

A Beagle’s (or any other dog’s) instincts are not turned on or off by what you feed them, that’s just silly if you think about it.

The best books for learning about the raw diet are Raw Dog Food and Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats. We give both these books to our puppy customers and rarely have questions about the diet.  One of the newer feeding books we offer is Raw & Natural Nutrition for Dogs. This title covers homemade cooked & raw diets complete with recipes. I highly recommend all these books.

Your dog needs to be taught a “leave it” command,  we have some streaming video about this on our Video on Demand.

For future questions, you might benefit from learning to use our SEARCH function, which is located in the top left corner of every page of the website. If you type in your key words or question it will find you articles, Q&As, free streaming video and links to threads on our discussion forum. Our website has over 16,000 pages and it’s very likely you’ll find the information you are looking for. I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes

For more information on this topic, see our Q&A on Feeding a Raw Diet.


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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The Michael Ellis School for Dog Trainers

Openings available!

Michael Ellis has added 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.

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