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Leerburg.com May 12, 2011
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Puppy Bite Work 8 Weeks to Adulthood

While I was sitting here editing the new DVD I'm producing with Michael Ellis on puppy bite work, I thought it would be a neat idea to show training sessions of one dog from when it was 10 weeks old to an aolescent, to a young adult, and then as an adult. (I chose Cindy's dog, Rush.)

This will give people the sense of what can be accomplished when genetics are correct, when the dog is raised correctly, and when the dog is trained in Michael Ellis's training system.

May 12, 2011 | 6 Minutes, 46 Seconds

Leerburg's Video on Demand

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The Power of Training Dogs
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The Power of Training Dogs with Food with Michael Ellis
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The Power of Playing Tug with Your Dog with Michael Ellis
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Michael Ellis Remote Collar
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Michael Ellis Lecture on the Foundation of Protection Work
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Focused Heeling
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$60.00 | 3 Hours, 53 Minutes
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Dogtra Electric Collars

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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: I want to start marker training, which DVDs should I get? And what can I be doing until I get them?

I ran across your article online about your thoughts on marker training. I was taught to train by only correcting bad behaviors in the early 90s. Yankin and crankin. It has worked well for me in obedience training my dogs over the years. Your article however has caused me to rethink my approach. I have 2 german shephard puppy litter mates male and female. I got them at 4 months. They are now 6 months. I walk them and train them every day. As a side note, I train and walk them separately. They also sleep separately in an attempt at having them connect with my wife and me and not just each other. So far it's going pretty well. My question for you is of all the DVDs you offer, like The Power of Marker Training or playing tug or training with food. Which single one or series would you recommend? One more point is, what should I do regarding my training until I can start applying the marker method? I don't want to be in a situation where I have to spend weeks or months undoing something that doesn't fit. I also will continue walking them and with out correction at this point the 60 pound male will be dislocating my shoulder. Anyway my wife and I are 50 and are committed to having solid companion dogs for many years to come and are willing to do what it takes. I'm sorry for the length of this message. I am looking forward to advise and suggestions.

Ed's Response:

There are several points. First I give you credit for looking for a better way.

There is no question that markers are a better way. You can begin now by studying the article I write titled THE POWER OF TRAINING DOGS WITH MARKERS.

You should also go to our Video on Demand section and watch the lecture by Michael Ellis on his theory of dog training – It's free!

There are three DVDs that will probably be all you need for a years training:

The Power of Training Dog with Markers
The Power of Training Dogs with Food
The Power of Playing Tug with Your Dog 

Do the food training before the tug work.

These DVDs will become the foundation of your communication and reward system for every exercise or behavior you ever wish to train your dogs.

Ed Frawley

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


A Letter About Vet Practices: My horrible experience.

My name is Frederick from Australia. I would just like to tell you my story about my tragic loss and maybe you can share this with people dealing with the same kind of problem.

I am a big reader of your website and I read all your articles and QAs. Your teachings have, in a lot of ways, been the foundation of training I trained dogs although I still consider myself as a youngster in the field.

I used to own a Bullmastiff dog. We got him from a breeder at 8 weeks old and he was the best dog I ever trained and owned. By the time he was 5 months old he was already obedienced certified dog (our council's version of CGC) and we got a rebate of 75% per annum. He was also the reason I trained to be an obedience instructor for more than 3 years now.

I have trained this dog since the minute I held it and carried it to my car and took a 4-hour drive home. Few could have disputed that he's one of the best trained if not the most trained dog in our area. Evrybody loves and knows him. I taught him to ignore all distractions anywhere and everywhere and focus on me. His heelwork for a big dog is second to none with or without a leash. He could have an aggressive dog beside him on a leash (trying to attack him) and he couldn't give a sh#t and intensely focused on me. I had his voice command down to a whispher, people sometimes wonder how I give it. His "stay" is impeccable. He was my pride and joy and a member of our family (pack).

At 18 mos. old he was diagnosed with hip dysplasia. It all went downhill from there. I contacted 4 different vets for opinions. The first vet took an x-ray of him and he was honest enough to say that this condition is out of his league. He also gave us pain killers and glucosamine and everything all up it mounted to more than 300$.

The second vet was a "specialist" the 1st vet reccommended but the diagnosis was out of this world different. He was very sure the dog had Wobbler's disease. His reccommendation was:

1) Another hip x-ray- $650
2) Myelogram to test for Wobbler's- a dye will be injected to the spine - this procedure could be quite deadly - $1400
3) Drug treatment for 2 months - $360
4) A total hip replacement - $10,000
5) Plus check-ins and care in their facility after the surgery.

So basically, I'm looking at another mortgage here.

I said I didn't agree that all these extra "tests" are necessary as I didn't agree that he has Wobbler's. I also don't like pain killers as they are deadly especially in high dosages, besides he's doing very well with the cheaper glucosamine. The hip replacement is out of date as I wanted an uncemented procedure. Still the stupid consult costed me $130.

Third vet: Another "specialist" with an is entirely different diagnosis. He defintely doesn't have Wobbler's but he might have elbow dysplasia. His reccommendation was:

1) Another hip x-ray- $650
2) Elbow x-ray - $650
3) Drug treatment for 2 months - $360
4) A total hip uncemented replacement - $10,000+
5) Plus check-ins and care in their facility after the surgery.

But here's the deal: he wouldn't treat the dog unless we follow the drug treatment. So, worn out and tired we did it for 3 weeks.

3 weeks later my dog bled to death.

It was one fo the worst and most horrifying 24-hours I have ever had in my life. His stomach lining liquified and went out the backdoor. Our local vet couldn't save him and I would have put him down but he probably knew and decided to spare me the bill and beat me to the punch. I was gutted. My boy whom I trained and loved as a part of my family has died perished needlessly on a whim of some "expert" who clearly just wanted to make a buck from our misery. The whole ordeal costed me more than $2,000 and a very dead dog. He was a complete mess at the end.

The day he died the phone rang and a person on the other end wants to see the car we're selling. I told him it was no longer for sale - because we wouldn't need the money anymore.

The vet never owned up to it. The local vet found the cause of death as inconclusive and it "could be anything." The drug was known to have this "side effect" - the reason I didn't want to administer it at the first place. Was there a cover up here since one recommended the other? I dunno.

I still miss my boy and I sometimes listen to my wife sleep-talking telling me to go fetch him and take him back home.

I now have a new 14 mos. old pup that I'm training and happy with his progress.

I don't expect anyone to sympathize with us since most people thinks "he's just a dog," but I hope this story informs people about the reality about bad vet practices and that they should be aware of some drugs that these people are pushing patients to use.

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

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

Hi Cindy and Ed,

I am writing to thank you for the training and handling resources you provide. This weekend I put an AKC Rally Novice title on my GSD. She is four now and is a certified SAR dog who had good functional obedience. However, I hadn't done any performance obedience training until late last year when I ordered the Michael Ellis DVDs on training with food, playing tug and focused heeling. We have a long ways to go with precision obedience skills. Of course, that is the beauty of it because we have fun training and I am learning a lot. I was thrilled with the good focus she had in the busy dog show environments where we competed. Engagement really helped both in and out of the ring especially because dogs shows were a new experience for both of us. 

I have found your advice on handling dogs in general to be extremely helpful. My dog was quite reactive as a youngster and your detailed advice about taking leadership has helped me learn how to handle her with confidence at dog shows, busy urban SAR practices or pretty much anywhere. 

Thanks again and have a good day!


New! Michael Ellis Protection Class
Just Opened May 23rd-27th, 2011

Protection Theory and Practice has opened up a new class for May 23rd, 2011 to May 27th, 2011. You will learn a variety of terms for all kinds of protection work and will be discussing techniques for creating a strong protection dog. This course is a must for anyone doing decoy/helper work, and is highly recommended for anyone interested in protection sports, aggression in dogs, or canine behavior. Read more details or register now!

Openings are limited! Register now!

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