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Leerburg.com May 26, 2011
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Our Video on Demand is Now a 3 Month Rental

Another Prong Collar Comes Off in Bite Work with Michael Ellis Video

Another Prong Collar Comes Off
in Bite Work with Michael Ellis

Anyone who has been around Leerburg for any period of time will know that we constantly preach the need for trainers who use a prong collar to also use a back-up dominant dog collar. Prong collars do come apart, as you will see in this video and they always come apart at a moment they are needed the most.

In this video, Michael Ellis is the decoy and is training a dog the correct escort position for Ring Sports. That position is for the dog to keep his head tucked just between the decoy's legs without sticking the head all the way through the legs.

May 26, 2011 | 5 Minutes, 28 Seconds

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Have a Question on Dog Training?

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Featured Question & Answers

Question: I have a 3 year old Sheltie that has an obedience CDX and am working towards a Utility Title and maybe an OTCH. Does your method of training help a breed of dog like mine achieve the type of results I have seen on your web site?

I just got home from a dog show where I saw the most awesome German Shorthair Pointer.  I asked him where he trained and he gave me your web site.  I have a 3 year old Sheltie that has an obedience CDX and am working towards a Utility Title and maybe an OTCH.  I hope this doesn't sound silly, but does your method of training help a breed of dog like mine achieve the type of results

I have seen on your web site? Obviously she does not need to learn bite work (or does she?). I believe we could benefit from your videos in a lot of areas. Could you please point me in the right direction.


Cindy's Response:

Your question isn’t silly at all!

The methods taught on our website (most specifically through the Michael Ellis DVDs) are for all breeds. My next dog will likely be a Papillon and I will take him/her through the same exact foundation that I have done with my Malinois that do bite work. I will teach all the tugging, but obviously won’t progress to a bite suit or sleeve on a helper.

Using tugging for a reward is great for motivation, so if you are interested in our system I’d recommend the following ( in the following order):

The Power of Training Dogs with Food
The Power of Playing Tug with your Dog
Focused Heeling with Michael Ellis
Training the Retrieve with Michael Ellis
Training the Jumps with Michael Ellis
Training the Send Away with Michael Ellis

Shelties are awesome dogs, I had one for 17 years. I wish I knew then what I know now! He was a great little obedience dog.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes

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


Question: I'm considering removing my dog's teeth so he doesn't have to always wear a muzzle. What would you advise?

I am in serious need of your advice, I emailed you a few days ago about the blisters on my dog's face due to his muzzle, the muzzle itself isn't causing the blisters, it's the fact that he rubs his face on everything from the couch to my legs. Any who, I am considering removing all his teeth as a last option, but before you judge this decision let me give you a little background on my dog. Like I said in previous email about the muzzle my step mom contacted you at the first of the year regarding a dog fight we had to break up, which in the process I got bit. I know you receive hundreds of emails so I don't expect you to remember this particular case but thanks to your advice we now know how to break up a dog fight without getting hurt.

My dog is a 3 year old male pit bull and better trained than any other dog I have met. I have had him since he was 9 weeks old, and he has just been awesome, however I failed him in the fact that I didn't get him  fixed until he was almost 2 years old, which I feel may be a reason for his aggression today. He is trained on hand commands and voice commands and loves other dogs and is especially loving towards humans. HOWEVER he has gotten in a couple serious fights and for that he is now muzzled when he is around other dogs. I have read all your articles and listened to your pod casts about aggressive and dominant dogs but he doesn't fit this criteria. He will not touch any food, dog or people, unless it comes from a human's hand and he is told it is ok, nor will he touch his food bowl unless he is told its ok. He sleeps in the bed with me sometimes, but he usually sleeps in his own bed. He doesn't beg. If you drop food on the floor, he doesn't charge. He is awesome! For the most part, he gets along with other dogs, but if they show any type of aggression towards him then he acts out towards them. Not always, but enough to have me put him in a muzzle forever anytime he is around other dogs. The last dog he got in a fight with was a female that has always been dominant over him  for the past 2 years they have lived together, and he has always been fine with it, except for this last time. They got in a fight over a toy and they were both seriously injured, along with myself. Now I keep him muzzled so there aren't anymore fights, but she has learned how to remove his muzzle.

I have fit him like you said too but it doesn't help. Anytime they are left together over 20 minutes in the back yard, they both end up at the door with their muzzles off, but no fights. However, I can't risk him hurting another dog. He has to be muzzled forever when he is around other dogs, not because he is that aggressive, or maybe he is, but because he never backs down when another dog shows aggression.

Somebody suggested that I get all of his teeth removed, so he doesn't have to wear a muzzle for the rest of his life. It is to the point that I almost have a panic attack when I take him  for a walk on the beach, because despite the leash law, which my dog is always on one and under control, you have irresponsible owners who let their dogs run without one and think its cute when their cocker spaniel or yorky comes running up on my dog barking at him and being aggressive. It is not cute! I told a lady one day that if she wanted to take her chihuahua home in one piece she needed to keep it on a leash.

PLEASE tell me what to do!!!

I will never trust him again around other dogs without the muzzle, he has been raised with other dogs his whole life, but if he gets in another fight and seriously injures another dog I'm afraid they will take him.

Cindy's Response:

Have you considered training the dog to follow your direction and leadership? A muzzle isn’t a preventative to aggression, it only prevents the dog from opening his mouth. Pulling a dog’s teeth is ABUSE. If you can’t train this dog then I would suggest find him a new home. I had to wait a few days before answering this because I got really angry to think anyone would suggest to you that removing a dog’s teeth is a viable option for lack of training.

I’d recommend controlling your dog with a leash AT ALL TIMES. Instead of stopping your education with learning how to break up a fight, learn how to interrupt your dog’s behavior before it gets to the point of a fight. Teach him that you aren’t going to put him in a position where he needs to fight. The fact that you didn’t neuter him right away has NOTHING to do with the problems you are having now. Testicles don’t make dogs out of control, lack of leadership and training do.

Don’t take this dog into environments where you can’t control things. You are setting him up to fail. All the dogs in your household need this training, not just him. Dogs that get into serious fights should not be allowed to interact with other dogs, period. 

Here are my suggestions. Start with our groundwork program and Pack Structure for the Family Pet.

Dealing with Dominant & Aggressive Dogs

Removing a dog’s teeth because you aren’t offering this dog what he needs and you don’t want to muzzle him IS NOT AN OPTION. Sorry for the harshness, but I’m an advocate for dogs and this really made me angry.

We live in a society that thinks you can fix everything quickly. Unfortunately this isn’t the case. Most of the emails I get from people say the vet recommends neutering and medication.  In many cases the dog has never been shown the proper leadership to begin with but hey…. let’s neuter the dog, put him on Prozac and pull his teeth. It makes me crazy!

You’ve let this escalate for years, it’s not going to be a quick fix. When you take a dog into your home, you owe it to them to give them what they need.

Cindy Rhodes

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


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

Because I stayed calm and used your method of breaking up a dog fight, I avoided being one of your gruesome photos on your Dog Bite site.

While I didn’t execute the break-up perfectly, I surely did things in a much safer manner! I have 2 Aussies that are siblings. I feed the female (the aggressor) in the kitchen and the male in the living room, mostly so the female doesn’t go after the male’s food. He normally submits to her.

Well, I’ve started using the Honest Kitchen raw dog food and they both really love it! This time when the female tried to raid the males bowl, the male said no way and their first real fight ensued. I have to say, my first instinct was to reach for a collar, but then I stopped, collected myself and went and got 2 belts. I slipped one belt around the female’s back hip area and basically dragged them both over to a door. I secured the belt to the door handle. I then put the 2nd belt around the male and pulled him up off his feet and he let go. There was some blood but nothing too bad. 

I work in the aviation safety business and a rule of thumb is, in an emergency, your brain will take you back to the last training you had. This was the case for me. So please remind all your readers to LISTEN TO THE SAFETY BRIEFING and look for your exits when you get on board an aircraft. You’ll be the one that knows how to get out!

Best Regards,

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