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Leerburg.com June 6, 2011
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Our Video on Demand is Now a 3 Month Rental

When to Use a Tug Vs a Ball Reward in Your Dog Training

When to Use a Tug vs. a Ball Reward
in Your Dog Training

Many new trainers can get confused on when they should be using a ball as a reward item or a tug as a reward item. In this short video, Michael Ellis outlines what the criteria are for using a tug and a ball reward.

June 6, 2011 | 2 Minutes, 49 Seconds

NEW Q&A Section!

Check out our new Dog Training Question & Answer portion of Leerburg.com

Over the past month and a half, we have consolidated 2,500+ Q&As into the new system. Check out the search function out for specific answers to your questions.


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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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Bark Limiter - No Bark Collar

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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 recently stumbled upon your website, I see that you are always on the look out for pictures of bites, so here u go.

Well on 03/03/10 @ about 4:30 my son (7 years old) was playing outside with his friend like he always does. A neighbor let her dog outside while she checked the mail. Well my sons friend (7 year old boy) barked at the dog but then the dog came running and growling after them so the boys were scared and made a run for it but the dog was faster and jumped up and bite my son on his back. The lady heard him screaming so she turned and quickly got her dog and put him away, her dog is a Shepard/lab mix 2 1/2 year old by the way. The owner also said that he has never done this before and he always plays with kids and she didn't know what happened, she kind of blamed it on the other kid for barking... I blame it on her because where I live there is a leash law and she clearly didn't follow it... Luckily the bite was not too deep but it did get a little infected and we had to put him on stronger antibiotics,  but my son is a little messed up over it mentally.

My question is; Is it normal behavior for a so called friendly dog to do this? To me this is not normal and the dog should have never done this but I'm not an expert...

Thank you,

See the photos.

Ed's Response:

I wrote an article on my website about preventing dog bits in children. While it doesn’t deal with this exact issue, every dog owner who has a dog around children may want to read it.

In your case there is a degree of responsibility that you need to accept with supervising your children and his friends. While I was not there, taunting a dog is not a smart thing to do. Your son paid the price for his friend's misbehavior.

So should this dog have done this? NO. Should the other boy have taunted the dog? NO.

In addition, turning and running probably triggered this dog to chase and bite. The odds are had the kids stood their ground and faced the dog he would have run up and barked. The owner would have heard this and come and got her dog under control. That may have been difficult for kids to do but had anyone ever told them how to deal with a dog they would have known to stand still with their hands crossed in front and tucked under their arms. If they get knocked down, they should lay on their stomach and cover their head with their arms and not scream.

The bottom line is almost all dog bites are preventable. In this case your son was lucky it was not worse. This neighbor should never have this dog off leash. Not ever and not for any reason.

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: My dog's breath smells like rotting meat, do you know what could be causing this?

We have a 1 1/2 year old beagle and his breath just starting smelling really bad like rotting meat.  He is on an all raw meat diet, do you know what may be causing this smell?


Cindy's Response:

It can be a general health issue, or a cracked/infected tooth, an injury inside the mouth, etc. Check all his teeth to make sure he doesn't have something (like a stick or other foreign object) wedged between his back teeth. I'd recommend a visit to the vet.



Thank you for your response.  We took him to the vet and he has tonsillitis.

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


Question: My dog is crate aggressive but only to my new puppy, do you have any suggestions?

Hello Leerburg Staff. My question is about what seems to be crate aggression. I have read many articles on your site and now I am trying to find one about crate aggression but have been unlucky. I can't be the first person with this issue, maybe I am looking under the wrong article headings. Anyway, I have bought a GS puppy and have not let the puppy interact physically with my other dogs, just through the crates. My 4 year old Lab tries to attack the puppy when she is in the crate if he goes up to her in it. It's odd. Our 6 year old Maltese can go in the crate with her as well as our cats but this puppy can't even go up to it while she is in there. The lab is very attached to her crate. She prefers to be in there vs being out and she has always been like that since we adopted her at 1 year of age. She is a very laid back dog. In fact I think she is too submissive and is possibly nervous. Maybe that is the issue? She wants nothing to do with him while he is in his crate. She won't go up to it, at all. So, I  won't know when she has accepted him or not into the pack. Right now if she is attacking him (or trying to) through the crate I assume she hasn't accepted him. Could it be just a crate issue and she would be fine outside of it? How on earth can you correct her while she is in the crate? She has been around other puppies and did fine, she had the occasional correction when the puppy played a little rough with her but nothing I thought was overly aggressive.  I do not want a dog fight and I do not want my puppy to have any issues or develop any issues. I am trying to be proactive about this. I want this puppy to become a "working dog" so I have to be very careful not to "mess him up." Also, I do not want to develop any nervous feelings either as I'm sure the dogs will pick up on it and then it will become worse. Any suggestions or advice?

Thank you for your time.


Cindy's Response:

Don’t let the puppy go up to her crate, that’s her safe zone. By allowing that, you are adding to her insecurity. She’s cornered in her crate and being harassed by a puppy she doesn’t care for. If you continue to allow this, she will actually become more aggressive to the puppy. If you correct a nervous and submissive dog for aggression in the crate, you can actually make her more nervous and worried. Control the puppy and avoid this whole scenario. 99% of smart dog handling is managing the environment.

Your puppy should not be allowed the option of going up to other dog’s crates (or anywhere else). If your puppy isn’t in his crate or exercise pen, he should be on a leash with you. I’d read the article Ed wrote on The Groundwork to Becoming your Puppy’s Pack Leader. You can read this to get our definition of socializing.

I’d also recommend Your Puppy 8 weeks to 8 Months and Raising a Working Puppy.

If you want to train your pup as a working dog, I’d highly recommend the Michael Ellis series of videos. There isn’t a better way to train a dog, for any endeavor.

I’d also read the article Ed wrote on introducing dogs.

Cindy Rhodes

For more information on this topic, see our Q&A on Adding a New Dog and Dog Aggression.


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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