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Leerburg.com June 9, 2011
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Questions and Answers for Michael Ellis

Questions and Answers for Michael Ellis

In this Q&A session Michael discusses training problems with the jumps.

June 9, 2011 | 3 Minutes, 19 Seconds

NEW DVDs Coming Soon!

Training Protection Skills without a Decoy with Michael Ellis (225-D)

Puppy Bite Work Development with Michael Ellis (222-D)

These 2 new Ellis DVDs are the next DVD releases from Leerburg.com. We anticipate the editing portion of the Protection Skills DVD to be done the end of next week, June 17th. If you would like to be notified of the release of these DVDs, please send an email to book@leerburg.com. We will then add your name and email address to our DVD notification list.

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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Thin Puppy Tug

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This Week's Leerburg
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Wander Carrier

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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: We have 4 dogs and 2 of them have become aggressive. They are attacking each other. Our vet suggested adding chamomile tea to their drinking water but that it would take a while to have an effect.  I really need help!

Hi. My family is having a problem with two of our dogs being aggressive.

My mother and father have four dogs in total. One is a female we've rescued from a shelter. We have an older male dog who is very gentle, then we have two younger males (they're about two years old).

Recently the two younger males have become very aggressive. They've attacked the older male dog about three times, nothing too serious but it was enough that we took Drake (the older one) to my sister's for a little while so he could heal without being stressed with the other two.

They've also attacked my two female dogs, one of which is from the same litter.

We don't know what to do. When I took Drake to the vet, he suggested getting chamomile tea and putting it in the drinking water because it's a sedative but he said not to expect immediate results.

I really need help. We love these dogs so much and I can't bear to think about putting them down but we just don't know what to do anymore.

Thanks for your time.


Cindy's Response:

Instead of trying to sedate the dogs with tea, I’d recommend taking control of them and how they are allowed to behave in the house. I certainly don’t have any issue with certain supplementation but training & leadership are the keys to changing a dog’s behavior.

This problem is going to require a change in the way you live with the dogs and how you manage their free time. It may also be that they are going to need to be kept separate (if not permanently, then for the short term while you iron out the training).

Loving dogs isn’t enough, you need to offer them leadership. This is going to be a lot of work with this number of dogs. Start with our groundwork program and Pack Structure for the Family Pet.

You need separate crates or kennels, and time to devote to training each dog EVERY DAY. This is not optional.  Without training you won’t change anything.

I’d also recommend dominant dog collars and the video Dealing with Dominant & Aggressive Dogs.

If you spend some time reading this section on dog fights, you’ll see that your problems are very common. I’ve received 6 or 7 emails just today from dog owners with very similar problems. If you don’t teach the dogs your rules, they can’t possibly behave how you want them to.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes

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


Question: My dog was running around and plowed broadside into an old, arthritic dog.  The old dog was euthanized and I am very upset. I saw the dogs with their heads together earlier, could it be that the dogs were communicating about my dog helping the old one out of her misery? Is there such a thing as assisted suicide in dogs?

Ed and Cindy,
Having just read your Dumb & Dumber Q&As I can see that you are not particularly tolerant of stupid questions, but I hope you will treat this seriously since it was a very upsetting event.
I have a 5 year old Amer. Staffordshire Terrier (almost 80 pounds) that is very loving and gentle and we were spending a weekend at my daughter's in-laws cabin where several families and their dogs were present. In addition to my dog there were two Maltese and a Black Lab. All of them get along fine and there were no problems. During the second day of our stay my dog started racing back and forth in the yard at top speed and plowed broadside into the 12 1/2 year old, arthritic, tumor-ridden Black Lab. The dog yelped and  came into the cabin where she lay down and refused any food or water. The next day she would drink a little water, but wouldn't go outside without coaxing and assistance and still refused any food. It was the holiday weekend and no vets were available near where we were staying, but the Lab's owner was finally able to contact her vet back in town who said it was unlikely that the Lab had sustained internal injuries and to just keep an eye on her.
The day after we all came back to town I called the owner to see if their dog was any better but she was not, and they had decided it was best to have her put to sleep since even before the incident she was not in very good health and after being hit she had messed and peed in her bed, apparently not being able to get to the door to ask to go out. It was devastating to me that my dog was responsible for the injury to the Lab and I felt even worse when I learned she was to be put to sleep.
Now the question which may end up with this going into your Dumb & Dumber category - Could there have been any intention involved in my dog running into theirs? I saw the two dogs with their heads together earlier. Do they communicate intelligently enough that the Lab may have been saying "Help me out of my misery?" Is there such a thing as "assisted suicide" among dogs? I noticed that the Lab did not make any attempt to move out of the way when my dog was running.
Please let me know if you have ever encountered any dog behavior that might explain what was going on. Or possibly it was just a stupid dog accident. Maybe I'm just grasping at straws, hoping to find some answer to help me feel not so responsible for the loss of their dog.
Thanks so much.

Cindy's Response:

It could have been an accident or it could have been a sort of dominant/aggressive behavior.  Some dogs slam into others as a dominant behavior. Without seeing what happened, it’s impossible for me to guess.

The intention for your dog could have been “you’re weak and I’m genetically programmed to dominate weaker individuals.”  Some dogs use their mouths to do this, some body slam. Dogs are very intelligent, but they don’t put together concepts the way you are suggesting.

Cindy Rhodes

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


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

I recently purchased a dominant dog collar and a service dog in training vest. My dog is a large (100 pounds) 18 month old male GSD and some what dominant. The dominant dog collar did just what it was advertised to do. I am simply amazed at how fast he came around when I used the collar. No more pulling. Being disabled, it was hard for me to keep him from not pulling before but now he looks like he has been at my side for years. The service dog in training vest I bought is a great fit and he looks really handsome with it on. That vest has also stopped a lot of the questions and doubt about the dog when I would take him into a business. Now people just kinda look and pretty much ignore the dog except to compliment him. Thank you. I am impressed.

Feel free to use this as a testimonial,

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