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Staying Cool by the Pool

Staying Cool by the Pool


Original Pet Cot

Original Pet Cot

Basic Dog Obedience Online CourseLeerburg's Relationship Games Online CourseTeaching Engagement Skills Online Course
Leerburg Online University

Student Comment on the Teaching Engagement Skills

The course met its Aims and Objectives in my view; I would not change what is a comprehensive and concise explanation of what the course is all about: developing engagement and understanding the process of being able to achieve this goal.

A lot of thought and development has been put into the course content, from the very beginning at the introduction and explanation of understanding of terminology used throughout the course content, to seeing the results that are achievable by better understanding and developing the skills explained. Putting into practice the learnt skills and seeing the rewards that it brings to the relationship between oneself and the dog.

A must introduction course for all owners / handlers new and old, well done.

Read more student comments on Leerburg Online University

Leerburg Q&A
Ask your training question

Question: I take my dogs to a place for grooming that offers "dog socialization." My older dog loves this but I am not comfortable allowing my puppy to interact with these other dogs. The owner of the facility says I am sheltering my puppy & I need to relax and allow things to happen. He said if she's if she's attacked (which is rare) then I should work from there. What are your thoughts?

I adopted a puppy at ten weeks, she is now about 4 1/2 month old Aussie mix, smart, driven, and loving. I've worked hard with her on basic training and socialization letting her interact only with dogs that are proven puppy friendly. Here's my dilemma. We take our older lab mastiff mix to get groomed at a place where they offer dog "socialization" (dogs pre screened and vetted). Elvis thrives in these types of places. I am much more cautious with my puppy, because she is a puppy. Today the owner basically told me to "relax and let it happen" when addressing my concerns. He said that I need to sit back, observe and let her go (with supervision). He said be cautious but that I'm too cautious and that I can't keep her sheltered within my fear of how other dogs will react. IF she gets attacked , which is rare he says, then work from there. The moral of his story, is be aware but trust the dogs and let her play and take care of herself (again with supervision). Confused. Thoughts? Thanks.

Cindy's Response:

I completely disagree with the owner that told you this. Attacks are not rare, based on the number of emails I get from puppy owners who were told "adult dogs don't attack puppies" or "my dog is friendly." No one can predict the dynamics between dogs 100%. I prefer not to gamble with my own pup's self esteem. 

I would read this article, Socializing Puppies: How to Socialize Your New Puppy.

Personally, I want my dogs to all be comfortable around dogs but not necessarily to look at any dog they see as a playmate. I would NEVER allow my dogs or puppies to participate in one of these socialization groups. It only takes one mistake. Once puppies are attacked they are often forever dog aggressive, regardless of what you have been told.

There is a difference between sheltering a dog and being an informed dog trainer. What I do use opportunities like this for are working on my engagement skills. The foundation of engagement is covered in The Power of Training Dogs with Food.

You can search our website on 'engagement' for examples of this.

I hope this gives you some ideas.
Cindy Rhodes

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

We get a number of Q&As every week, if you would like to read this week's Q&As, click here and check out the 'Recent Questions' section!

Have a question for Ed & Cindy? Try the Leerburg Q&A Search. If you can't find the answer to your question by using our search engine, you can email Cindy here at Leerburg at If you have your spam filter on, make sure you set it to receive our replies!!!

Customer Comments
On Leerburg's Leash Skills with Michael Ellis
  As a teacher, I know that every little step in a complicated action must be taught. But all I ever learned about using a leash was that "when the dog hits the end of the leash, he'll self-correct." Who knew there was a thing called leash pressure and that, if learned, you wouldn't spend the entire walk being pulled this way and that by dogs who have no clue what leash pressure means!

This was a really informative DVD about an issue that most of us take for granted (at least I did). I learned what leash pressure is, how to teach it, when to teach it and, once taught, what kind of situations to use it in. Well explained and put together!

Now I'll have fun retraining my seven year old rescue what a leash is and what it means when pressure is applied. I can feel less stressful walks just ahead in our future! Thanks to Michael and Ed for making such great DVDs. I have learned so much!
The Michael Ellis School for Dog Trainers
2014 Schedule Now Available!

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