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July 16, 2012
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Puppy Swimming Lessons Video

Puppy Swimming Lessons

A 7 week old litter of puppies have their first experience with the swimming pool. This is the beginning of conditioning the puppies to the pool and swimming.

July 16, 2012   |   2 Minutes, 44 Seconds

Pre-order now and get free shipping on Establishing Pack Structure with Your Puppy DVD
New Michael Ellis DVD
New Michael Ellis DVD

This past spring we had planned on producing two new DVDs with Michael Ellis. Due to unforeseen circumstances (basically me getting two total knee replacements that took longer to heal than anticipated), we had to reschedule. At the end of July, Jeff and I will be flying to California to spend a week filming these new training DVDs with Michael.

Michael Ellis

Our main project will be a DVD titled “Preparing your Dog for a Competition.” When I first explain this to friends they always ask, “What kind of competition?” The answer is every type of dog sport competition. This new DVD will teach people who train with markers (operant conditioning) how to wean their dog off food rewards and/or toy rewards in preparation for taking their dog into any dog sport competition. This is an extremely important skill to learn because to do it correctly and still maintain motivation and drive is an art form.

The DVD is also going to teach trainers how to introduce their dog to aversives (corrections). We will explain when it is appropriate and when it is inappropriate to use aversives. We will also explain how to approach this work based on the temperament and the drive of individual dogs. Internal dogs are trained differently than external dogs; hard dogs are trained differently than soft dogs. Trainers must learn how to tailor their training program according to the temperament, the genetics, and the drive levels of their dog.

Our training is directed to those who use a positive training system, or in other words, those who use a foundation of markers or clickers in their work.

If you would like to be notified when this DVD is ready to ship, send us an email at

Leerburg Q&A

Question: My 11 month old dog is having issues with house training. I got a bell and hung it by the door and I ring it every time I take her out. She still doesn't ask to go out and she pees on the floor. What have I done wrong?

Hi Cindy!

Hope you can help me! I got my Cane Corso at 9 weeks. She is now 11 months. My routine with her has always been consistent. It has never changed. From the very moment I brought her home I have crate trained her.

She has no unattended freedom around the house ever. I hung a bell from the door and ring it while she is in a sit position and I say outside and I take her out on a leash to the designated pee and poop spot! I wait for her to go and when she does, I praise her then walk her back in the house on the leash. We then go for 1hr to 1 1/2 hour long walk. When we get back, I take her right to the door, ring the bell while she is in a sit, I say outside and take her out still on a leash to the pee spot and wait for her to go. When she's all done, I praise her and bring her in and she sits and waits for her food. In the afternoon, same routine. I've never changed it. After the afternoon routine I have to cook dinner. I tie her to the kitchen table leg with her toys that's right by the door with the bell and directly in my eyesight. I start cooking and watching her.

Here is the problem ....Instead of ringing the bell to let me know she needs to go back out to pee...out of nowhere, with no warning she just squats and pees. Well, I stepped up her training and trained her to nudge the bell with her nose when I say outside. Now she rings the bell in a sit position instead of me doing it and I take her out. However, unless I'm standing at the door with the leash in my hand she still wont ring the bell, or even sit at the door to make me AWARE she needs out. She just squats and pees with no warning and out of nowhere. When this happens, I just take her to the door, ring the bell and say outside and rush her to the pee spot. I am confused that she is 11 months old with a solid routine and having housebreaking accidents like this still. Have I done something wrong?

Please help.
Thank you in advance for any advice.


Hi there,

Some dogs never learn to ask to go out (with a bell or otherwise) It's really an individual thing that varies from dog to dog.

I don't believe she's making the connection with the bell and relieving herself. Personally, I don't use a bell for the dog to signal me. I ask them if they need to go outside, then take them out and praise them for going ...I'm not sure what has happened with your dog's training but I think there is some missing component of understanding between the bell and the actual act of peeing.

I'd back up to the beginning, use a crate and keep her leashed to you at all times. There's no easy or fast fix....its' just repetitions of success that gets the point across. You might want to consider adding an extra incentive for good behavior? A food reward?

Just throwing ideas out there.

Cindy Rhodes


Cindy, thank you so very much! I truly appreciate your advice and suggestions! I think I'll drop the bell training and add the food reward. If she has not made the connection since I started the bell training at 9 weeks and she is 11 months now, I need to change things. I will also keep her leashed to me.

Thanks again

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

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 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 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 If you have your spam filter on, make sure you set it to receive our replies!!!

Customer Comments

on Leerburg's Stainless Steel Dog Pails

Having gone through countless bowls and buckets made of the various materials that are out there for my Talu, these pails are the only thing that he has not been able to destroy in a matter of minutes. I have only had it for about 4 months but it was the best investment I have made for him in quite a while. I am ordering more for the rest of my kennel but I wanted to test it with him. I also use the S carabineer to attach it to the kennel. While he is occasionally able to get it detached by popping the carabineer open, the snap easily goes back into place and it continues to hold up.

The Michael Ellis School for Dog Trainers

In the fall of 2012, Michael Ellis will be moving his school for dog trainers to Santa Rosa, CA. The new location is much larger than his current location and will allow Michael to add additional classes and courses to the curriculum. In early 2013, Michael is planning to add a course for military veterans. This course will be specifically tailored to veterans who are getting out of the military.

Read more for additional information and dates.

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