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July 29, 2013
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Training Sit, Down and Stand with Michael Ellis

Training Sit, Down and Stand with Michael Ellis

This video shows Cindy teaching her 12 month old puppy the sit down and stand with different reward systems - both food and the tug. Michael Ellis offers advice on ways to improve Rush's performance. This video was filmed at one of Leerburg's Michael Ellis seminars.

July 29, 2013   |   4 Minutes, 37 Seconds

Leerburg Q&A
Ask your training question here

Question: My question is about your food based reward system. Do your dogs ever behave like normal dogs or are they always staring at you? I'd like a dog that understands to be attentive when it's time to work but isn't staring at me 24/7.

Hi Cindy,

I'm getting an 8 week old Malinois in about a month (just purchased your Ex-Pen the other day). It will be my first working/protection dog. Although I don't possess near the training experience you have, I've trained 2 Chesapeake Bay Retrievers to Master Hunter in NAHRA as well as 2 German Shorthair Pointers that ran in field trials. These were (and 2 still are) my own personal dogs. I realize some aspects of this training are different from the breeds I've worked with, but I'm looking forward to the challenge. My question is about your food based reward training system. After watching a number of videos on this method, I have one concern on which I was hoping you might offer an opinion. It seems like many of these dogs develop what looks like an almost manic intent on watching their owner. What I wonder is, when you are walking through your house, or across your front yard to the mailbox, and your dog is walking with you, are they always and forever staring up at you, or do they relax when not being worked and behave like what we might consider a normal dog? I do understand that this breed is naturally intense and filled with energy and drive. It looks awesome on a video, but then I start to wonder... does that dog walk around the house like that? Try not to laugh too hard at me, but it seems like some of these dogs I see in videos would constantly be running into walls/chairs/trees for their lack of ever watching where they are going. I guess I'm wanting to know is if there is some middle ground in this type of training where your dog is attentive to you when it's time to "work," but isn't staring at you 24/7 wanting a treat?

Thank you so much

Cindy's Response:

If you teach your dogs a communication system as outlined in the Michael Ellis videos, they understand when it's time to train and when it's time to just be a dog.  Here's a short clip of a question from another customer about this.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes

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

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!!!

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