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August 9, 2012
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Training the Recall with Michael Ellis Trailer

Training the Recall with Michael Ellis Trailer

Watch the first two minutes of Training the Recall with Michael Ellis. In this short video Michael will explain what will be covered in the DVD as well as what your training expectations should be. This DVD will be released soon.

August 9, 2012   |   1 Minute, 48 Seconds

Free Shipping on Pre-Orders -- Finishing Work: Reducing the Frequency of Rewards and the Use of Punishment with Michael Ellis DVD
Have or thinking about a new puppy?
Establishing Pack Structure with Your Puppy DVD -- NOW SHIPPING!
New Michael Ellis DVD
2 New Michael Ellis DVDs -- "Finishing Work" & "Training the Recall"

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 Ed went to California to spend a week filming these new training DVDs with Michael.
Ed Frawley, Michael Ellis and Ed Frawley

Our main project will be a DVD titled “Finishing Work: Reducing the Frequency of Rewards and the Use of Punishment.” This DVD will cover how to prepare your dog for a competition. People have asked, “What kind of competition?” The answer is every type of dog sport competition. This new DVD will teach people who train with markers (conditioned reinforcement) 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 punishments. We will explain when it is appropriate and when it is inappropriate to use punishment. 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.

The 2nd DVD that was filmed is titled “Training the Recall with Michael Ellis.” This DVD will break down step by step how to train your dog to successfully recall through any type of distraction. The recall is probably the most important skill for any dog and through the techniques taught in this DVD any one can learn how to train it and be successful.

Both DVDs are currently in the editing stage of production. Check our newsletters for trailers of each DVD in the coming weeks.

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

Leerburg Q&A
Ask your training question

Question: We have a 4 month old puppy that displays uncontrollable aggression to other dogs. We socialize him at pet stores, horse shows and with kids at every opportunity. Im concerned because hes going to outweigh me when hes mature and he has already lunged at my friends dog and his teeth nicked me in the thigh when I got in the way.

Hi Cindy,

We have a 4 month old Caucasian Shepherd puppy and he displays uncontrollable dog aggression to unfamiliar dogs. I have read that this breed of dog is very independent and does not have the best recall. Having owned a protection trained Malinois and a German Shepherd, I am amazed at how intense this puppy can be.

He lives with an 8 year old male German Shepherd and a 10 year old female border collie. They all get along although his "puppy play" can be rough. We socialize him at horse shows, pet stores, and with children with every possible opportunity.

My concern is when he is a 150 - 180 pounds and outweighs me and my teenage children. He got into with my friend's Puggle (the Puggle lunged at him) and I happened to be in the crossfire and got teeth-nicked on my thigh.

We have been committed from the beginning on working him knowing that consistency and training is key for his proper development; however, I realize an average dog trainer will not cut it.  Do you have any recommendations for dog trainers specializing in protection/large dogs in our area?

Cindy's Response:

You can read this to get our definition of socializing.  You may see that what you believe is socialization may actually be causing more problems in the long run. We want our puppies to be comfortable but indifferent to people, places, animals...this is all done through keeping the puppy engaged and focused on us and protecting them from potentially scary situations or experiences.

I don't have any recommendations for trainers as we don't have knowledge of the facilities and skill of the trainers in your town.  We usually recommend doing the preliminary training yourself anyway, even if you eventually branch out to working with a local trainer or group.

I'd recommend:

Establishing Pack Structure with Your Puppy DVD
The Power of Training Dogs with Markers DVD
The Power of Training Dogs with Food DVD

I'd be working on engagement with this puppy, so he learns that other dogs in the environment only mean good things come from you.  At 4 months old, it's important to set him up for success through positive don't want to correct him or make him worried.

I recommend this 3 part video series on fear periods in dogs, it explains how to condition the dog to things that make it nervous.

We also have a number of eBooks, which include topics that may help you.

Cindy Rhodes


Thank you for guiding us in a good direction.

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

We get a number of Q&As every week, if you would like to read this weeks'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 Bob-a-Lot

I have a two month old very smart king shepherd. Nothing holds her attention for more than a few minutes and I have bought every treat toy I can find. The Bob-a-Lot has finally done the trick. I love the fact that I can control how easy or hard it is to get the treats. I have not been able to find a treat toy that gives me this option that doesn't cost a small fortune. It is extremely well made and I have no doubt that it will last longer than her other toys!

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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