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August 13, 2012
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15" Tubular Nylon Tug 12" Leather No Handle Tug 1-Handled Synthetic Mini Tug
15 inch Tubular Nylon Tug

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Super Dog Video

Super Dog

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 here

Question: Can you tell me how you set up your training sessions?


Can you tell me how you set up your training sessions? For example, do you work on only one exercise at a time? Do you go over learned behaviors and then teach new behaviors? As a trainer, I do the familiar exercises, then the new stuff, then go back to an exercise the dog does really well, so we can end on a positive note.

How do you set up your sessions? How long do they run? How many minutes do your sessions run? How frequently? 7 days a week? 5? 3?

Thank you for your input.


It is really not possible for me to give you an answer to this, because there is no cookie cutter plan for training. The variables are too many and as a trainer, part of being a good one means going with the flow during each session based on what happens and the dog's state of motivation and focus. That may be incredibly different from one day to the next and from one dog to the next. Training my Malinois is very different from training my Border Terrier, so I have to go with whatever the dogs show me they are ready for each and every time we start training. I often do impromptu sessions, based on what the dogs are showing me...If I'm out on a walk and my Border wants to be engaged with me, I go with it. If my Malinois does that, I ignore it because he could easily become obsessive. He wants to train every minute of the day.

Some dogs benefit from daily sessions, some become bored, etc...

If you look at our video on demand section, there is a free video in the Michael Ellis section about why we can't give you a timeline for your training. it's a common question without a concrete answer.


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

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 Food Delivery Device

I purchased the Food Delivery Device to use in scent training and found it excellent for building drive and rewarding, so much so I've ordered another one. Keep up the great range of products.

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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