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Leerburg's Weekly Newsletter
August 19, 2010

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Special! | DVD | Q&As | Testimonial | Affiliate Program | Clearance | 2010 Catalog | Leerburg  

Michael Ellis on Dominance in Dogs

Michael Ellis on Dominance in Dogs

This short video was filmed in Michael Ellis' Puppy Development Class at his school for dog trainers in California. In it Michael talks about some of the myths of dominant dogs and how many times people think their dog is dominant when in fact it is far from it.


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Webboard Auctions!

Brand New!

Reinforced Jute Leg Sleeve with Velcro Ladder Closing

Reinforced Jute Leg Sleeve
with Velcro Ladder Closure

Brand New!

Collabsible Blind

8 ft Telescoping Blind

Brand New!


Metal Ex-Pen with Door

Brand New!

Schutzhund Dumbbells

Set of Handmade Wooden Dumbbells

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Training the Retrieve with Michael Ellis

3 Hours | $65.00

Training the Retrieve with Michael Ellis

3 Hours Long

This DVD is 3 hours long. You can read the chapter headings below. It is by far the most comprehensive step-by-step training DVD on teaching a dog to retrieve that we have ever seen. It will replace both of our previous retrieval training DVDs.

If you are a student of marker training or interested in marker training you will love Michael Ellis’ approach to this work. Because the system is founded in markers there is a minimal amount of force used in our training. It is our belief that a dog should not be force trained to retrieve.

We recommend the viewer have an understanding of marker training before beginning this work. This is all covered in the earlier DVDs we have done with Michael Ellis.

Chapters in this DVD

  • Michael Ellis' Opening Lecture on the Steps of Training the Retrieve
  • Pattern Retrieving Games
  • Step One - Holding the Dog's Muzzle
  • Students Learning the Hold
  • Retraining Older Dogs to Hold
  • Review of Training Steps Before Pickup Training
  • Trouble Shooting the Hold 
  • When to use a Tug Reward 
  • When to Switch the Retrieve Object to a Dumbbell
  • Training the Pickup 
  • Introducing the Dog to the Tossed Dumbbell
  • When to Mark the Pickup 
  • Proofing the Exercise 
  • Free Shaping
  • Advance Training - Introducing New Retrieve Objects
  • Two lectures on Michael Reviewing the Retrieve 

Leerburg Super Sale!
Prices valid until Sunday, August 22nd, 2010 at 11:59 pm central time.

Tug-a-Jug Sale


tug a jug

NOW $10.00 & 15.00

Originally $13.50 & 20.50
SAVE $3.50-5.50


Bully Sticks Sale

Bully Sticks

Bully Sticks
Bully Sticks
Bart's Favorite!
Bully Sticks

NOW $2.90 & 6.00

Originally $3.90 & 7.00
SAVE $1.00 each


NEW! Jolly Egg Toys
Jolly Egg Jolly Egg
Jolly Egg
Behr & Endy's Favorite!
Jolly Egg Toys

NEW $12.99 & 18.99


Handmade Leather
2-Handle Leash Sale

2 Handle Leather Leash 2 Handle Leather Leash
Handmade Leather
2-Handle Leash

NOW $24.00

Originally $34.00
SAVE $10.00

Have a Question on Dog Training?

Have you checked the Leerburg Discussion Board? It is one of the most active dog web boards on the internet. The Leerburg Web Board has over 16,000 Members with over 165 forums and 269,000 posts in its archives. The web board also has an excellent search engine that only searches the web board's 212,000 posts.


Featured Question & Answers

Our newsletter will always contain several featured customer Q&As from that week.
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 leerburg.com 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 cindyr@leerburg.com. If you have your spam filter on, make sure you set it to receive our replies!!!

Question: My dog is oblivious to my kids, he only wants to be in my face all the time. How do I make him acknowledge my kids?


My dog isn't aggressive to my children, he's oblivious! I have a rescue dog that is constantly focused on me, eyes following my face 24-7. He lunges toward my chin to nuzzle it whenever I'm doing anything less than standing or sitting at full military attention. I cannot bend down even the slightest bit for any reason without this dog jumping at my chin. He insists on having his nose within less than an inch of mine whenever possible, for as long as he can. If I push him or his nose out of the way (kinda hard to see the world when his nose is literally IN my eye) he just pushes back harder to get back into position. He seems oblivious to anything other than the location of my face, does not see that I am trying to pick something up, trying to fold laundry, trying to lay his food bowl down so he can eat (who needs food when I can be in Mom's face? seems to be his thought process) or anything else. He continuously steps on or shoves aside anything in his way to my face.
The problem is that what is in his way is often my two young children, an infant and a toddler. He never looks at them, never seems to notice that he stepped on something that makes noise afterwards (loud crying, he doesn't seem to even hear it), never seems to consider anything other than me as even existing. The child I am holding this time is as easily shoved aside as the laundry I was holding last time (5 minutes ago). I have tried to force him to notice/acknowledge the children when he has run them over, stepped on them, shoved them aside, etc, but he never even looks at them no matter what. They simply don't seem to exist as long as I am around.
I have had the oldest boy try to walk the dog, but he outweighs the oldest boy by 2x and is not leash trained very well. He just dragged the child where ever I went, and squashed the child trying to meld himself into my leg. He won't acknowledge his favorite treat in my boy's little hand held directly under his nose. Having either boy stand in-between the dog and I to pet him only gets the boy shoved aside and stepped on as he lunges for my chin. He will sometimes acknowledge a stick thrown in the backyard or will run around my son for about 30 seconds (yes, I really timed it) if he has forgotten that I am at the house watching. This is rare, and never happens once the dog sees me. Even then, he seems to be more interested in the stick or ball and still does not see the child that threw it for him.
I cannot have a 50Lb+ dog stepping on an infant or bowling over a toddler every time I show my face. I want to show this dog that he has a home here, that he's loved and welcome, but I cannot spend hours petting him and ignoring the rest of the family. He is NOT more important then them. If he were aggressive, that would be one thing, but he's not, he's just oblivious! How do I widen his focus? How do I show this dog that there are other family members, that these family members are important to me? How do I fix this?
Please, any advise will be welcome!


I would first refer you to our section on preventing dog bites in children. If your dog is indifferent to the kids, then I would encourage that to continue.  Some dogs show aggression and some choose to ignore, and by trying to force the issue you may cause a really big problem.

I would also recommend you stop trying to have your child interact with the dog in the manner you described below. It’s impossible for a small child to be a leader to a large dog and you are putting the child at risk by trying to force the interaction. Instead, I would put some firm rules in place for your dog: to stop the clingy behavior with you and become a more balanced dog. I would put your focus on that, and control the dog’s movements and environment. This means a crate or on leash at all times. I don’t allow dogs to be “in my face” or move freely around my home unless they follow ALL my rules and it sounds like this dog is a very needy and pushy. You don’t mention how long you’ve had the dog, but you should start over as if he’s just been brought into your home for the first time.

Start with our groundwork program. I’d also recommend Pack Structure for the Family Pet.

Control the kids, keep them out of the dog’s space and control the dog at all times and teach him some rules and boundaries. Dogs only behave in a way that is reinforcing to them, so if you allow him to follow you around and push into your space then that’s what he’ll do. Dogs don’t know how we want them to behave, we have to show them. This may be a dog that never really wants to socialize with others, and that’s ok. They are all different, just as people are. Pack structure is the key to showing him that you are in charge of how he acts in and around the home.

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

For future questions, you might benefit from learning to use our SEARCH function, which is located in the top left corner of every page of the website. If you type in your key words or question it will find you articles, Q&As, free streaming video and links to threads on our discussion forum. Our website has over 16,000 pages and it’s very likely you’ll find the information you are looking for. I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes

For more questions on this topic, see our article on Dog Bites and Kids.


Question: I want to train my dog to the whistle, would the marker DVD be helpful?


I want to get the DVD on marker training, but I want to train my dog to the whistle. Would this DVD be helpful or have you got anything which you would recommend?



In my opinion, marker training is the foundation for ALL training. I would recommend The Power of Training Dogs with Markers and The Power of Training Dogs with Food.

You first teach the dog to come for food when he hears the whistle and using markers makes this process quite quick.

There are a few of our free videos that show whistle recalls being used with markers.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes

For more information on this topic, see our Q&A on Marker Training.

*If you have a training question – write Cindy here at Leerburg at cindyr@leerburg.com
*If you have your spam filter on, make sure you set it to receive our replies!!!
*Our newsletter is a big success and we would like to send out a huge THANKS to our wonderful customers! Since beginning this newsletter our volume of email has greatly increased and you may have a longer than usual wait for a reply to your question. We will answer; it just may take us a bit longer than you are accustomed to. In order to speed up this process, please condense your questions to a paragraph or two. This will make it MUCH easier for us to answer in a timely fashion. Your questions are important to us and we always appreciate receiving them. If you have a medical issue or emergency, please consult with a health care professional right away. We can’t diagnose or treat sick dogs via email. Also, try using the search function on our site - it now searches the site AND the web board. Thank you. Ed & Cindy

A Recent Leerburg Testimonial
See Previous Testimonials

I really want to thank everyone at Leerburg. I get complements on my pup and my handler skills at the club, which are due to all the products and info I have gotten from Leerburg, including reassurance from Cindy when I was at my wits end with my high drive pup. I have read nearly all the free articles and have 8 DVDs...The first time I worked OB at the club, the Asst. Training Director asked you learned all that from reading and watching videos? So thank you Ed and Cindy and all the support staff for all you do... Much of it for free!!



Thank you for always being the reliable place I go to get anything I need for my dog training business! I love the reviews so I don't have to waste my money trying out everything and then not liking it. I have always agreed with yours!



Dear Cindy & Ed,

Love you newsletters, website, products, and streaming videos. Thank you for sharing so much with so many.

Bright Blessings,

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We Support & Recommend
The Michael Ellis School for Dog Trainers

More details on courses, course content and dates available on the website.
A list of Michael Ellis Seminars

There are still some openings for upcoming classes!

The next Obedience Intensive course in October is filling up fast, only 5 spots left! There are a only 2 more openings in the next Protection Theory courses. The section on Theory starts on July 26th and the Decoy section begins August 2nd.


The next
K-9 Basic Course
will be held in the Albuquerque Metro Area

Beginning October 11th. 
There are still a couple slots left.

Info is available at http://www.k9services.com
You can find standards and the syllabus for the courses here.

Kevin Sheldahl

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