Having trouble reading this email? Click here. Please do not reply to this email.

Leerburg's Weekly Newsletter
September 2, 2010

Check out Leerburg on: YouTube | Facebook | Twitter | Free Streaming Video
Special! | DVD | Q&As | Testimonial | Affiliate Program | Clearance | 2010 Catalog | Leerburg  

Why we use Wing-a-Balls as Obedience Rewards

Why we use Wing-a-Balls as Obedience Rewards

This short video explains why Cindy and I love and use the Wing-a-Ball as a reward in our training. You will learn when you can add a ball on a sting in your training program and you will learn when not to use a ball on a string in your training. You will see how Cindy uses a Wing-a-Ball as a reward for an OUT after a bite in Mondioring protection training. The Wing-a-Ball is one of our most popular training aides for our dogs here at Leerburg.


Free Shipping on orders over $50 or more. Click for details.

This Week's Leerburg
Webboard Auctions!

Brand New!

The Power of Training Dogs with markers The Power of Playing Tug with Your Dog The Power of Playing Tug with Your Dog
Focused Heeling with Michael Ellis Training the Retrieve with Michael Ellis

Ellis DVD Set:

The Power of Training Dogs with Markers DVD
The Power of Training Dogs with Food DVD
The Power of Playing Tug with Your Dog DVD
Focused Heeling with Michael Ellis DVD
Training the Retrieve with Michael Ellis DVD

Brand New!

Grooming FurminatorMillers Forge Nail Clippers
Planet Dog ShampooPlanet Dog Shampoo

Grooming Set:

Furminator DeShedding Tool
Large Nail Clippers
Peppermint Shampoo & Conditioner

Brand New!

PD Eats TreatsEverlasting Fun Ball

PD Eats Treats (both flavors) &
Large Everlasting Fun Ball

Brand New!

Metal Stake OutElastic Bungee Line

Metal Stake Out &
Elastic Bungee Line

Not a member of our webboard? Sign up here!

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 

Ball on a String Sale!
Prices valid until Sunday, September 5th, 2010 at 11:59 pm central time.




NOW $5.99-9.99

Originally $7.99-11.99
SAVE $2.00


Orbee Ball on a String

Orbee Ball on Strnig

Medium Orbee Ball
Orbee Ball
Dog Swimming with Orbee Ball on a String
Orbee Ball on a String
NOW $6.95-14.95

Originally $8.95-16.45
SAVE $2.00 each


Roni Ball on a String

Ball on a String

Ball on a String
Ball on a String
Ball on a String
Roni Ball on a String
NOW $10.00

Originally $15.00
SAVE $5.00

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 rescue dog won't go down the stairs to my basement and I want to take him down there where it's cool so we can play. I don't want to force him, can you help me?

Dear Mr. Frawley:

I have inquired with other trainers who have not helped me in my situation: One year ago I rescued a sweet 1 year old 100 lb. white Field Lab who is very, very laid back, sweet and wonderful. However, he does not get enough exercise even though I have a fenced in back yard. I take him to the doggy park but all he does is just lay on the cement and watch the other dogs. My problem is (I have a one story ranch) my basement is unfinished but I cannot get him to go down the stairs. I want to do fetch and all kinds of fun things down there especially when the weather if too hot here. I have tried food incentives but he just resists going. I do not want to take him by the leash and force him because I don't know his past history. He might have been raised with a cat because at night he purrs. Please help me if you can... what should I do? Thank you for any advice.

P.S. I had an English Lab that I rescued at the age of 7 who has since passed away and he used to love going downstairs and play on the cool cement floor.


A lot of dogs are reluctant to try stairs and most people are impatient and don't want to allow the dog to work it out in a confident manner. I'm glad to hear you don't want to force him (that's what most people would do).

First of all, I would stop feeding him his regular meals for now. The only food he gets should come from your hand when he approaches the stairs. I would feed him little bits from your hand every time he even thinks about approaching. If he doesn't want to do it, no big deal. Put his food away until the next day. Use the food in your had like a lure, to get him to move forward. Don't cave in and feed him his regular meals! If you so, you will lose the use of a very important dog training tool (FOOD).

Don't worry about how long this takes, your goal is for him to be confident. Going down stairs is much harder for most dogs than going up.

It would help if you could communicate with him what you want and when he's right. I would read our article on training dogs with Markers. I've successfully taught a lot of dogs to do things they were totally NOT interested in (swim, cut nails, stairs, get in the car) all with the use of marker training.

I highly recommend it!

You might also be interested in The Power of Training Dogs with Markers and The Power of Training Dogs with Food.

Good luck!

Cindy Rhodes

For more questions on this topic, see our Q&A on Rescue Dogs.


Question: My dog is afraid to go out after dark ever since he heard gunshots and fireworks over the holidays.  When he hears a noise, I give him a correction to snap him out of it but he remains tense and nervous.  Please help.

Hi Cindy,

I have a 13 month old, 45 pound australian shepherd/border collie/lab mix that is great on walks during the day, but at night, he gets so scared and nervous! For some reason when night rolls around, he just shuts down and starts to cower, which I find odd. It all started on memorial day, when my family and I took him to the parade, he heard the guns and bands, and then he shut down. Whenever he heard a bang after that he freaked out! But I was able to get him out of that, whenever he heard a loud bang, I would give a small correction (we use a prong collar on him) and then he would snap out of it and keep going, then I would reward him with a treat.

Then the 4th of July happened, I was taking him out for a walk before the fireworks started in our area, but some jerk was getting ready to fire off his fireworks, and they squealed and made a huge BANG, and that's what started our trouble. At night he started to get scared, and even though I can still walk him, he just is very tense and nervous. I don't know what to do for him when he gets that bad, treats don't work for him in training anymore. If I run with him the whole time we are out he is a happy dog, or if I bike him, then we don't have a single problem. My parents said he will just grow out of it, or get used to it, but I have yet to see that happen. Also I don't pet him and tell him in a baby voice, "It's okay, you're alright," I know you are not supposed to do that.

When he hears a noise, I give a correction to snap him out of it and walk a little faster so he has to concentrate on that. The thing is, I can't go for fast paced walks all the time, my younger siblings are around and they just can't go that fast, and they LOVE walking with me and my dog.

Cindy please help me!



The first thing I will say is to stop correcting him for being afraid.  You will only make him a complete basket case if you continue.  Imagine if you were afraid of something and every time you got a bit nervous someone gave you a jerk to try to get you over your fear.  You would then become more apprehensive about the things you were nervous about because now you need to worry about your pack leader correcting you on top of everything else.  Does that make sense? 

The fact that he won’t take treats anymore tells you he is too stressed.

I would recommend taking a big step back, and work on building his trust in your leadership.  This may mean avoiding situations that you know make him nervous for a good long while.  This may also mean that your younger siblings are going to need to understand that it’s not in your dog’s best interest right now to go walking with him. Keep walks and outings all positive and show him you will protect him from things that make him uneasy. If he’s happiest running and biking then that’s what I would do with him right now. 

I’d recommend the DVD Pack Structure for the Family Pet.

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

You might also want to learn about marker training. I would read our article on training dogs with Markers.

This way you can work on easing him into walking after dark, and let him know in a way he understands that he’s doing the right thing. Nervous dogs love to know what’s coming next and marker training is a great way to engage him with you so he doesn’t have to focus on what he’s afraid of.

The Power of Training Dogs with Markers

We also carry a product called Rescue Remedy which can be given to the dog when you know he’s going to be put into a stressful situation.  I know it works because I’ve tried it myself.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes

For more information on this topic, see our Q&A on Pack Structure.


Question: I’m looking at the rubber mats you carry as a bedding option for my dog, can you describe the durability?  I bought a soft bed and she chewed a big hole in it overnight.


I am considering the purchase of a Leerburg Rubber Kennel Mat for my 1 year old German Shepherd but before I place an order I would like to ask a question. Can you please describe the durability of this item? While my dog pretty much outgrown her puppy chewing stage, I just want to make sure that it is “tough” enough to resist any biting temptations.

I made a mistake four months ago of purchasing a dog bed only to wake up one morning and find that it had a large hole. I do not want to have a repeat experience.

Thank you for your feedback,


Dogs that want to chew are probably still going to chew on this but it’s thick rubber matting (like is used in horse stalls).

We use these in our crates and on the floor of some of our kennels and have many mats that are YEARS old. They may chew on the edges, but we’ve never had a dog that could chew one of these up.  Your experience may differ, depending on your dog but they are MUCH LESS attractive to chew than a soft bed. No item is guaranteed to be 100% chew proof. Supervise your dog at first to see what his behavior will be.

I would also make sure your dog has something appropriate to chew on when kenneled, so he doesn’t feel like chewing on his bed.

Cindy Rhodes

For more information on this topic, see our Q&A on Behavioral Problems.

*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

Just a short note to let you know how much I like and appreciate your web site. It is so full of information I don't know if I'll ever get through all of it but I'm trying :-).

I'm especially thankful because, much as I'd like to, I'm unable to purchase your DVDs, and I have a GSD that I have a couple problems with but I'm sure we'll be able to work it out just from the available free information.

Again, thank you.


I have thoroughly enjoyed your website and am convinced that your program is one of the best. I have a 12 week old Malinois named Max which, with the help of your program, will be a wonderful addition to our family as well as a future SAR partner.

Leerburg's Affiliate Program
Check out the NEW Leerburg Affiliate Program.
Learn how to become a Leerburg Affiliate!

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

To unsubscribe from this newsletter, OPT OUT (click here).

If you have a question, email us at cindyr@leerburg.com.

Copyright 2010 Leerburg® Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved. US Copyright Link. By accessing any information within Leerburg.com, you agree to abide by the Leerburg.com Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Please do not reply to this email address.