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September 4, 2012
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How do I get a faster down from my dog?

How do I get a faster down from my dog?

Ed Frawley answers a question from Kate, a Leerburg customer, on how to improve the speed of her obedience. Ed explains how to use motivation and the necessity of knowing your dog and their genetic abilities.

September 4, 2012   |   5 Minutes, 9 Seconds

2 New Michael Ellis DVDs
Now Streaming -- Training the Recall with Michael Ellis DVD -- $39.99 Now Streaming -- Finishing Work wiht Michael Ellis and the Introduction to Punishment DVD
Leerburg Q&A
Ask your training question here

Question: How do you introduce a puppy to a flock of chickens?


I have a client who just purchased a super nice male pup from us. They have 25-30 chickens and want to introduce him to the chickens... What would you suggest as the best way to do this? Thanks in advance :)


I don’t ever really do an “introduction” when it comes to  my puppies & livestock here, I teach them that they are a distraction to be ignored. I work my marker training and recalls until they are reflexive to the puppy. This is all done far away from chickens.

We have chickens, cats and horses and all my pups are kept on leash and gradually we get closer and closer to the animals as I get better control of the pup. To give you an idea, my current pup is 8 months old and she hasn’t been taken closer than about 20 yards from the chickens yet.

I don’t want to put my puppy in a situation where they are fixated, over stimulated and wanting to chase the birds so I keep things under my control until I have better communication & training with the dog. With other pups I’ve raised, I’ve found the average age we get close to the birds is 4-6 months old.  My current pup is a terrier and not as motivated by things I offer as some of the herding dogs I’ve trained.

I realize that this way takes a lot of patience and a bit of compulsiveness on my part but I can’t and won’t tolerate a dog that chases chickens and if I need to give a correction I want the pup to be older and have a great relationship with me before I go to such a high level distraction.

The resources I would recommend to them:

Your Puppy 8 weeks to 8 Months
Establishing Puppy Pack Structure
The Power of Training Dogs with Markers
The Power of Training Dogs with Food
Advanced Concepts in Motivation
Training the Recall

Cindy Rhodes

For more questions on this topic, see our Q&A on Recall and our Q&A on Puppies.

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 Wire Basket Muzzles

I have used your wire basket muzzle on a 3 year old foster rottweiler, Spencer, that has extreme fear-based aggression to people. Your staff helped me pick the correct size, and were very pleasant. It took only a couple uses before Spencer completely accepted the muzzle. Now, when let out of the crate, he will raise his front feet off the floor to put his nose into the muzzle! He knows he will only be allowed to be loose in the house with the muzzle on, and seems to look forward to it! It is excellent quality, worth twice the price. Actually priceless, considering the safety of everyone here. Thank you for such a quality product!

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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