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Leerburg's Weekly Newsletter
October 4, 2010

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Cindy and Rush Training the Object Guard with Michael Ellis

Cindy and Rush Training the Object Guard with Michael Ellis
October 3rd, 2010

On October 1st - 3rd, 2010, Cindy and I attended a 3 day Michael Ellis Seminar at Donna Matey's training facility in Appleton, WI. I came home with 13 hours of great training video. The object guard is a Mondioring 3 exercise. It is the most difficult exercise of any dog sport to train because the handler is out of sight during the competition. There are no commands given for the dog to bite or, just as important, when to stop biting. Rush has probably had a dozen object guard training sessions over the past 18 months.

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Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet

4 Hours, 9 Minutes| $40.00

Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet DVD

The goal of our pack structure training program is to produce a dog that is calm and submissive and a dog that follows the rules of the pack leader. This DVD teaches people how to become a pack leader that their dog respects and loves.

Most people are not born pack leaders. In fact far from it. The majority of dog owners (many who have owned dogs their entire life) simply don’t know anything about the instincts that control our dogs or how strong these instincts are in the domestic dog. Oh people may have heard that they need to be a "pack leader" or they may have heard they need to be an "ALPHA" with their dog but they don’t understand what this really means or how to accomplish it.

Current shows on TV about dog training lead people to think they can deal with behavioral problems but the fact is these shows are often misleading. In many cases these TV shows offer limited to dangerous advice that only a professional dog trainer with years of experience should attempt. While these shows are interesting to watch, because the dog owners are so inept, they don’t offer a program that pet owners can follow.

Our DVD outlines a program that I have developed over the past 45 years of owning, breeding and training German Shepherds. This program works on every breed of dog and dogs of all ages. This program is the foundation for solving almost all behavioral problems, especially those related to aggression.

New pet owners are often told the road to a calm, submissive dog is to attend obedience classes and socialize their dog. In our opinion this is not correct. The road to a calm dog is to first establish pack structure and leadership. When that's done you can obedience train your dog.

Dogs are pack animals. Every breed of dog is hard wired with genetic pack instincts. From the smallest Chihuahua to the largest Great Dane, dogs wants to live in a family pack. Once they find their pack they genetically need to determine their rank within that pack.

Read more.

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Dog Bite

To view these dog bite photos, click here.
Warning: these photos are very graphic!

We are always looking for photos of people who have been bitten by their dogs while trying to break up a dog fight. If you send us photos and the story on how the accident happened we will put them on our website with the hope that your mistakes will help other people realize how dangerous it is to try and break up a dog fight the wrong way.

Dog Bite:

Hi, I just wanted to share some pictures of what happened to me after my pit bull mix attacked me. I was walking him, and he saw 2 dogs approaching our path. I turned around, since I knew how upset and aggressive he gets. He did not like that and jumped on me. He bit me about 10 times, but for some reason he would let go and then come back to bite me again. My chocolate lab came very fast to get the dog off me. We went to  private obedience training. It went well for a while, but after he turned a year old, he started biting who ever was walking him to attack other animals. He is very aggressive towards them, he was going to the "Red Zone"  in a second. 

Cindy's Response:

Thanks for sharing the photos. I would put this dog in a strict routine of no privileges and start with our groundwork program.

I’d also get a muzzle,  we have directions on how to measure the dog on this page. And a dominant dog collar.

You should study Pack Structure for the Family Pet and Dealing with Dominant & Aggressive Dogs.

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

This is a very dangerous scenario and if you don’t take care of this it’s only going to escalate in the future. Good luck!

Cindy Rhodes

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.

This Week's 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 eats stuff on the beach when I let him run free, what would you do?

I need help teaching my wirehair pointer not to eat "food" encountered on his runs. He runs free on the ocean beaches.  He is a beautiful dog with excellent manners thanks to your help and suggestions. The beach abounds with crustaceans, dungeness crab parts, partially eaten razor clams. He slyly mouths something, I yell "no" and he walks up to me chewing on the item and I extract the remains from his mouth.    

His vet thinks a recent bout of diarrhea was due to his appetizer consumption and he needs to quit it.  I have an ecollar which he wears and is rarely used. Should I set him up with food and use a low  correction?? It is a joyful thing to watch him run beside the ocean.He will do anything I want him to do except stop dining on shellfish.  
What would you do??

With much thanks and admiration!   Alexis

Cindy's Response:

I teach all of my dogs to "leave it" from the time they are small puppies. I actually use the word "yuck." 

Here's a video that may help, and with a dog that is ecollar savvy, I'd use that for my correction (at an appropriate level) instead of a leash correction. With any dog older than 4-5 months I use the ecollar for this.

I always use a trade for a treat from me at the beginning of this training, and very quickly when the dog figures out the stuff on the ground gets him a treat from me he'll start to discriminate and look to me when he finds the "goodies." You need to be diligent though and be ready to monitor this every time you take him out on the beach. Eating stuff off the ground is self reinforcing so it is typically something you have to remind dogs of in some fashion for the long haul. In my environment, it's deer poop... If I don't say yuck when I notice my dogs paying attention to something in the grass they eat it and then roll in it... blech.

Cindy Rhodes

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


Question: My dog barks at me and won’t leave me alone when I sit in a chair to put my shoes on.  I push him away and he just barks at me. How can I fix this?

Dear Mr Frawley,

My german shepard likes to come up to me as soon as I sit down in a chair to put my shoes on and will not leave me alone while I put my shoes on. When I push him away and tell him no, he barks at me. Not in a mean way, but barking to be noticed I guess. How could I fix this problem? I bought your Basic Dog Obedience DVD already but only have got to the intro to markers. Thanks for your time and help.



My advice would be to keep the dog on leash, and control his movements. Since you haven’t gone through the DVD yet, I’d recommend putting the dog in a crate or somewhere where he can’t be practicing bad behavior while he’s in the training process.

Since you know he’s going to do this, the common sense thing would be to prevent him from having access to you at this time until you have him trained. Pushing a dog away only makes them come back harder, it’s called “opposition reflex.”

Only time and proper training will change this behavior, watch the video. I’d recommend Pack Structure for the Family Pet also.

Cindy Rhodes

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


Question: My 6 month old puppy has starting running toward me at top speed and bounces off of me.  I try a leash pop but it doesn’t help.  What is this strange new behavior?


I've read all of the articles on your site and have viewed the "Your Puppy 8 Weeks to 8 Months" DVD. My puppy has been through groundwork, is crated, and is always on leash.  I always make him/wait sit before we go thru doorways BUT...

Lately, he has been going wild on me when I take him out to my yard. After he does his outside potty business he will run at me at top speed and bounce off me. Sometimes he will come with mouth open and clamp on my arm (but not hard). When I try a leash pop correction this wild behavior doesn't stop. It seems like he wants to rough house play and loses it!

Then, as soon as I walk him to the door back inside he immediately calms and is submissive. What is this new outside strange behavior towards me?

Thank you,


Without seeing this, it’s hard to say but it sounds like he’s just trying to instigate some play or action. Since you know when he’s going to do it, change the picture for the dog. Keep him on leash and as soon as you see his intent to approach ask him to come to you and sit for a food reward or a toy and then YOU initiate the play. Interrupt him, don’t wait until he’s already running at you to try to stop it.

If you let it continue, he’ll get pushier and pushier. 

When you know what’s going to happen, then it only makes sense to take control of the situation before it even begins. Training puppies is all about managing the environment to your advantage.

Cindy Rhodes

For more information on this topic, see Q&A on Puppies.


*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 se arches the site AND the web board. Thank you. Ed & Cindy

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Thank you for your site. This is the type of no nonsense dog training I grew up with. But you also learned from your mistakes and you humbly pass the knowledge on to others. The information you give makes me think about what I do with my pup and the repercussions.



Hello Mr. Frawley,

I just wanted to say what a pleasant experience it was ordering from your company again.  Even though it was a small order (several nylon slip collars and a couple of decals), I received it in a timely manner and your staff went the extra mile to make sure my decals made it without being damaged. Thank you for that! Customer service is a dying art. I volunteer some of my time as a trainer for a GSD rescue in the Phoenix, AZ area and I find these collars are the best when working with soft dogs and (mostly) new handlers. I even use them when working obedience with my PSA competition dogs. I get good control with the least amount of conflict.

Anyway, thanks again and I will continue to order my supplies from your company and recommend your web site to all my clients!

Take care,

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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 upcoming Obedience Intensive, October 11th-22nd, and the upcoming Advance Obedience, October 25th-29th, have no more openings available. There are still a few spaces open in the Puppy Development (November 1st-5th) and Protection classes (November 8th-12th and November 15th-19th).


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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