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October 13, 2014

Q&A with Michael Ellis

Michael Ellis on Everyday Life Distractions

Michael Ellis answers a question from a student at his school who is having issues with his dog focusing on the hotel swimming pool. Michael discusses how to utilize a leash to redirect your dog back onto what you are doing and where you are going. The conversation also covers how to utilize food and other management techniques to help your dog do things they may not want to do.

Leerburg's Online Teaching Engagement Skills Course

This is a great course! I had started a local obedience course with my 5 month old high-drive Doberman, thinking that the socialization would be good for him. However, the instructor was 90% punishment based - which did not seem to work for this puppy. I began your course concurrently and saw massive engagement in the very first training session! I quickly realized that the other 'in-person' program was negative training for Drago, so I dropped out (it was better to lose the money, than to lose the engagement of my dog!).

Though I have trained many dogs in the past, and also train horses and falcons, the Leerburg program has already given me many new tools and perspectives. I appreciate the balanced training approach and will continue on with other courses.

Read more student comments on Leerburg Online University

Leerburg Q&A
Ask your training question

Question: I began feeding a raw diet to my Boxer about 3 months ago. I make a grind of chicken quarters, beef and organ meat. Is there any reason not to mix the variety of meats together?

I began feeding my skinny boxer a raw diet about 3 months ago. Within 3 weeks, he was looking better. Now, he's at a perfect weight. He does get raw chicken parts with bones, but I also grind some of his food. Instead of trying to remember to feed liver and muscle meat a certain number of times weekly, I grind everything together. I might have 1 pound of liver and heart mixed with 10-15 pounds of chicken quarters, plus 10-15 pounds of beef. Those amounts are approximate, as I'm not a stickler about that. Sometimes I even grind in a piece of fruit and/or raw veggies with the meat. He's eating it fine. If he seems to be getting bored with it, I sprinkle on a little garlic powder or a tiny bit of balsamic vinegar. It seems to attract him, so I'm thinking it may be the smell more than the taste.

My question is, is there any reason not to mix the variety of meats together?

Cindy's Response:

I mix meats together all the time and have for many years. As long as your dog doesn't have digestive upsets and he's thriving on the diet it should be fine.

The best books for learning about the raw diet are Raw Dog Food and Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats. One of the newer feeding books we offer is Raw & Natural Nutrition for Dogs. This title covers homemade cooked & raw diets complete with recipes. I highly recommend all these books.

Cindy Rhodes

For more questions on this topic, see our Q&A on Feeding Dogs and our Q&A on Feeding a Raw Diet.

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 Q&A Search. 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 Tuffy Sea Creatures Starfish


This is my German Shepherd's favorite toy. It is very durable compared to many fabric toys, and unlike some tough toys, is one he really enjoys playing with. I'm back to buy a third one, as it enjoys it so much.

The Michael Ellis School for Dog Trainers
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Remote Collar DVD discount automatically applied when both DVDs are added to your shopping cart. Not valid on previous purchases. Offer ends at 11:59 pm central time on Monday, October 13th, 2014. The Power of Training Dogs with Food DVD discount automatically applied to your shopping cart once the DVD has been added. Offer ends at 11:59 pm central time on Sunday, October 19th, 2014. Not valid on previously purchased items. If you have any questions, please email us at

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