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Leerburg's Weekly Newsletter
October 21, 2010

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Special! | DVD | Q&As | Testimonial | Affiliate Program | Clearance | 2010 Catalog | Leerburg  
Michael Ellis on the Imporance of Keeping Your Puppy Engaged

Michael Ellis on the Importance
of Keeping Your Puppy Engaged


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The Power of Training Dogs with Food

3 Hours, 45 Minutes| $65.00

The Power of Training Dogs with Food DVD

This is the first DVD in the Building Drive and Focus Series with Michael Ellis.

The foundation of Michael's dog training system lies in marker training. The power of Michael's system lies in how markers are applied within his training program. Unlike trainers who claim they can train every dog with 100% positive motivational methods, we know for a fact that corrections should have a place in any serious dog training program. They are required to guarantee reliability under distractions.

The beauty of Michael's system is that it establishes a method of communication with our dogs that is built on positive reinforcement. It is a communication system that is "black and white" to our dogs. This work builds a non-confrontational relationship with a dog. Because it is non-confrontational and based on positive reinforcement it is perfect for 8 week old puppies or 5 year old dominant and aggressive dogs. It's the perfect system to build or repair a relationship with a dog.

Our DVDs use untrained dogs and untrained handlers

The first two DVDs in this series (the second The Power of Playing Tug with Your Dog) covers the foundation of Michael's training system.

Both of these DVDs were produced with untrained dogs. Unlike other training videos where the training shown is only demonstrated with a trained dog - we chose to only use untrained dogs and untrained handlers.

I edited the training to show Michael demonstrating his training concept and I then fill the DVD with with examples of both untrained dogs and handlers learning the system. There is no question in my mind that people learn more from watching others make mistakes and then learning how to fix those mistakes.

Click here to read more!

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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 10 month old dog is destroying the back yard. I don’t have the time or money for obedience classes.  What can I do?


I have a 10 month old female Akita that I acquired from my daughter when the puppy was 4-5 months old. My daughter owns the parents and they are both finished AKC champions with champion bloodlines. She sold all of her puppies on a spay/neuter contract, but couldn't sell the one I have now, partly because it's a long hair which is "undesirable" for the breed. The puppy went to one other foster home while my daughter tried finding a good home for it, but that lady had no idea how to raise a puppy and let it do whatever it wanted, so my daughter took the puppy back. She didn't have room for it with her two other dogs and asked if I would foster it for a while, that way she knew she was in good hands and could come see her whenever she wanted. I ended up falling in love with her and keeping her for myself.

This dog has the best temperament in the world and is friendly to EVERYONE, but her behavior is absolutely outrageous! She has completely destroyed the backyard. We have a pond and she has moved the rocks and dug up the lining, including digging at the wires for the pump. She has dug holes, dug up tree roots, and plants. She chewed up all the drip system and pulls things off of the tables and chews up the hose. When she is inside at night, she has chewed up throw rugs, throw pillows, shoes, etc. We have purchased toys and bones for her to appease her when we are not here. However, she completely rips apart her toys and it's a waste of money. She also just ends up digging more holes because she wants to burry her bones and she even tries burying her bones in the house. 

We aren't here all day every day, but when we are, she is in the house with us. We walk her every day and we have tried to get her toys and things to keep her company while we are gone, but she is just destructive. She also runs away if not on a leash, which my daughter says is in the Akita breed description because they are very stubborn and have a mind of their own. My daughter says ever since she was a puppy she was the trouble maker. She was the first one of her sisters to figure out how to get out of her whelping box and climb over the 4 foot fence she was in. She also got a pitch fork stuck through her paw somehow, she is always getting into things....

Please HELP... we have just recently put up a kennel in the backyard which is a 10 X 10, however, we are concerned she will dig out from under the fence and get out or start whining a whole bunch. My last resorts are shock collar and electric fence and if that doesn't work I just can't keep her. I am renting this house and she has already caused thousands of dollars worth of damage. I love her and I want to keep her, but I can't afford her destructive behavior. I don't have the time or money for obedience classes, so that is out of the question. If I can't get her behavior taken care of I'm going to have to give her to someone who owns a ranch and can spend more time with her if that's what she is lacking.  



Very few puppies can be left to their own devices all day. They need mental and physical stimulation. This means training, appropriate exercise and a safe place to be contained when you can’t supervise.

Raising dogs properly requires time, effort and money, there are no shortcuts.

If you don’t have the resources, it would be the kindest thing to rehome the dog with someone who can give her what she needs.

Cindy Rhodes

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


Question: My dog has his CDX title and when I take him in the trial ring, he loses all focus. He’s great in training. Do you have any ideas?

Hi guys,

Love all your DVDs and especially Michael Ellis, hope you can help with a huge problem that has emerged with my almost 3 year old  male (neutered) German Shorthaired Pointer.

He has his CDX title, (not sure how that equates in the USA) exercises are heel free,stand for exam, drop on recall, retrieve on flat, retrieve over the high jump and distance control (change of positions). Because it will be a while before we are ready for the Utility Class and I love competing, I was continuing to enter the Open class, however the last three trials we have entered have been a disaster!!!

He trains beautifully, but as soon as we enter the ring it is like a switch goes on and he is "off with the pixies"!!! He looses all focus, it is not fear or worry, he just switches off me and looks around at what's going on everywhere else. At the last trial he hit the jump and I am sure it was because he was just not concentrating. I think he has become very "ring wise." I try to go to different parks and grounds to train and also to just have fun with me and to get him to engage with me, and while we are playing or their is food he is fine.  It is also very difficult to correct him, he is about 38kgs and quite insensitive.

I guess the obvious is to stop trialing for a while, which I am willing to do, but I would like any other advice you may have. I have your Focused Heeling DVD but in our training he is great. Having watched some of your other DVDs I do realize I probably didn't "neutralize" him enough to other dogs, people etc.when he was a pup.

Hope you have some ideas that might help.



I would stop trialing him for now, maybe for a long while. 

The issue with this is always that the dog has been shown that training and trials are two different things.  Most people don’t behave the same way in a trial situation as they do in training, in ways that are obvious to the dog.

The more repetitions he gets of the “off w/ the pixies” behavior, the harder it will be to correct.

Do you have access to correction matches in your area?  I used to compete in obedience and our club hosted matches that were set up exactly like trials, only you could stop when necessary and either correct or reward your dog. Also, in training make sure you are behaving like you plan on behaving in a trial. Be formal, use the same body language, try to make yourself “nervous” so your dog gets used to this ahead of time.  Most people don’t do this and it’s very clear to the dog that a trial is something much different.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes

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


*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 Comment
See Previous Testimonials


I am placing an order as soon as I send you this email.

Thank you along with Ed and Cindy for treating your customers like you value our business. It is a rarity in this day and age.

I will be passing along to anyone and everyone I come in contact with at dog trials, training, etc. how great your company and products are. I have already done so numerous times however, with this recent response I KNOW I'm passing along something important. 

Thank you many times,

P.S.  Please let Ed and Cindy know because of their recommendation on Michael Ellis, I will be trying to attend his school hopefully next year.  It was solely due to them that I started researching his techniques and became more involved in training.

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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!

Advance Obedience class, October 25th-29th - FULL
Puppy Development, November 1st-5th - Openings Available
Protection: Theory class, November 8th-12th -Openings Available
Protection: Decoy class, November 15th-19th - Openings Available

Email Michael directly for questions on class openings.

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

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