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Leerburg's Weekly Newsletter
November 1, 2010

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Ed's Dog, Bart, Being Worked in Engagement with Forrest Micke

Ed's Dog, Bart, Being Worked in Engagement
with Forrest Micke

This week's newsletter video was filmed this weekend here at Leerburg. The video you are watching is of my 14 month old Malinois puppy, Bart, playing engagement games with our friend Forrest Micke. Forrest is a student of Michael Ellis' system of dog training.

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The Power of Playing Tug with Your Dog

5 Hours, 25 Minutes| $65.00

The Power of Playing Tug with Your Dog

I have been around higher levels of dog training for a long long time and thought I knew a thing or two about how to play tug with your dog. When I started to go to Michael Ellis' seminars I found out there was an entirely different side to this work - a better side.

Since 1982 I have produced a lot of training DVDs, but hands down the ones I have done (and am doing) with Michael are the ones I am most proud of. These DVDs are going to make a dramatic difference on how people live with and train their dogs. They are changing the relationship people have with their dogs.

At 5 hours and 25 minutes, this is the first two DVD set I have ever produced. There was just so much great information that I wanted to get into this training DVD that I had to make it this long. I believe you will agree when you study it.

This DVD on playing tug is the second video in the Building Drive and Focus Series with Michael Ellis. The first DVD, The Power of Training Dogs with Food, and this DVD, teach new trainers how to establish the foundation of Michael Ellis's training system on their dogs. Once that is accomplished, the principles of Michael’s system can be used to teach a dog any behavior or exercise.

Click here to 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 Fight:

Hi Cindy,

Last week I had to break up a dog fight between 2 German Shepherd bitches alone. I have never been so scared or overwhelmed in my life!

I was a taking care of a kennel of 5 dogs for a week while the owners were away at a big show on the other side of the country. The week was going smoothly until Friday night. I had an agility show with my dogs over the weekend so I was feeding the dogs and putting them in kennels in the morning and cleaning them at night so I wouldn't have to rush. Friday we had a huge rainstorm come through so I wanted to put the dogs in early so I could clean the kennels in daylight. I had had a really long but good day with my dogs and just wanted to go home feed them and relax for the evening. This could have been the first mistake.

I brought  the dogs in one by one put them in the crates in the garage and between bringing in the second to last dog and the last dog, the first older bitch  had gotten out of her crate and had found some spilled food on the ground. The younger  bitch that was with me runs up the crate line just being happy and as soon as the older bitch sees her, a fight blows up.

I grab both dogs by the back of their necks and get them up on their back feet so that the wouldn't get any leverage to rip and tear at each other. I try to pull the older bitch off and shove her in a crate but it wasn't working so I walked them over to the puppy kennels on the wall and shove the younger bitch in the kennels and try to shut the door. Meanwhile they are both ready to kill each other and the younger is trying to get out and the older is trying to push through my legs and around my sides. I beat her on the head and get her back to get the kennel door closed. I finally get the older dog in the crate and leave to try to calm myself down.

I have never in my life had to break up a fight let alone a fight between 2 GSD's alone. All that was running through my head as I'm trying to get them apart are the thoughts "What if I can't get them apart?" "What happens if I get hurt in the crossfire and can't get them apart?" "How am I going to get to a vet afterward if I need to?"

In the end the fight was small in comparison to what it could have been. I came away with 2 very deep bruises on my belly and the younger bitch had a few scrapes on her head and  a puncture wound on her elbow that the vet decided not to stitch. I came away with a new respect and realization of how important it is not to rush and make sure that everything is latched and safe.

I know how  bad this could have been and realize that I got off easy and was very lucky that I was able to get them apart as fast and efficiently as I did and at the same time control the fight. I made mistakes in underestimating these dogs and not controlling their environment and a result I am reminded by the nasty bruises on my belly. I learned my lesson and I will never take for granted the importance of latches and leashes.


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

Question: My dog has developed a limp in her left rear leg. What would you recommend?

Dear Cindy:

I have a female German shepherd, born March 29th 2004. She has developed a limp in her left rear leg.

I have been a dog owner for at least fifty years. I have had two other shepherds.

We live on a fairly large ranch. She is very active most of the day and evening I might add. Our land adjoins some pretty wild country. Needless to say she stays busy.

She is about 5-10 lbs overweight. She is big dog, weighs in at 88 lbs. I have never been satisfied with her nutrition. It is very basic off the shelf store bought products. I am willing to do some pretty drastic changing in that area. I just don’t know for sure what to do.

I give her a pretty good massage each day, especially on her sore leg. Whatever is the problem is somewhat elusive in that I cannot get any kind of reaction from her in any portion of her foot, leg, hip area, muscle area or bones. When she gets loose, which happens fairly quickly, she can look ant act pretty normal. In fact the limp might not be obvious at all. If she has been active, when she rest and goes to get up it is very noticeably.

I am not a big believer in vets, so have been reluctant to go that route. If you any recommendations I would be greatly appreciative.

Thank you in advance,


I think if I had a dog with a persistent limp that improves as she gets up and moves around I would suspect a joint problem.  the only way for a diagnosis it to have hip xrays taken.  If she has hip dysplasia or an injury to the joint, she may require some supplementation or exercise restrictions and will most definitely want to be kept thinner.

We also have a great section on feeding dogs, I think you’ll find a lot of helpful information there. If she does have some arthritis and joint inflammation, changing her diet to completely grain free can help her tremendously.

If you do take her for xrays, I would print this out and take it with you. I’m amazed at how many vets have no idea how to take a proper hip radiograph.

Good luck with her, I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes

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


Question: My dog has been having some sort of skin problem. What would you recommend?

Hi Cindy,

I've been having a big problem with my German Shepherd's skin. He seems to have an infection. He has lost some of his fur and he smells. I took him to the vet but he has been unable to clear the problem. He prescribed some antibiotics and he gave him a steroid shot but the problem persists.  His ears are also affected. He also itches. I have tried different diets but no change. Would you have anything I can buy to help my beloved shepherd?

Thank You,

Cindy's Response:

What is this dog?s EXACT diet?

More Information:

Hi Cindy,

Thank you for responding to my e-mail. I feed my shepherd 'Nature's Recipe' lamb and rice formula.  I also feed one can a day of  'Nature's Recipe' lamb and rice formula. Nature's Recipe is suppose to contain no BEEF, CORN, or WHEAT.  I also feed him an egg every other day. 

Thank You


I think the diet is the problem.   The food you are feeding is full of substandard ingredients and grains.  Grains are the number one problem for dogs with skin issues.

My recommendation is always to switch to a raw, species appropriate diet.    

I realize that not everyone can or will feed raw, so if you can’t do that then we also have a great section on feeding dogs, I think you’ll find a lot of helpful information there.

There is a list of better quality kibbles on there and I would go for one with NO grain.  This means no rice, corn, wheat, bran, barley, oatmeal, etc…. I would also be careful about the treats he gets… use grain free only. 

The 2 best books for learning about the raw diet are Raw Dog Food  and Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats. We give both these books to our puppy customers and rarely have questions about the diet

I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes

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


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!!!

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Just a quick message to thank you for your fantastic DVDs. We haven’t finished watching them all yet but what we have put into practice over the past two weeks has turned our dogs into two completely different canines.

Took the dogs out to training class today, it was the first time for my wife’s Golden Retriever pup (4 months old) and she was so focused that she received numerous comments on how well she worked for her age.

My 20 month old Rottweiler has had a two week break while I have been implementing Michael Ellis’ focus work and he has changed like you wouldn’t believe!!! I can walk him in and out of dogs & handlers and his focus was glued to me. What a difference from the lunging dog of two weeks ago!!

We can’t wait to finish watching your DVDs and then rewatch them again to pick up what we missed as there is so much to absorb.

Many thanks for changing our training habits to something that works so well.

It’s so much fun to train when your dogs give you so much in return!!

Thank you thank you!

Gary & Darlene
Xander (Rottie) & Chilli (Golden)

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There are still some openings for upcoming classes!

Protection: Theory class November 8th-12th 2 Openings Available
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