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Leerburg's Weekly Newsletter
November 8, 2010

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Michael Ellis Lecture on Targeting in Protection Work

Michael Ellis Lecture on Targeting in Protection Work

Today's video is of Michael Ellis giving a lecture on one of his protection dog classes at his school in California. This lecture deals with a talk on presentation, targeting and biting surfaces.

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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.

Leerburg Tug Sale!
Prices valid until Sunday, November 14th, 2010 at 11:59 pm central time.

Leather No HandleTug
Leather No Handle Tugs
$10.00-17.00 $6.00-13.00
Shop all tugs.
One Handled Mini Tug
Mini Tugs
$19.00-20.00 $14.00-15.00
Shop all tugs.
Medium Tug

Medium Tugs
$32.00-39.00 $24.00-31.00
Shop all tugs.
10" Rolled Jute Tug
Jute Roll Tugs
$13.00-16.00 $8.00-11.00

Shop all tugs.
Red Tubular No Handle Tug
Red Tubular
No Handle Tug

$14.00 $10.00
Shop all tugs.

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 Cindy,

We were given this dog which was a Dutch shepherd by corrective services to try and train and socialize as he was very aggressive, it had attacked kennel staff and was suffering from a severe case of kennel spin due to being kenneled for most of it’s life.  I believe the dog was mentally damaged, he had also chewed his own tail off.

My partner pulled the dog out of the car and was walking him, and just socializing with him.  He was comfortable with me petting him and so my partner handed me the leash whilst he organized water buckets etc.  The dog was sitting with his head resting on my hip and I was stroking him calmly.  As my partner disappeared from site, the dog started to growl and by the time I yelled out to my partner he is growling the dog had taken a bite of my hip and then went to the arm and chewed down my left arm.  I managed to pull him off as my partner got back to me and as he came off my left arm managed to get a bite in on my right arm. 

My partner managed to get him into our kennel where he proceeded to spin and try and chew what is left of his tail. 

I went to the kennel after I had collected myself to try and approach him again but he tried to attack me through the fence.  Unfortunately with further attempts the dog showed very erratic and unpredictable behavior taking every chance he could to take a chunk out of anyone who tried to work with him.  We returned the dog to corrections as he was just to dangerous.

We were advised in the coming days that the dog had done some pretty major damage to one of the kennel staff and so the dog had to be put down.

I have many of your DVDs and read the articles on your site often when it comes to the training of my dogs.  Your training has helped in the development of my dogs for many years now … Thank you!!

If there is anything else I can do please don’t hesitate to contact me.

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: Our pup is very fearful of some men. Is there anything we can do to help him?

I have just googled for information on how to train puppies to not be afraid of some people, and one website made reference to your website.

I am so hopeful that you can offer advice for our beloved puppy. We have a French bulldog/Pug mix that will be 1 year old in January. We bought him when he was 8 weeks old and he has been a wonderful puppy, maybe sometimes a bit hardheaded, but the sweetest most loving and personable dog we’ve ever had. He started out very friendly to everyone. But last summer when he was perhaps 5-6 months old on a visit to the vet (where Eli has always loved to go), a man also visiting the vet with his pet was very excited to see our puppy. The man was very physically expressive to Eli but seemed to evoke fear in our puppy that day toward this stranger. I may be wrong, but we seem to think that we can trace his fear of certain males back to that occasion.

Recently, our daughter’s friends from college stopped by at different times. Sometimes there were several friends, both male and female, here at the same time; but, 1 or 2 of the young men totally left Eli very fearful of them even though they did nothing to evoke fear. We gave the young men some treats to offer Eli, but Eli still seemed afraid. Of course, at the same time there were other strange young men here in the house who Eli was very excited to see so he would run up to them, lick them and want to spend time with these fellows. We could not figure out why the other fellows made Eli so afraid.

Tonight my husband and I left the house for a short while and Eli was here with our daughter and one very nice young fellow. He was hoping to enjoy Eli but Eli was very fearful of him. Unfortunately, the young fellow chased Eli around the sofa and our daughter said that Eli cowered in a corner of the kitchen shivering which just breaks our hearts for our puppy – and sad for any friends who drop by.

We’ve not yet taken him to obedience school. I’ve thought that perhaps that might make a difference. We hate for Eli to be so fearful of certain people. Is there anything we can do to help him? Or is this going to haunt him for the rest of his life? We sure would love to be able to help him.

We would certainly appreciate your wisdom and look forward to hearing from you.



I’d recommend you read some of our eBooks. There is one on Who Pets My Puppy.

Most people mistakenly think that everyone and anyone should touch, pet and play with your dog. I find that this causes many problems. Our dogs look to us as leaders (or they should) and when we let them down by allowing strangers to get in the space and scare them then they lose confidence. When I see people approaching me and my dogs, I say “Please don’t pet or stare at my dog, he’s in training.” That usually does the trick. Eli will begin to relax because he will realize that you are not going to let people from outside the family pack get in his space and make him feel worried.

I’d recommend reading on our website about Pack Leadership and Structure. I’d start with our Groundwork program and Pack Structure for the Family Pet DVD.

Having confidence in your leadership will help Eli with his fear, not putting him into more stressful situations when he isn’t equipped to cope with them. If you do decide to go to obedience classes I’d recommend teaching him all the exercises at home first. We would never take an untrained dog to classes full of other dogs and people and expect him to learn there. We only use group classes as a training tool ONCE the dog is already trained. Basic Dog Obedience.

I would direct you to the search function in the upper left corner of the website for any additional questions you may have. If you type in your key words it will guide you to articles, Q&As and posts on our forum. This is a very common issue with dogs, especially young dogs.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes


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


Question: When can I expect to get a full night's sleep or be able to leave our GSD pup alone for a full 8 hours during the day?


I have a GSD puppy just short of 5 months old and have watched your 8 weeks to 8 months video and looked at your website and Q&A, but I can’t seem to find an answer to my question. It seems that everyone has an opinion on how long my GSD should be able to hold her pee or poop. A friend told me puppies can hold it for 1.5 hours for each month of age… Is this true? My wife and I continue to take her out almost every 4 hours and she performs satisfactory each time (strange considering she isn’t eating her full food amount yet, but that is another question). We feed her Royal Canin and give her treats regularly in training and pick-up the water bowl at 6:30pm.  We take her out first thing in the morning and right before we go to bed. It sounds like we are doing everything right. When can I expect to get a full night’s sleep or be able to leave the GSD alone for a full 8 hours during the day? She doesn’t soil her crate, but she get extremely agitated when she needs to go and so we take her out right away. Should we try to keep her in the crate for longer when she whines to go outside? Is 4 hours too short a time for 5 months?

My GSD is adorable and her good behavior is testament to your training video.

Thank you,


There is no right or wrong answer, all puppies are different.  I’ve had some that I am still taking out in the middle of the night at 8-9 months old and others that sleep through the night by 12 weeks. 

She’s still quite young so I wouldn’t be too discouraged, especially since she’s staying clean. As she matures she’ll be able to go for longer periods of time in the crate.

Cindy Rhodes


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


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!!!

Leerburg Testimonials
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Dear Ed and Cindy,

I want to thank you both for your dedication in maintaining such a well run website and educating the public about all things "dog." I am raising my first German Shepherd and regularly come to your website for information and to engage in conversations with other dog owners. I've learned so much and have received great support through the forum.

I'm currently enrolled in private lessons with my dog. Through an initial phone conversation with the trainer and the fact that he listed Leerburg as a resource on his website, I believed we shared a similar training philosophy. Our first session together made me realize we have our differences (no food rewards, no marking, escape training for recall--yikes!) I have Leerburg to thank for the fact that I have a well informed dog training philosophy in the first place and can recognize the differences in our training styles. In addition, because of Leerburg I have the confidence to disagree with this trainer, and to stick with what I know is best for my dog. Before I found Leerburg, I followed the advice of any dog trainer, leading to issues that I have been working to correct with this dog ever since. 

So once again, thank you for all that you do,

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The Michael Ellis School for Dog Trainers

There are still some openings for upcoming classes!

Protection: Decoy class November 15th-19th 2 Openings Available

Email Michael directly on class openings.

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