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Leerburg's Weekly Newsletter
November 15, 2010

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Lindsey Sommer Working Engagement Training with Her Puppy

Lindsey Sommer Working Engagement Training with Her Puppy

Today's short video shows MIchael Ellis' assistant Lindsey Sommer working on engagement with her puppy.

What you see here is a learned endeavor with a puppy. Lindsey is teaching the puppy to stay engaged. She is giving the puppy reasons to want to be with her and to want what she has.

When a trainer can get their dog to be this engaged with them, they have a dog that is ready to start to learn more advanced exercises. When you stop and think about it, if a dog is not engaged or it doesn't want to be with it's handler or it doesn't want what it's handler has, then how can anyone teach that dog an exercise? The only answer to this question is they can't and the only way to train a dog that is not engaged is to use force in the training.

Lindsey was one of Michael's first students at his school near San Francisco, California. She has studied Michael's system and has become an instructor in the school.

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*Please order the DVD alone with NO other items for this pre-order sale.

Read more and see a video preview.

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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:

I was one of the stupid ones who got caught up in the moment when my two dogs started to fight again. One is a Border Collie/Wolf Mix and the other is a Malamute. My first instinct is to protect them from each other, so when the Malamute lunged at the Border Collie. I did the classic grabbing her by her collar. Then the Border Collie lunged back at the Malamute, so I grabbed her and pulled her up on the couch with me. But of course the Malamute wasn't done, so she lunged yet again and instead of getting the Border Collie, she got my arm. My cousin was home at the time even, but she didn't get to either in time. I had been told of the method of grabbing their hind legs even, but had stupidly forgotten.

The pictures are of my forearm. The one with the single bite is underneath and the other bigger one is the top of my forearm.

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 stud dog was diagnosed with anaplasmosis and while his semen count is high, the motility is very low. Do you have any experience with this?

Hi Cindy,

Our male lab has had 8 litters he sired and 10 good ties with several females. He has not been able to tie in over a year, just slip ties. I had the vet check him and though he always had topical protection he got Anaplasmosis. His sperm count is high but the motility was about 2 %, he is being treated with doxacyline for a month. The vet thought a fever from the disease did this and he should recover. Have you ever heard of this before with these affects? After two doses of meds he tied with our female after over a year with no ties but hundreds of attempts with slip ties.



I don’t have experience with anaplasmosis but if it’s like Lyme disease your dog may have been sore and achy, which is why he couldn’t get a tie. Many dogs with joint or back issues can’t tie when breeding, maybe your dog was in a lot of discomfort and now the meds have made him feel better. I don’t know about the motility issue, but it makes sense that if he was ill it would affect semen quality.

I just completed a Lyme treatment on my young male, so watch your dog for digestive upsets with Doxy. My dog was on it for about 10 days and he completely stopped eating and began to vomit. Not all dogs have this issue, but mine did. We had to switch his meds.

Cindy Rhodes

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


Question: Is it possible for a dog who was previously oblivious to the ecollar to become collar wise?

Hi Cindy,

Thanks again for all your wonderful support in the past. I have a wonderful, well behaved dog that I truly enjoy and I can honestly say it is due to the information I have gotten from you and your website. I do have a question about e-collars.

I have a 2 year old boxer mix that is wonderful. I have trained him in the past with a Dogtra e-collar to solidify his recall and added security when we visit the mountains of Vermont and he is off leash. He was always oblivious to the collar (I had put it on and off for several weeks before beginning training) and he has always done very well while training with it on. I still put it on occasionally in the house (without training) to keep him oblivious to the collar. In the last couple of months, he walks around with his head low and stays very quiet if he is wearing the e-collar. Maybe I have gotten sloppy with training and he has realized exactly what the collar means. Is it possible for a dog (who was unaware of the collar in the past) to develop a recognition for the e-collar and what it does and is it possible to retrain him to ignore the collar? I keep the collar on at all times when he is off leash and have no intention of changing that policy but I am convinced he is becoming too smart for me and will eventually take the collar off and put it on me in my sleep.

Thanks again,


It's possible for dogs to become aware of equipment, for sure.

The way to get around it is to put the collar on every single day, whether you plan on using it or not. Also be aware of how you are handling the remote. I keep it discreetly tucked in my hand or in my pocket with my hand on the button so I don't need to make a big production out of getting it out of my pocket, looking at it, etc. this draws the dog's attention to it. Don't use it like a tv remote control (which a lot of people do)

If you only are handling the remote when the dog is getting a stimulation from the collar they pick up on that very fast.

I have a young dog right now, she gets the ecollar on every morning before she goes outside the first time around 6 AM and it comes off at bedtime. EVERY DAY. The collar means nothing to her other than "it's time to start the day" :)

Cindy Rhodes

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


Comment on Thursday's Newsletter:

Hi Cindy,

I am a big fan and avid reader of your site and newsletters, and I just couldn’t help but comment on one of the featured question/answers from yesterday.

For the person with the 15 week old Amstaff, I agree that it is probably the ingredients. To take it a step further though, what you really have to watch out for is these types of food (hot dogs, sausage etc…) tend to have onion or onion powder in them, which can be very toxic to dogs from what I understand.  Especially in a small, young pup it doesn’t take much to make them sick.  I just thought it might be helpful to pass that along… Onion and onion powder are in more things than I ever would have thought.


For more information on this, see our Thursday's Newsletter.

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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Everyone @ Leerburg,

I just had to take the time out of my day and tell all of you how much I LOVE your whole site!!!!! You people get it and I soooo appreciate that. You have taking canine training and brought it down to its most simplest form. No matter if you are training a working dog or your family pet this is the way to do it RIGHT. A thousand thank you's for all of your work and practical products that you sell. Keep up your awesome work!!!


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