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Leerburg's Weekly Newsletter
November 22, 2010

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Free Shapping Your Dog to Roll Over

Free Shaping Your Dog to Roll Over

Customer Video:

Hi Cindy,

I just wanted to send you a little note to let you know how much I enjoy your streaming videos (and DVDs!). It's nice to get videos of dogs being worked at this level in my inbox each week. Thanks so much.

I also wanted to share a video of mine with you. I train a lot of tricks with my dogs using free-shaping. (When I'm more concerned about about precision with other behaviors, I usually use luring.) The video I'm sending you is of my ~4 year old GSD rescue. I'm don't know much about her past, but we've been dealing with a lot of people and dog aggression issues with her. She's made huge improvements, though, and her emotional state is just better all the way around. She's even earned her AKC CGC certificate! Anyway, here is her learning to roll over via free shaping. Someone came home halfway through the video. So, she checked out for a minute to make sure it wasn't an intruder being the sharp dog she is. There's a few poorly timed clicks in this video, but she still did very well. This was her FIRST time rolling over!

(Sorry for the poor lighting. I often teach new behaviors in my garage, because it's a distraction free environment. The trade off is that it makes for crappy videos.)


A Note from Cindy:

We chose to include Andrew's video on free shaping because the dog is engaged and understands the system. Andrew's reward placement is excellent and takes the dog from beginning to desired behavior in a little over two and a half minutes.

The Power of Training Dogs with Markers

3 Hours, 33 Minutes | $40.00

The Power of Training Dogs with markers

If you have an interest in learning about free shaping and marker training, we would recommend this DVD.

Marker training (also called clicker training) is one of the most profound systems of training dogs that I have seen in my 50 years of owning, breeding and training working dogs.

In reality this is a training system that is not that difficult to learn. In it's most basic form it's a method of communication that is very very clear for the dog. Dogs learn the marker language quickly and when they do they thrive in the training. The marker system produces dogs that love to train.

I had been training dogs for almost 45 years when I started to learn this system. I felt like a kid in a candy store when I saw how well it worked and the attitude of my dogs that were being trained with markers. The fact is I still feel like that when I see dogs work with markers.

Read more and see a video preview.

Free Shipping On Qualified Orders

Training the Jumps with Michael Ellis

Now Accepting Pre-Orders!


Pre-order and receive free first class mail shipping with coupon code: 226DFSH
*Please order the DVD alone with NO other items for this pre-order sale.

Read more and see a video preview.

Huge Molly Mutt Dog Duvet Sale!
Prices valid until Sunday, November 28th, 2010 at 11:59 pm central time.

Molly Mutt DIY Dog Beds Molly Mutt Dog Bed
Mr. Postman Pattern
Molly Mutt Title Track Pattern Dog Duvet
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$20.00-40.00 $15.00-35.00
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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:

Dear Mr. Frawley-

I wish I had come across your website sooner...
However it is because of multiple instances that have happened in my house this week that have caused me to submerge myself in your website and send you this desperate email.

I got my dog Bella back in April when she was about 2-3 months old. I have never completely figured out what kind of dog she but I have always guessed there was some Chow in her. Perhaps you have a suggestion based of my pictures?

Anyway, in the past week and a half Bella has suddenly become very aggressive with our other dog Daisy. She is a bit smaller then Bella, maybe by about 10 pounds. The first 2 instances were over food. Bella has seemed to develop a food aggression and perhaps even a toy aggression. If we give them both treats Bella will go after the one that Daisy has. Also, when feeding Bella, she has become quite territorial over her food if Daisy comes near it and tries to eat. I've gotten to the point where I am desperate for your suggestion and or help. This past Friday night Daisy and Bella got into a terrible fight over a raw hide. I know never to step in on a dog fight, however my roommate instinctively jumped right in and ended up having her right forearm bitten terribly. She had 3 very deep puncture wounds, I have attached a picture of the worst. We ended up sitting in the ER most of the night. The same thing happened again on Sunday night and each of the dogs walked away with some cuts. Since then I have been feeding Bella when daisy is not around and we give them treats in separate rooms or one inside and one outside. Tonight we put Bella outside with her treat and left daisy inside. Bella did not eat her treat but daisy did. We let Bella back inside and she went straight for daisy. Luckily my roommates husband scooped daisy up before Bella got to her. But this time there were no treat involved and Bella still went for her. We have been having the dogs sleep separately most of the time now. I can't understand where this sudden change in behavior has come from and I don't know what to do. I love Bella to death and giving her up just isn't an option. What do you suggest? Is there anything that I can be doing to solve this? Should I get Bella a muzzle? What boggles my mind is that we have had a baby kitten in our house since July and Bella has raised it like its her own. The kitten thinks that Bella is her mom in some respects. They play together and Bella is so gentle. But lately Bella has no tolerance for daisy.

Any help or suggestions you could offer would be greatly appreciate as I am desperate to solve this before someone else gets hurt. She has not gone out of her way to be aggressive towards people, is there any reason this could change?

Thank you for taking your time to read my email.


Ed's Response:

This dog needs a serious pack structure program and you have to be prepared to change the way you live with the dog. If this doesn’t happen, she will kill the small dog and bite you again. I have a folder full of people who have had one of their dogs kill the other.

Food and toys need to go away – forever. In the pack structure program, we teach that toys are our toys and we allow the dog to play with our toys, but after play we take them away and put them up. They only have access when we allow it and they are never left out. The food is always fed in the dog crate – ALWAYS – and the dogs are never around food or bones or anything else that resembles food outside of the crate.

Get the DVD I produced titled Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Dog. Read the description on the web page for this DVD and Dealing with Dominant and Aggressive Dogs.

I have written extensively on pack structure on my web site. You should use our SITE SEARCH function found at the top left of every page.

Ed Frawley

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: I've been training my dogs using The Power of Training Dogs with Food with great results. My problem is that my dogs are now so engaged they don't want to leave me alone to take bathroom breaks. What should I do? I don't want to discourage their attention.

Hi Cindy-

I've been working on engagement with my dogs after watching Michael Ellis' "The Power of Training Dogs with Food." They are all doing wonderfully and I'm very happy with the results. I've run into a small "problem" that I'm not sure how to resolve. The dogs are so engaged that when we go out for bathroom breaks, they will not leave me long enough to go to the bathroom. I certainly don't want to discourage their attention. Do you just not reward until after they've taken care of business?

Thank you!


I have different cues for my dogs, so they know what activities will be taking place. The only time I really reward engagement is after I've used my cue "Ready?" 

I say "hurry up" or "go potty" for bathroom breaks. If they try to initiate some type of play or act like they want a food reward, I say "nope, hurry up." 

Make sure your dogs know when it's time to train and when it's time to go to the bathroom and when training is over. I say "done" when a training session is over so they can relax and do regular dog things. :)

I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes

For more questions on this topic, see our Q&A on Training with Food.


Question: My dog was attacked when she was a puppy by 7 German Shepherds and then later attacked by a Boxer. She became embarrassingly dog aggressive after that. I have worked on her aggression and now when I take her to the dog park she behaves aggressively to certain dogs and she is chasing other dogs. She likes to chase squirrels, do you think she sees the other dogs as the squirrels?

Hi Ed,

I have been looking around your site and reading the various articles. I have a 4 year old Labradoodle (poodle X lab) I know it isn't one of the usual breeds you deal with, however I am in need of some advice.

My dog was attacked as a puppy by 7 GSD's. I was out walking her and had let her off the lead in an enclosed space in order to do some training. A man with the pack of dogs walked up to the gate and came in. The dogs saw my pup and pulled the leads out of his hands and chased her. Before I could pick her up, they had chased her out of the park and across two fields. I finally caught her as they had her cornered in some bushes. I don't think the dogs actually bit her - however it has had a long-lasting affect on her. Since that incident, I became very nervous when walking her around other dogs, as did she. She was then charged and attacked by a Boxer, who did actually bite her.
At around 2 years old, her aggression towards other dogs became uncontrollable and embarrassing. I think it was fear based. Whenever a dog came up to sniff her rear (she has mild hip-dysplasia which might contribute to it) she would turn and snap at them, then run away with her tail between her legs. She would lunge at dogs when she was on a lead too.

I came across Cesar Millan (I don't know what your views are on him?) and it all made sense. I have been following his rules for nearly 2 years now and they are working very well.

I have been socializing my dog with friendly dogs and it is going well. She has lots of doggy friends and can play nicely with other dogs. On a scale to 1 - 10, her aggression a couple of years ago was about a 6. Now, I would say it is about a 3-4.
She can interact with other dogs with nearly no problem now. Only if they are too boisterous she may growl at them, which I think is fair.

Recently we have been walking (off-lead in a park where the dogs can play. I live in the UK, and this is the norm among dog owners) with a collie X (and it's owner). This dog chases other dogs (especially small dogs) it is very rough and pushy in play too. My dog has also started to display the same behavior - chasing small dogs. Can dogs pick up behaviors that easily? My dog attacked two small terriers, both of whom were old. No injuries were actually inflicted on them, however both the patterns of attack were the same. She ran up to it, sniffed it, and watched it tensely. When it moved, she then growled at it, flipped it over and started to bite - release it. She didn't actually clamp down onto them, which is what I can't understand, as it can't really be classed as a 'bite'.
She chases squirrels, however I have used a vibration collar to stop this habit. I was thinking she might be seeing the small dogs as the squirrels? She is better with small dogs that are moving. It is the old/timid ones she has problems with.

My dog is very affectionate with people and the dogs she knows. She is actually very obedient - but obviously not enough. If I could only solve this problem she would be the perfect dog!

Any advice greatly appreciated,


I would NOT allow this dog to be off leash around other dogs from outside her circle of friends.

Ed has written an article about dog parks.

Since you have experienced first hand the long term psychological damage that can occur from being attacked by other dogs I am surprised you would allow her to do this. 

Whether your dog sees other dogs as prey items or as threats to her, it makes no difference. If you can’t control her off leash in the face of distraction, she should not be off leash in these situations.

She needs more training and you need to be more selective as to the types of situations you allow her to face off leash until she’s reliable.  For some dogs, this may not ever happen in the company of strange dogs.

I would suggest our groundwork program and the videos Pack Structure for the Family Pet and Dealing with Dominant & Aggressive Dogs.

We also have a number of eBooks, which include topics that may help you. 

For future questions, you might benefit from learning to use our SEARCH function, which is located in the top left corner of every page of the website.  If you type in your key words or question it will find you articles, Q & A’s, free streaming video and links to threads on our discussion forum.  Our website has over 16,000 pages and it’s very likely you’ll find the information you are looking for.  I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes

For more information on this topic, see our Q&A on Dog Parks.


Comment on Thursday's Newsletter:


I have a comment on the question that was posted below.  First of all, I do not feed a raw diet.  However, my 5 year old GSD had frequent diarrhea for the first year and a half of her life. I started adding the supplement that you sell from your website, ProBios. There was a dramatic reduction in the frequency and duration of her diarrhea.  She still gets it occasionally, but it clears up usually within a day. I add the Pro Bios to every meal.

I just also want to say that your website is wonderful. I look forward to your news letters. My dog is extremely well trained and very healthy thanks in large part to the information on your website. 

Thank you!

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
See Previous Testimonials

I have ordered DVDs, tugs, and other equipment and am very happy with the quality. In the comments that I included in my last order, my intent was to be brief and to the point, so I did not include all the positive things I’d like to say about the Leerburg website and products. I stumbled on your website two or three months ago, looking for a prong collar small enough to fit my daughter-in-law’s Papillion, Jack (better known as Jack-zilla before the collar!). What a wealth of information! I start reading and come out of my trance hours later. I have mentioned your name to every dog owner I know. I have gotten a fellow Dobe owner hooked on your website and DVDs, and we both are very excited about starting over, from your beginning, with our dogs’ training. We think it will make a tremendous difference in their performance. Thank you for your good work and common sense training. 


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