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Leerburg's Weekly Newsletter
November 29, 2010

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Preventing Face and Hand Bites During Decoy or Helper Work

Preventing Face and Hand Bites During Decoy or Helper Work
By Michael Ellis

Today's video is a small portion of Michael Ellis' clinic on Decoy or Helper Training at his school for dog trainer's in California.

This short lecture is about preventing face bites and hand bites on the decoy during protection work.

While getting bit in the face or hand is not a common thing in protection training dogs, whether for police service work or one of the biting dog sports, it does occassionally happen. When it happens, it's almost exclusively the result of the decoy making a mistake.

Michael explains some of the mistakes in this video. If you or your police department has an interest in learning to be a decoy, I would strongly suggest Michael's decoy clinic.

Next year, Micheal and I plan on producing a few decoy training DVDs that will compliment this clinic.

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 Holiday Savings!
Prices valid until Sunday, December 26th, 2010 at 11:59 pm central time while supplies last.

Check out Holiday Savings anytime HERE!

Leerburg Clicker
Leerburg Clicker
with the purchase of
The Power of Training Dogs with markers
The Power of Training Your Dog with Markers DVD

20 ft  cotton line
20ft Cotton Line
with purchase of
Basic Dog Obedience DVD
Basic Dog
Obedience DVD

One Handled Mini Tug
Synthetic 1-Handle Mini Tug
with purchase of
The Power of Playing Tug with Your Dog
The Power of Playing Tug with Your Dog DVD
RedBarn Meat Rolls
10 oz. Chicken & Liver Red Barn Meat Roll
with purchase of
The Power of Training Dogs with Food DVD
The Power of Training Your Dog with Food DVD

two handled mini tug

2-Handled Mini Tug

with purchase of
Training the Retrieve with Michael Ellis
Training the Retrieve with Michael Ellis DVD

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Free Shipping on All Domestic/USA Orders Over $50.00!

Valid on Domestic/USA shipped orders only. Not valid on kennel mats, blinds, etc. as noted on website. Free shipping method is that of our choosing as noted on the website during the checkout process. You must use the coupon code to be able to choose free shipping. You must pick the free shipping method offered to be given free shipping. Order subtotal must be $50.00 US Dollars to qualify.  Most free shipping methods do not guarantee Christmas delivery. Cannot be combined with any other shipping special at Leerburg.com.

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:

Just a couple of deep scratches, but some intense, painful and swollen bruising. This is two days after the fact and the swelling is 90% gone.

Found your web site. the next day - next time I'm going for the back legs.

I tried to stop a fight between my two dogs - something I don't usually do - but this one was nasty and I got concerned. The pit-lab got me - grazed my leg as he lunged at my akita-mix. Bad morning.

Thanks for your informative web site.

The akita is staying leashed to my side now and the pit-lab stays with either my husband or I. No one gets free run of the house anymore. Both dogs seem to like it. It's quite obvious that they'd rather not fight.  We'd dropped the ball with ground work and pack structure.  With two males, of roughly the same size and age - both dog aggressive breeds - we can't ever afford to slack off.  Learned it the hard way....

Thanks for all the info. I was glued to your web site. for the first 24 hours after their fight.  Just for the record, we ARE searching out professional help with this.


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 16,500 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 293,000 posts.

This Week's Featured
Question & Answers

Question: I need some clarification on the release in marker training. Do you have any thoughts or recommendations?

Hi Cindy,

I've watched a few of the videos I've ordered from Leerburg recently. I'd like to say nice effort on your and Ed's part.

I'm wondering if you can explain something as marker training is new to me. In the past I've always used "ok" as my release command. Using "yes" as a marker seems to be a little more motivational in terms of it's auditory presentation and I'm considering that. In your Basic Dog Obedience dvd Ed uses "ok" as a release. In the Michael Ellis DVDs, if I understand correctly, he explains the marker IS the release.

My pup is just 7 months old and I've had him about 1.5 months now. I was in the beginning stage of getting him acclimated to "ok" when releasing for food etc.

Do you have any thoughts or recommendations? Should I switch to yes for the release if I'm going to use Michael's system?

Thank you and have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!!


You should use whatever word YOU will be most comfortable with. It could be OK or YES or BANANA. :) Just make sure you are consistent, it doesn't matter what the word is. The word you use will have value to the dog, if you charge the mark correctly.

I have a lot of friends that train with Michael's system, and many of them use different words. It's all good.

Enjoy your puppy!

Cindy Rhodes

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


Question: I've sent in 2 sets of xrays to OFA on my 3 year old GSD and gotten back 2 different results. Do you have any advice?

Mr. Frawley,

I have inherited a working lines GSD male dog. He has excellent blood lines and is a tank of a dog.

I have no doubt his hips are fine, but have sent them to OFA twice, about five months apart, after having them xrayed by two different veterinarians, and they have come back with different results both times. The first time he was mild on both hips, the second he was mild on the left right was normal.

Now, I didn't see the first set of films, they were not available, but I saw and examined the second set to assist in determining which to send in, and they actually looked VERY good. Even the vet that took them, who does most of the OFA films in our area, was very pleased. We were both floored by the results.

Do you have any advice? Should I have him shot again and resubmit?

He is coming three and a a very strong dog, showing a very strong gait.

Anything you can tell me would be so greatly appreciated. I am so confused as to this process.

Cindy's Response:

If it concerns you, I would wait for a number of months and reshoot the films. If you have no doubt his hips are fine, then I wouldn't put the dog through more xrays and would save the money. If you are doing this for breeding purposes, then I would recommend getting the dog in top physical condition and re xraying later.

I always have my dog xrayed by someone who specializes in OFAs AND does not use anesthesia to take the films. Whether that makes any difference or not, I'm not sure but it's easier on the dog and much less expensive too.

Cindy Rhodes

Thank You:

Thank You Cindy,

Yes, it was for breeding as we have been approached by some top kennels because of his pedigree and performance. We do not intend to breed to anything other than the best female, thus we need the hip certification.

He was in excellent shape for the films the second time.

I understood it was better to have them under anesthesia for better films. I know how bad it is on the dogs. I work for a vet. Thus I am concerned.

I really thank you for the help and any other input you can give me is fantastic.

I would love to be on the mailing list.

Thanks again,

More from Cindy:

If you choose to have your dog xrayed without anesthesia it's imperative to find a vet who is experienced at doing this. I haven't had a dog sedated or anesthetized for xrays in years.

I'm afraid I can't offer any other advice other than I would not breed a dog that didn't have hips that could pass OFA or Penn Hip. For me, no matter how nice the dog is in other regards marginal hips would rule him out as a breeding prospect.

The fact that you've had 2 reports come back with less than great results would tell me that he probably should not be bred. If you want to get another opinion, then take him to a board certified ortho specialist. If you work for a vet, I'm sure you can get a referral.

Good luck!

Cindy Rhodes

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


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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Thanks for a great website. Due to your very thorough description, I am confident that I will soon finally be receiving the curogan fur saver with the link size and length I need for my boy's growing neck!  I have ordered from other places, but the creepy crawly feeling that what I ordered might not be exactly what I had in mind is usually borne out, unfortunately. Thanks for being thorough with your item descriptions. It's especially helpful when you are a late-night orderer! ;)


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