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Leerburg.com December 20, 2010
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Jeremy Norton Socializing his 9 Week Old Puppy

Jeremy Norton Socializing His 9 Week Old Puppy

This weekend (12.18.2010), we had a few friends over for training. If you have followed our newsletters and streaming videos, you will recognize our friend Jeremy Norton. Jeremy has been in a number of newsletters doing helper or decoy work and working his Mondioring dog, Shrike.

Jeremy recently got a new 8 week old Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy for his two daughters, Flannery and Harper. He brought it over to our new training center to further its solicitation and training.

Training the Jumps with Michael Ellis

Training the Jumps with Michael Ellis

2 Hours, 50 Minutes | $65.00

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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:

I stumbled upon your web site. Today as I am at my wits end with my dogs. I am sooo stressed and just want to cry. We have had 6 major dog fights in the past 4 years. These fights occur amongst my dogs. Cowboy JRT male almost 4 - aggressive dominant Daisy Pointer mix female 7ish - submissive Sheba Chow mix female 10ish - dominant over pointer, battling it out with the JRT. It is all our fault we are inconstant. Usually the fight is between the 2 girls we are not sure why. Once they bumped into each other and fought and the last time I was by myself I threw the ball for the Jack it went by the chow mix and the Jack jumped on the Pointer mix (she is the submissive one)(who was also running after it) and she rolled over -- next thing I know the girls are locked up fighting and the Jack is biting the Chows back legs (which he shredded). I have included the pics I received from breaking up this fight and the chows injuries. I tried to pull from their scruffs and The chow bit my pinky - I could see her eyes RED RED RED. They go into killer death mode. One of me cannot break up 3 of them. I don't want to pull the Chows back legs cause she is arthritic and it hurts her when I wipe her paws. I think she would bite me too. And when I have gotten them apart the Pointer mix has come back at the chow.

The previous fight that occurred a year and a half before. Was when we moved into a new house. We were sleeping and I woke up at 2 am with the girls fighting on top of me. Some how I got them apart and when I went to get up out of bed the Chow was on the floor next to me I believe she thought I was the pointer and she clamped onto my arm and shook. Her canines left deep puncture wounds in my arm and I had to go to the hospital and lost 2 weeks of work with the horses. I will attach pics of the scars.

The girls themselves have been to the emergency room several times with puncture wounds. My heart cannot take another fight. The chow is getting older and was recently diagnosed with Stage 2 mast cell tumors - cancer. I am afraid the Jack will be more aggressive towards her. He was beaten up by a Boxer at the dog park that we believe started this aggressive dog behavior. Recently the Jack has been more aggressive. Standing on the bed growling at the pointer not to let her in the room. Starring her down in the den. When he tries to get the possum under the shed he'll attack one of the girls instead. When we walk and there is a dog behind a fence the Jack will attack the Chow. I am afraid the Chow will snap and eat him. I am not relaxed around them and I know that is not good. I am going to buy your DVD on aggressive dogs.  

Any thing else you can suggest. We are interviewing dog trainers, but I am not sure that is the answer. I believe we know our basics but need to use them. Sorry the puncture scars aren't to clear. You can see it is a line into the puncture. Not the middle dot that was chicken pocks. So that was my forearm then on the other side was the other puncture only one cause she is missing a canine as a result of another fight Sorry for the long winded email. But like I said I am desperate to keep the family safe. Eventually we would like to get married and have kids but not as long as the dogs are like this. Any further suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated. I hope you get this.

Thanks In Advance,

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: My usually well behaved dog recently began chewing items from low tables and shelves. Should we go back to the basics and retrain? What do you suggest?

Dear Cindy,

My now almost 4 year-old GSD female, Pepper, whom my wife and brought home as a 6 week-old puppy (too young to be taken from the dam, I know, but there you have it), is crate trained, and has historically been an obedient and well behaved almost 80 pound dog with an energetic, pleasant demeanor and a lot of “personality” (she is very vocally expressive when commanded to do something that for whatever reason displeases her, sounding remarkably like Chewbacca of Star Wars fame) -- in short, a very intelligent, active, affectionate, frequently exercised, fun companion.  Recently, though, Pepper -- who has had the full run of our home for years now, without incident -- has begun to sneak small objects off of low tables and shelves, and chew them into oblivion (most recently, my wife’s iPod); interestingly, all of the objects destroyed so far are items handled or worn only by my wife.  As Pepper is well aware that she is never to “counter surf,” and that everything in our home belongs to us and not to her, we have now crated her, but are not sure what to do next.  Should we go back to [the very] basics and begin retraining her as if she were still a puppy (i.e., never let her out of our site, and remand her to the crate every moment that we are not exercising her or allowing her to relieve herself outside)?  Information to perhaps note: 1) Pepper was recently frightened in the middle of the night by a malfunctioning ceiling smoke alarm, the noise from which drove her from the second floor of our home downstairs to a closed door that she knows leads to our backyard and against which she pressed the entire length of her prone body for quite some time before I could coax her back to the safety and security of her crate (the behavior in question began a few days after this incident), and 2) for about the last 3 months, Pepper has been given 7.5 milligrams of Meloxicam once daily for hip discomfort (per her vet’s recommendation).

Thanks so much in advance for your time and attention; my wife and I find your website and products a wonderful resource.



This is classic separation anxiety. It seems that the incident with the smoke alarm has made her feel anxious in her own home.

I would go back to basics and give her increased structure and predictability in her routine. 

We also have a Q&A section on separation anxiety that may help you. 

Hopefully with time and increased structure she can get over her anxiety and go back to being trustworthy in the home.  Give her freedom in increments as she improves, don’t just cut her loose in the house with full privileges.

You may also want to consider Calm Shen or Rescue Remedy  for the short term.

Cindy Rhodes

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


Question: My pup is very mouthy on me and inappropriate objects. I would like to integrate an ecollar into my training. Is this an ok age and would the ecollar DVD be of help?

Hi Cindy,

Your advice worked out very well. My GSD pup is now 16 weeks old and I have come back to you to ask for your gracious help with another problem.

The pup is very "mouthy" on me and on inappropriate objects, i.e. he tries to eat sticks, rocks, grass, and even dirt! I judge him to be of extremely high prey drive.

I have been studying your DVDs (Your Puppy 8 weeks to 8 Months, Basic Obedience, Establishing Pack Structure For the Family Pet) and learned that you often move to an e-collar at 4 months of age.

Concerning the "mouthiness," I have only used verbal corrections and diversion to toys up until this point as per your puppy DVD to help. This technique has resulted in improvement but I think I need to go further to stop this "teeth on skin" fun my pup is having. Your obedience DVD says that I should wait till 5-6 months of age to use corrections (so as not to damage my bond with him) so I think the time is coming very quickly for me to become firmer.

Since I would like to use the collar to train the puppy to stop his nipping me and to stop eating "garbage" I was thinking of purchasing your Dogtra 280NCP collar and your E-collar DVD. Would this be the right collar for a puppy? Would it still be OK to use when he is older for other training? Will the DVD tell me everything I need to know to start off right now at 4 months of age?

Thanks in advance for your great advice!


Cindy's Response:

I’m glad the advice I gave is working out. Thanks for letting me know.

I do start my own dogs with the ecollar around 4 months. I use super low level stimulation and I find that it makes learning go quicker and it’s less “emotional” than giving a collar correction with a regular collar/leash. 

I would recommend the ecollar video and the collar you picked out. I use the 280 NCP daily with my dogs. 

For the eating of stuff and biting you, I use the word YUCK. I say YUCK, wait a split second and then give a low level nick (you will learn how to determine the level to use in the DVD). As SOON as the pup stops what he is doing, I say YES and give a reward. This works very well. I want the dog to eventually leave whatever he is thinking of picking up, eating or biting when I say YUCK. We have guinea fowl and my dogs LOVE the little presents they leave all over the grass, I find myself saying YUCK at least once a day. It really works.

I like to use this word instead of NO, because I use NO in my marker training.  

I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes

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


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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Hello All,

I am writing to update you on a situation we had. We got, by way of my daughter, a shelter dog she saved from death row. She could not keep it because it was so destructive and downright crazy. It had been to five different homes and this 20 pound monster (named Pig) was a handful. She spent a week in a kennel (and almost destroyed it)  to become accustomed to our two GSD's and they her. The first time she was out she attacked one, and Macha responded with a counter attack, so both back in the kennel. Same deal three more times. Your advice was never let them out together. Well Pig had a few lessons to "unlearn" from her previous homes. She didn't know how to be a dog, she wouldn't even play! No walking on the counters, no sleeping in a bed, no growling, no being on the furniture, no going potty in the house, no toys, no food fight, no begging, no dominant behavior with the children. As Ed says, the kennel was her new home and she only came out to potty or exercise. She was so frightened I could barley take her for a walk. I had to use a small prong collar on her because she would back out of anything else and run or cower. She was afraid of cars, trucks, bikes, thunder, garbage bags, leaves blowing, and any unfamiliar sound or sight. Today, almost a year later she is still a work in progress but such a different dog. We used pack structure and training, not kissy love. She is cute when she is good! All dogs are together now. We took in a stray 9 week old puppy someone got rid of in front of our home and I feel a little crazy at times but everyone gets along. No food issues, they are all fed in one room but everyone knows their place, two run to kennels, one eats with her dish on a small stool and the other on the other side of the room. The only toys in the house are the grand kids toys. They all play in the yard with us, the kids too, and each other. She and the pup are still kenneled at night and when we are not here, or if the pup won't stop trying to play with the big dogs, she goes in. I don't know that I will ever trust Pig loose in the house but she has grown to love her kennel. Now after all this time we just started on focus training and simple sits and downs. She trains with her breakfast and dinner, one piece at a time. So all thanks to you for educating me and in turn saving the life of a dog on death row.


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