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Q&A on Personal Protection Recall

Q&A on Personal Protection Recall

Ed Frawley discusses a few solutions for a customer who is having trouble with the recall on her 2 year old boxer pup. The dog is having issues recalling under distraction, primarily strange men.

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Leerburg Q&A
Ask your training question

Question: I'm getting a new Black Russian Terrier pup and I've been told that a lot of your methods won't work for this breed of dog. Do you have any experience with this breed?


Brief history: A majority of my dog training experience through the years has been the "old way" of thinking - and it is frustrating to think of all the mistakes I've made with some wonderful dogs - and how things could have been different. With that said, I'm committed to continually learning so that my future canine relationships will gain the maximum benefit. I appreciate the wonderful accessibility to information your site provides. I've bought several of your videos and have watched all of them multiple times w/ notes as well as spent countless hours scouring the forum/q&a's. (I'm slightly obsessive - but mostly thorough :) ) 

I'm getting out of the search and rescue world and will be starting a Black Russian Terrier puppy in competitive obedience/personal companion. My husband and I have a 2 year old son, as well. 

As impressed as I am with Ed's videos and Michael Ellis' videos, I was told that a lot of Leerburg's ways of training would not apply to this breed - specifically the socialization rules. I've never believed in training being breed specific, but rather based on an individual dog's personality and "hardness/softness." 

So, my question is, how much do you know about the BRT and how they respond to Leerburg training (socialization mainly)? Are there any conflicts? With a breed with such a strong natural protection drive, can there be any issues by socializing/training this way? 

Thank you for any/all information you can provide

Cindy's Response:

You are right, training is not breed specific and people who say this either lack experience or are what I call “old school” in their ideas.  I recently got a terrier pup and I have heard from all kinds of people that you can’t let them off leash because they have too much prey drive, too independent, etc... I have to chuckle about that because I believe that it’s just a lack of training… some dogs are easy and some are more challenging.  I’ve had both types of dogs and many in between.

This goes for socialization too, you need to do what is the right thing for the dog you have on the end of the leash based on the temperament, confidence and goals you have for that particular pup.

I’d highly recommend the Ellis videos, the core of his program is engagement and no matter what the personality of your pup, engagement is (in my opinion) the most important skill they can learn.  A pup that knows how to engage with the handler in new environments will have a lot less trouble dealing with social issues, in my experience. They know that new people and environments mean great things coming from the handler. I can’t think of a better skill for a pup to know whether they are shy, confident or a bit pushy. 

Cindy Rhodes

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

We get a number of Q&As every week, if you would like to read this week's Q&As, click here and check out the 'Recent Questions' section!

Have a question for Ed & Cindy? Try the Leerburg Q&A Search. If you can't find the answer to your question by using our search engine, you can email Cindy here at Leerburg at If you have your spam filter on, make sure you set it to receive our replies!!!

Customer Comments

On Leerburg's Orthopedic Pet Bed

These are outstanding beds that withstand the wear and tear, and provide the comfort the dogs need. Puppies can chew the sides a bit, but these beds DEFINITELY are the toughest and sturdiest that we have found in 20+ years of dog raising. As our dogs are in the house with us, the beds are washed weekly, and AMAZINGLY, are perfectly washable and will dry in the dryer! The large size is a bit tight getting in the washer, but we are able to squeeze the large one in too, and get the job done. I give these beds my highest recommendation. Comfy, washable, and tough!

The Michael Ellis School for Dog Trainers

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