For 40+ years we've helped over 300,000 dog trainers just like you!

Learn more about Leerburg

$6.99 Flat Rate Shipping

Learn more
Ask Cindy Our Newsletter Free Catalog
Leerburg » Leerburg Q&A » Answered

Do you have a dog training or equipment question?
Leerburg's Q&A database has 3353 entries from multiple categories.


Categories: Building Drive, Focus, and Grip , Protection Equipment

Q. My 18 month old dog is doing good prey and defense. He is very strong-- too strong for my wife to handle. Can I add control without hurting his drive?
Hi Mr Frawley,

I have read your website extensively and purchased several of your videos (puppy bite work, obedience, drive & focus, starting defensive work and the finished protection dog. I have a question that I need your help with that I have not been able to find the answer on my own research.


I have a 16 month old intact male Shepherd from Czech lines. Very high prey drive and started nicely in defense. Well developed bite. Does excellent in civil work. Serious, obedient, stable dog that loves his family and knows his place! He works well in obedience with my young kids.


During his agitation work (using your 2" collar) he is very forward moving and requires all my strength to keep a hold of him. There is no way my wife could handle him right now. I want to start introducing more control using more obedience in his agitation work such as staying in heel position or a down stay while he is being agitated. He respects his pinch collar very well.

My trainer and I agree that because of his high prey and defense drive there is no problem introducing the control. However, other people in the club feel this is a huge mistake at this point in the dogs training.

I would greatly appreciate your insight on when it is appropriate to add obedience or control into the agitation work.

Thank you

A. I cannot answer this question because I do not know how you train.

When done correctly obedience is introduced from the very beginning of protection work. It's not added at some point in the middle of training.

The young dog is first expected to run in a circle and then come to you and come into your arms when told to do so. The dog must OUT from your arm when told to. If a dog is strong then someone else holds the line during the actual bark before the bite. After the bite > slip the dog needs to use obedience to run in a circle and not run around the field going where it wants to go.

The foundation for this is covered in my DVD on Building Drive and Focus – and Preparing Your Dog for the Helper. I hope to edit the helper tapes later this year.
Recommended Products
Building Drive and Focus
Building Drive and Focus
2 Hours
This is a DVD done with Bernhard Flinks, Bernhard is a German police officer and Schutzhund competitor. This video shows how Bernhard teaches people to bring their dog up to its genetic potential of drive (every dog has its own potential for drive). It's through "drive training" that the relationship between the handler and dog is established.

The Power of Playing Tug w/ Your Dog
The Power of Playing Tug w/ Your Dog
5 Hours, 25 Minutes
This is another DVD that is done with Michael Ellis. It teaches trainers in a step by step manner how to use a toy as a reward in training your dog. It teaches dogs to OUT when asked and to bring the toy back when its released and it is all done with motivational methods.


20% off Select Michael Ellis DVDs, streams, and courses good through Thursday, July 23, 2020 at 11:59 PM CT