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 3350 entries from multiple categories.


Categories: Protection Training - Pups 8 Weeks to 1 Year

Q. I have been working my dog through the The First Steps to Bite Training. How do I bring the excitement back and do I need to try another kind of material?
I have been working my dog through the DVD (The First Steps to Bite Training). We have worked our way up to the point where she is staked out and I am swinging the puppy tug in front of her building the intensity of the bite. she has been doing so well at this that I have been considering intoducing a helper to work the tug. Today I took her out to have a training session and she did well on two bites and countered good;but after these two bites she lost her desire to bite and counter and seems like to me she lost intrest,almost like she got board. I stopped at this point just in case she was getting to an avoidence point. I brought the ball out and she got fired up like she usaully is (high drive dog); then after playing with the ball about 15 minutes I layed the tug out to see what she would do. She bit very poorly and just layed it down. After this I put her in her kennel and I walked away. My question is how do I bring the excitement back when this happens and do I need to try another kind of material (like leather) instead of what I am using (old type feed sack) to make her enjoy biting a little more? I also would like to know at what age do I move her to the next DVD (the first bite on a sleeve) and to a soft puppy sleeve?

Dog information:
- 9 month old female german shepard
- good temp,stong prey drive, not working in defense drive yet (not ready yet)
- chez and german blood line crossed-father works with security company and mother is a narcotics dog.
- only recent changes in dog, she just went through her first heat.

Thank you,

A. I think for this dog you may be trying to do too much.

If she’s good with two bites, then give two and then frustrate her and put her away but don’t give any more bites. I think you should NEVER get the ball out and play right after she shuts down in bitework. Since she appears to like the ball more than the tug, by doing this you are teaching her that you will bring the ball out when she doesn’t feel like biting the tug. Then by bringing the tug out after she has played for 15 minutes, you just reinforced that the tug isn’t any fun.

15 minutes is way too long to keep a dog out playing anyway, especially a dog that is not showing the interest you want.

I’d put the ball away and replace it with a tug or sack. , any fun and interaction she gets is with you and a tug toy of some kind. Find what she likes, you may have to try several different materials before something trips her trigger. Use that until she’s crazy for it (like she is for the ball) and then introduce other materials like jute, leather, linen, or whatever.

I wouldn’t worry about moving her along in training until you get her biting the tug anytime and anywhere that you present it.

You may want to tie the tug on a long line or buggy whip to add more prey movement in it also. This can really help a lot.

Recommended Products
How to Raise a Working Puppy
How to Raise a Working Puppy
1 Hour, 15 Minutes
This is a handler training video, not a dog training video. It's a video that explains how we raise and socialize our puppies. If you are looking for a video on how to train a working puppy - this is not the video for you. There is a difference between how we raise a working puppy vs. how pet owners raise their dogs. Working puppies are expected to look at their world through different eyes than a family pet. This DVD on puppy training shows owners how to raise a working puppy.

Out of stock
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.

The Power of Training Dogs w/ Food feat. Michael Ellis
The Power of Training Dogs w/ Food feat. Michael Ellis
We are pleased to announce the release of a new and updated version of The Power of Training Dogs with Food. This new video was filmed entirely in HD. We did not use any of the video footage from the original DVD. In addition, the new DVD was produced from a totally new training outline and layout.


20% off Select Michael Ellis and Ed Frawley DVDs, streams, and courses good through Thursday, July 9, 2020 at 11:59 PM CT