The Principles of Dog Training

with Michael Ellis

Skill Level: Intermediate

Length: 15 Modules

Access Period: Unlimited

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Even the most advanced concepts in dog training require a solid foundation, and the Principles of Dog Training with Michael Ellis is going to give you that foundation.  The skills learned throughout this 16-week course are going to carry over into every aspect of your training program and handler relationship.  This course is for people who are looking to become dog trainers and want to learn from the best in the world. The course will give you the necessary tools to become a successful dog trainer.


This course is modeled after Michael's two-week obedience intensive class at his school in northern California. The course is comprised of footage from that class, as well as footage from multiple Leerburg DVDs and several trips Michael made to Leerburg.


The course details all the fundamentals of Michael's approach to obedience and the dog/handler relationship, and helps the trainer build the “toolbox” he/she will use throughout the training process. This course thoroughly covers classical and operant conditioning, reward-based teaching systems, and the use of verbal markers for communication.  It also focuses on building behavior through luring, spatial pressure, “leash pressure,” and shaping, and we will also discuss the thoughtful introduction of aversives and the creation of motivation in your dog through productive play.  We will also cover the foundation for focused heeling and the entire progression of establishing the recall.


This is a 17-week fully-interactive course. The course has 15 modules, two of which are two weeks long, as well as a 16th module that will act as an appendix. The appendix of this class contains three complete Leerburg DVDs: The Power of Training Dogs with Food, Advanced Concepts in Motivation, and Training the Recall.  These three DVDs will be available for the duration of the course.


Students will have access to a live chat with Michael Ellis every week.  During these live chats, you will be able to ask Michael any questions that come up during your training sessions that week.  If you are unable to attend a live chat, they will be recorded and posted in the course for students to review.  In addition, students will have access to a weekly discussion forum that will be monitored by Michael and his very knowledgeable staff of trainers.


The feature that really makes this course an amazing opportunity is the student video uploads.  Each week, students are given a practical demonstration or homework assignment.  These homework assignments will allow students to practice the skills learned throughout the week’s material, film a short video of themselves training, and upload it for Michael to critique.  The student video uploads are what allows Leerburg Online University to put Michael Ellis in your living room and really give you a hands-on approach that you could never get without attending his school in California. The added benefit of watching your own videos after reading Michael's critique allows students to recognize the subtleties of dog training and perfect their technique.


Michael is an internationally renowned dog trainer and teacher with 30 years of experience in the competitive dog sports. He has taught extensively to a very diverse group of trainers, from competitive sport trainers, police departments, and the US military, to search and rescue groups, service dog agencies, and pet dog trainers.  Michael’s clear, concise, and patient style has made him one of the most popular coaches of trainers in the country.  He has given over 300 seminars in the United States, Canada, and South America---well over a thousand days of lecture and practical work in the last eight years alone---and as a result, he has been one of the driving forces in popularizing reward-based training systems for the protection sports.




This course is for people who are looking to become dog trainers and want to learn from the best in the world. The course will give you the necessary tools to become a successful dog trainer.





"Michael is one of the top professional dog trainers in the world, not the United States, the World! In his promotional video for this course Michael explains this "16 Week Principles of Dog Training Course” is basically the same content he offers in his two week OBEDIENCE INTENSIVE course which is held at his SCHOOL FOR DOG TRAINERS, located in Santa Rosa, CA.

Michael makes the point that not everyone can afford to take two weeks off work, fly or drive to Santa Rosa and then pay hotel and restaurant bills plus miscellaneous travel expenses for two-plus weeks away from home. This on-line course solves that issue.

I would like to add, from my 50 years of experience attending weekend dog training seminars, on Monday morning I would only retain a small fraction of the material from those seminars. Maybe that has something to do with a “attention deficit disorder” who knows. But this situation is solved in our on-line course. Students have 16 weeks to absorb the material with almost unlimited review time.

What we see happening is students will take Michaels courses and when they see how great the course material is they then chose to make the leap and travel out to work personally with Michael in his school courses. By doing that they get the best of both worlds: they have the time to learn and review all the great course material, then if they chose to travel to Michaels School they get additional hands on experience to take their skills to a new level. There are a lot of people who have done exactly this and loved it. There are also students who have gone out to Michaels school and then turned around and took the on-line course (they love the ability to review the material, because they are not allowed to video tape at there school). "

- Ed Frawley on 03/02/2017