Off Leash K9 vs Michael Ellis - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-02-2016, 02:36 AM Thread Starter
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Off Leash K9 vs Michael Ellis

Was going to sign my GSD for Off Leash K9's Basic Obedience Package, but came across Michael Ellis on this forum and youtube.

Which one do you recommend? What's the difference between the two's philosophy?
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-02-2016, 09:11 AM
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I'm interested to hear the responses. I've met a trainer from Off Leash K9 where I live, but I'm skeptical of him and the program
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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-02-2016, 09:27 AM
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I have a very high opinion of Michael Ellis, but if you want to work with him directly you will have to take your dog and go to California. I am not too sure he even travels for seminars anymore, but I may be wrong about that.

The other guy, I don't know...slick website. Seems pretty into using e collars. I like E Collars but I would not let just anybody hold a remote for one of my dogs. In fact I would not let most people near the remote for my dogs.

This is my impression of Ellis: he really gets operant conditioning, he isn't into any faulty dominance theory. He knows what can go wrong with aversive tools and how to prevent that. He is awesome at motivating a dog to want to work and teaching behaviors in smaller pieces so the dog and person can get it and be successful. You'dd always get more out of a super motivated dog. I am sure there is a lot more to say about both of them but probably others will chime in soon
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-02-2016, 09:28 AM
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So, is Offleash k9 now a franchise like SMS?
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-02-2016, 09:29 AM
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Michael Ellis doesn't train dogs. He trains trainers. To complete his coursework you'll be spending in the neighborhood of 20k plus whatever it takes to get you to California and stay for a few weeks.

Good experience? Sure.

OLK9 will cost you closer to 2k and will train your dog for you and teach you how to handle him.

Big difference.

Methodology wise with w collar they don't differ that much. Michael Ellis is much more into lure and shaping behaviors and lots of reward repetition before layering in prong and e collar pressure. I believe off leash is mostly leash and e collar pressure from the get go. They are trying to accomplish two different things though. Michael Ellis style training is for sport dogs and trying to get flashy behavior and OLK9 is just about training and getting control on a pet dog. There is a vast difference.

I have my pet commands that were trained with pressure for no or very little reward. They are performed calmly and without expectation of reward. The dogs don't get all excited rigid and wait to explode into whatever happens next. I don't like that in my everyday pet commands.

The sport commands were trained with pressure and varying degrees of reward and they carry the expectation and energy of that with the behavior. They don't get used in everyday life with the dog though.

So really you have to ask yourself two major questions.

Do you want to learn to become a trainer and have this be your learning dog?

Or do you just want your dog to be trained and know how to get the behavior out of him under someone else's framework?

Olk9 is definitely cheaper and faster.

The Michael Ellis thing would be a journey and costly one at that but in the end you'd learn a lot.
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-02-2016, 09:35 AM
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I'm guessing for what you want, the ME school isn't exactly for you. Unless there's something I don't know about, its set up as courses with the idea of you becoming a trainer. Its not really for you to just take your dog and train him. I don't know the lady in Marin with the Off Leash business, but that's probably more what your looking for. You'd have to contact her and see.

Experience is what matters in dog training Milliegsd. The local franchisee may be a great trainer, or just someone who took a correspondence course. I like something verifiable, so I tend to prefer trainers with some amount of background in something formal.
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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-02-2016, 09:49 AM
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If you are thinking about ME - you could always try his business partner, Lisa Maze, who does more pet training. But I think I saw she was out of town right now (or leaving) so you may not get a fast response.

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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-02-2016, 10:32 AM
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Thanks for verifying that Steve, the trainer in my area has a reputable background but I was curious since it seems like a big franchise if that makes it a bad thing
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-02-2016, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for the reply everyone.

Is Michael's DVD any good?
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-02-2016, 12:19 PM
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This is a 3yr old dog you haven't had for very long?
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