Member Questions 10-28-22

Mike M

How do you stop/prevent demand barking during training sessions? A perfect example is your lightbulb game. We start off fine and perfectly quietly. After maybe 5-10 repetitions, she begins to bark like crazy for the treats. What am I doing wrong in the first place (if anything), how should I correct the barking. Is it just a matter of waiting her out enough times, repeatedly, that eventually that behavior will fade away, or is there a faster route? Worried that trying to train through the barking is reinforcing it, much as I strive to never reward her until she is quiet again.


Hi Janet and Robert 

Just renewed my yr subscription. Been dealing with a 15mth. GSD & 11mth. GSD/poodle mix for 1yr & a STUBBORN hubby. All 3 with A.D.D. 

CHAOS in our house! UNTIL I took the “Lead” going over and over your videos about aggression & play FINALLY sunk in. Barking CAN be controlled. I just want to thank-you for that. (The neighbors must think we got rid of the dogs) This is just day 1 of following your advice explicitly and it WORKS! My question is how do I train my hubby to do what you suggest when he has a problem following rules? Will it undo what I have been doing?


I rescued a Belgian Malinois from a shelter. He was “untouchable, timid, could be reactive”. He was cowering and growling work his way to the kennel gate and softened when I sat with him/chatted nonsense. I couldn’t go in with him, liability. Shelter mgr did and he growled and was timid. I called a rescue I’ve worked with, we picked him up dropped him at my place. 5 days later I was robbed. He nipped someone, got arrested, 10 day quarantine and was bleeding at pickup. now his obedience trng is going great but shows extreme fear aggression, he panics when out in public. Prob bcuz I’m overprotecti

Aidan S

My 3 year old GWP x Lab seems to whine a lot, whether that is in the car as we pull up somewhere, in a sit-stay, on recall when in a busy park. He has done this for a long time now and I am not sure whether I should wait for him to stop then reward for stopping or if I should correct him. I have found that when I correct him in a sit-stay whilst whining he tends to come out of position. I do have a video if there is a way to submit this. 

He is a pretty soft dog, as in he doesn’t seem to have a lot of confidence (got him during the pandemic) 

Any help / guidance is massively appreciated!


Dear Robert, I want to ask you how to deal with a Malinois who can`t handle excitement. Our Mal is 2y old, well structured. When he gets excited (f.e. going with a cable car up, going by tram etc – he knows it`s going to be fun) he gets agitated, high pitch growling, yapping and reacts with hysterical barking to the smallest corrections… We usually wait it out, stay calm, having him on a short leash, but it`s just not fun in a a tiny country like Switzerland. Do you have an idea?

Farban D

Hi Robert and Janet, I own a 6-month old German Shepherd puppy. Last week I asked about whether to correct her at the stores when she breaks from me towards other people. This is my first dog and I am still trying to figure out some basics. It seems to me that there are two conflicting approaches to shaping dogs’ behaviors during gradual exposure to anything: not letting the dog fail versus letting the dog fail and then correcting it. I understand that there must be a balance between the two, and, perhaps, the balance changes with dog’s age. Can you explain how to navigate this?


My dog is extremely leash reactive. 9 year old Lab/Bully breed mix. When we are out walking and she sees another dog, she goes absolutely bananas. Barking, lunging, doing the helicopter. It’s quite the scene and she could easily be nicknamed Cujo while doing it. What I try to do when we see an upcoming trigger is turn around and change directions, but sometimes that is not always possible. Is there anything I can do to make our walks more enjoyable? I find that I walk her A LOT less because of this and that is just not fair to her.


On puppy socialization-exposure only no interaction- of 9 wk old GSD before all vaccines have been finished. Waiting until all vaxs are finished puts the puppy close to 15 wks. My worry is with a GSD that will be too late missing a prime window. What’s the safest way to do this at an earlier age? Obviously no dog parks, but stores and other outdoor venues.

Wesley R

15 wk old mal. We have been working on an ‘out’ command. In play & drive she is really great & with a bully stick I have been trading treats for the stick. Today I tried to out her bully stick & she took the item into a corner & gave me a protective look with her hackles up. I came to her level & tried to deescalate her but also continue to work the out. My guess is that a lot of this is puppy emotions, her mouth hurting w/ teething, and not being ready to ‘out’ without a trade off of such a high value item. Should I continue to do trades w/ treats for the stick until she matures more?


How do you gage e-caller levels and know what is the appropriate level and when? Do you ever use it punitively?


Hi R & J, Hope all is well, I have noticed some ‘odd’ behavior with Anubis, not sure how to handle it. He can be on the train/bus & doesn’t bark at anyone even if they talk to me, but on the street/station he’ll bark at most people who try to talk to me (some I understand as they are under influence & it sets off nerves in me (ptsd), I try to control it. He’ll sniff folk ok, never been keen on strangers touching him tbh (moves away). I have been rewarding for staying near me and calm, but I think he’s taking mick on this, he’ll keep going if I wait him out (5 min +) he’s not much better if I give him nagging corrections either, I’ll try luring into a position & he’ll bark in it regardless. taking him away and returning often does the same, he’ll often start again. 

He has a schutzhund temperament assessment on Saturday to so I don’t want to squash drive for there (if he passes) by doing something wrong either. Clearly I already have cos this is just haywire as I can’t trust that he won’t react. He’s already nipped someone in the bum. hoping schutzhund may help channel/discipline him more.

Nikki R

16 week old Male GSD mix was charged by an off leash Frenchie, no contact was made thanks to my older dog intercepting. Ever since then Riggs doesn’t want to go on walks around our neighborhood. He jumps up on me and tries to go back to the house. He also runs away from other (new) dogs. Especially if they bark, even if it’s not at him. He will do a little whine growl type of noise run either to me if off leash in our yard or tries to climb up me when out socializing. How can I help him get back to being either friendly or neutral to other dogs again, thank you for your time.


2.5 Malinois mix female, we have her on a prong when people visit, she gets very exited when people come over, no issue with people she knows. If someone new comes over she barks a lot, then she watches them sit or stand still, once they move or get up she gets aggressive and jumps to them, she never did anything because she is on a prong and she is being corrected. I keep her in a distance, at my side, have her sit or down and if she breaks it I correct her. The issue has gotten worse lately. She is not fixed, not sure if is hormones or overprotection. Thank you

Nikki R

You suggested that I give my pup bones to chew on. I have read on your site you recommended raw bones. My question is what type of raw bones? Example marrow, knuckle,beef rib, turkey necks… I have a 16 week old Mal GSD mix and a 10.5 year old GSD mix. I would like to start giving them bones rather than Lamb ears to chew on. My vet says no raw bones, still trying to find a good vet in my new area . So any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.Thanks for your time.


Our vet suggested that we start bite training him. We use a leather bite rag. However at one point while playing with him he still turns and bites our hands, pant legs, back of calfs, anything he can get his mouth on. He does not take redirection very well even when we try to redirect with a toy he still bites and latches on to our arms. If we try to get him off or correct him he will snap back and lunge at our arms again. If we do not do anything let our limbs go limp he clamps on harder and shakes his head. how do we make him understand the leather rag is ok to bite not us?

Santi V

I live in a big house with a quite big yard. First thing in the morning i let her out to go to the bathroom and roam free while I´m having breakfast. After breakfast I take her in the garage and make a session about 5-10 minutes of engagement training and lock her back until come back from work, then I usually take her for an hour walk and afterwards allow her to be free in the yard for one or one and a half hour, then I lock her up and every one or two hours take her to train and play. My doubt is if it´s recommendable to let her roam free unsupervised. Thank you.

Joe D

I have a 5 mo old GSD puppy. She is on a good schedule with lots of crate time and structure. Sometimes she will out of nowhere just dive down and bite at my feet and legs. After I remove her mouth I will make her sit. Then she will stare at my feet and motion toward them/bark as if trying to get me to move away. It’s almost as if she is f***king with me. I tried to remove her mouth and say off. I’ve tried to turn away or leave the room. I’ve tried to hold the scruff of her neck and get her to settle. Just not sure if I’m on the right track here or if I need to be doing something else.


hi, I have year and a half old pitbull Zazu, recently started showing possessive behavior towards me. Until now, no problems, she’s very playful, got along with everyone, people and dogs. until recently. we live with my new partner that also has a dog, Lola, well-behaved and well trained, uses prong and e-collar, cuz of strong drive for cats and deers. as long as my partner is alone with them, they can be free and it’s ok, once i step into a room, Zazu feels very protective of me and even attacked Lola because of that. I don’t want to make things worse, how should I proceed? thanks, anja

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