Member Questions 11-19-21

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Hi Robert & Janet! Thanks for always answering my questions as they have become more frequent (AMA’s are so helpful!) My mom is a breeder of champion bloodline labs that often become gundogs or even end up doing service/therapy work. My background in shelter medicine as a vet tech has us disagreeing on pretty much everything, but my biggest concern is that her puppies are weaned and crated at 4 wks. They don’t go home until 8+ wks but it’s always been my understanding that the 4-8 wk period is crucial for socialization and learning bite inhibition, and that this lack of time with their mother/littermates can cause serious behavior issues in their adult life. She claims she’s never had any issues with her adult dogs, but my theory is that their temperament and workability is related to the breed itself. What’s your opinion on the connection between weaning and adult behavior?


Hi Robert, please help, my 11 months male GSD Still bites, i noticed he does it when wanting me to go with him or if he wants me to stay he bites my arms & ankles I’m always bruised, how can i correct that, i live in Saudi & its been very difficult trying to find a good trainer so far I haven’t had any luck nor are there clubs for dogs, if we could possibly arrange for a video consultation I would realllllly appreciate it cause I’m in desperate need for help. Thank you 

Brian S

My family has been considering adding another dog to our family. We’re looking at various options such as breeders, rescues, etc. We’re considering GSD or possibly Doberman. Ideally 2-4 years old but a puppy may be an option as well as a bit older. I’ve noticed that some breeders advertise that the dogs are imported or one or both parents were imported. Do you have any thoughts on imported dogs or imported parents of puppies?


Hi Robert, It’s my first week with my English Staffy. I want to do right by her and train her carefully but she seems to be very afraid. I tried easing her into her crate and making it a positive experience with treats, but once I leave, she loses her mind. I’m doing my best to ignore but don’t know if I’m traumatizing her even more. She’s also terrified to walk on a leash indoor and outdoor. She sits and shakes and won’t budge to walk. Would love feedback to make her feel more comfortable!


Hi Robert, I have been a member for over 6 months now and really enjoy training my 11 month Border collie Roger. My question I want to ask is what do you do on some of the tougher days you have when training your dogs and what have been some of the toughest experiences you have had to deal with? Roger can sometimes be a crazy puppy and I struggle when he doesn’t take notice or simply won’t obey, based off your other videos I think I might expect too much from a young border collie!

Karl M

Going 4 months BM puppy is fearful to loud sounds or unexpected noise and too silent. Is this some sort of nerve problem? How do I fix this? Does this mean she’s not capable of becoming a guard/protection dog? Thanks Robert!


What’s the best sex Mai to start with in your home? Would that choice help guide and mold the second dog?


Hello, my 6 month old Belgian beige Tervuren walks to heel on a leash but doesn’t slow or speed up on my pace. He doesn’t appear to be in tune with my walking. If I slow down he carries on. If I stop he’s still walking forward. Also I have to stop and recall him to heel to restart walking. It takes an age to walk anywhere! 😂 How can I get him to be aware of my leg movements? So he walks with me or stops when I stop, or slows when I slow or speeds up when I walk faster? Thanks for your advice.

Michael D

Best training book that explains training commands.


Hi Robert, I have 5YR beagle who can play tug well only if I let him bite the side of it. I tried:

1. cutting off the loops

2. Holding the tug with two hands on both sides

3. Once he bites the centre I put pressure on the tug – if I do this he lets go right away

4. Once he bites I let go and run him with the leash – while running around he re-adjusts it in his mouth to the edge of the tug

Any other ideas? He loves playing tug. I don’t want to ruin the fun by obsessing to get a “nice” centre bite!


Hello Robert. I have been working on emergency recall for about 3 weeks now with 6 month male Mali. I make mistakes by using the word Hier in conjunction with come; as in “come hier” in an informal way round the house. I am wanting to change the word, as he has failed (I have) too often now. Do you agree and do you have any word recommendations? Many thanks. Guy (SA).


Zasha is my three year old female German Shepherd. I followed your video to teach her to touch. She learned what I wanted quickly. Mostly because she is highly food-driven. We are now at the touch the Post-it note on my hand which she does. The problem is she does not touch with her nose but with an open mouth. She is not trying to bite. She gets very excited because she thinks she’s going to get a treat. How do I fix this. I want her to learn this because I am disabled.


Hi, I have a 11 month old Malinois that I have had since 8 weeks old. She is resource guarding me and biting everyone in the house. She has been in training since 12 weeks old. First obedience training then reactive class. We were set to start a board and train but she was kicked out after 2 days for biting the trainer on hand but caused no blood. Trainer told us to have her put down but I feel she was not given a fair shot. Is there a trainer you would recommend on the east coast?

Jorge P

Hi Robert, just got my 8 weeks old Dutchie 4 days ago and started crate training, so far he´s comfortable going in/out of the crate, he even goes in without me asking. Last night was the first night he slept in it without crying, but that was because I had the crate next to my bed so he could see me. If during the day I put him in and go out of his sight he starts crying his lungs out as soon as he runs out of treats, should I leave him cry, cover his crate completely and wait or what to do?

Gordon f

Our 5 months Old GSD sleeps all night 11 pm to 7 am in her crate but barks whines and cries if we put her in during the day , there is nearly always someone at home with her but we will need to leave her at home at some point , can you advise how best to get her to settle in the crate during during the day ?


What is the drive behind digging a hole and hiding a toy or bone? Pure instinct I know, Mother Nature must have a reason behind this action. I’m trying to get pup to put my husbands socks in the hole with ultimately placing them in the laundry hamper. I’m sure my pup will be the successor at this task.


Dear Robert, I have a question for the AMA, but it is too long – I hope you can still answer it. Unfortunately, yesterday I experienced something not so positive with my 3-year-old GSD. We were walking very late at night and there I met a familiar person (he did not know her) and I stopped and started talking to her. He went to her and jumped on her (friendly) (but he rarely jumps on people). Then she didn’t liked that and pushed him away and I pulled him back with the leash (he had a prong collar on). At the moment I was a bit insecure. Suddenly he jumped up barking at her and tried to snap. I corrected him immediately and sat him down next to me. He was then very calm again and I could talk to the person further. He is actually very friendly to people – dogs not, but that is another issue. Could it be that my reaction and insecurity made him do that? He is very attentive at night and also observes more than during the day. It disappointed me a lot and unfortunately destroyed my trust in him. I am aware that he must see me as a leader, otherwise he starts to go into the protective position, but unfortunately it is all not so easy. He was not my dog in the beginning, I took him over and faced all his problems and came very far with him. He is very good at all basic commands and we always walk on a loose leash. His main problems are other dogs and his territorial behavior (although he is still quite calm for a shepherd) We also attend a dog school where he does very well. It is only very disappointing when I have the feeling that suddenly more problems arise that were never there before.

Since you already have so much experience, I would like to know if something like this can happen? Of course I don’t want it to happen again. I just don’t want to feel that I have the worst dog in the world and that all my training for a year has been in vain.


I have an 8 month old field bred Labrador that I’ve had since 8 weeks. We’ve been working on the basics through food luring since day one. His food, retrieve, and play drive is awesome! I’ve been using a prong collar for a couple of months, and recently started conditioning on ecollar. His excitement level around people and other dogs is insane! I’m glad that he thinks everybody loves him, and I know he’s still a puppy, but even around people and dogs he has met, he just loses control! Thoughts?

Mary S

Hi Robert, I have a rescue Mal for over a year now, a neutered male, 2 1/2 years old. He is low-medium drive, loves to critter and is getting his BH, and I do some protection work with him at Wild West Dogsports in Delhi, CA.I am currently fostering a 10-12 month old male Mal through MAD(Malinois and Dutch Shepherd Rescue),who is high drive and our trainer at Wild West tested his drive and put him at 7 1/2 out of 10.I love this foster Mal, Koa.Am I asking for a clash of tempers keeping two males?

Neal D

Hi Robert & Janet. I have heard you talk about the 9-18 month turbulent period but are they insecure/unsure during this time? During our walks when we take a break my GSD 11 months will lunge at some passersby but not all. Similarly during our walks but negligent compared to when we are resting. I ignore the lunge but say to him “No…Down”. Their proximity does play a role but I intentionally make sure to be in a crowded park as a socialization exercise but keep the minimum safe distance. Thoughts?

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