Member Questions 3-21-23


I have a 1 year old english cocker spaniel. Both his testicles haven’t descended. The vets advise to get them surgically removed as it could lead to a tumor or cancer. Whereas one of my friends dog had the same problem and he lived a long life without surgery. What’s your advice? Also it is safe to take dogs by flight where they are kept in the cargo/hold section. I have heard many dogs have died due to air pressure etc. Would it be possible to have a video on all the things one must do to successfully travel by flight?


I have a 9 week old Boerboel. She has very high opposition reflex with leash. She pretty much shuts down and if I force her to move she is obviously scared. Given that she is so young, I am not using prong collars. Or should I? Do you have some tips?

Melissa M

Hi R&, basically was in a shop with Anubis, been doing really well. staff came out of the back, so i moved to let him out, guy followed me, at first thought he was just trying to get past us, but after Anubis barking at him (got a sit & focus, reward & moved off), guy continued to follow us around shop, got stuff went to till, guy pops up again right beside me & starts messing with a stand as I try to pay, as I was putting in pin (so didn’t see exactly what happened), Anubis lunged and snapped at him, I corrected immediately, got him back into a sit & got my stuff in a bag, card etc. asked if he was ok-yes & if bitten-no, said sorry, Guy was still floating nearby out of ‘strike range’, the guy said was ok used to work with dogs. Yet followed a woman around the shop with her 1yo belgian mal x, which 4 a woman is threatening behavior, dog had already barked at him, yet still followed us. I did say to him the reason was that he was a malx and protection r bred 4 & he made the dog v suspicious. 

2 assists saw this & guy in queue, neutral to all of them & on way home walked with PCs & nxt gran on train. JUST THIS GUY. advice/thoughts? sorry, know it’s long. he’s not easy. can be fear aggressive (the bark was fear) and dominant/handler aggressive (can demand & challenge you by grabbing sleeves, jumping etc. – gets corrected/made to chill out – usually because he’s over stimulated) depending on the situation/his emotional state. 

work really hard with him, was out loose with 15 scientists2 dogs at weekend, stay in hotel, shapes through town, even so no leash (over his back work) weaves etc in front of street music. don’t do protection atm as few trainers nearby/cost. Should I focus him protection over scent? 4 control?


Hi Robert.have a 6y female bm.i wasn’t from the beg with her n have to say that took me long time to walk her on 4 w/o behaving like crazy and 2 bites from redirecting,my mistakes.i m now @avoiding locking on triggers & reacting & 2 trust her even if its not showing aggressive due to her fast reactions.all trainers after evaluation avoid me. Haven’t seen them willing 2 continue (with charge). last 1 who helped me by saying that correction must be so tense(even choking)n will reset her !!returned home helped with stopping but early soft corrections are making it worse*at these 2 visits was like lamb! To clarify,without triggers she listens ,heeling and following like i m not holding a leash.once a (weird to her human) dog,all dogs appear in the picture then losing focus and start building.i have stopped cars 9 out of 10 reactivity and bikes also no aggressive toward home another dog or cat.of course i m with leash on this and not trusting her.sorry for added question.


Hello Robert, I have a 6.5 month old, well socialized and bred working line GSD. He’s always barked to initiate play with dogs, but lately the bark doesn’t seem playful anymore. Also, he’s starting to bark at “nothing” (no sounds, people). both in and out of the house. Even taking him outside at night to potty he will look off in the distance and bark/seem anxious. Is this a fear period? My trainer says I need to correct hard the barking at dogs, but I’ve been focusing on redirecting to play/treats/focus – what should I do here? I am nervous about having a fearful/reactive dog. Thanks!

Zach F

Love the content! I have a year left on my GI Bill and recently came across a school, AK9I, that offers a few in-person detection or dual purpose courses fully covered. Each course includes a dog (Mal, GSD, Lab) that you select and train for the duration, and you graduate with a NAPWDA certification AND the dog. While I hear great things about the course anecdotally, I wanted to see if you had an opinion, as most of the people using the GI Bill seem to be new handlers/trainers, myself included. VA approved doesn’t always mean quality, but this could be a great opportunity for vets. Cheers!

Neil B

Dear Robert,

You’ve had a major positive impact on me and Archie, my beloved eight and a half month old Cockapoo. Archie and I train, play and walk daily, and your teachings are always in the air with us, helping us learn together. I am really grateful!

One issue has stumped me, though, and it has to do with how to work with my dog in relation to my wife. I am much more active with Archie’s training than my wife is, and Archie listens to me more than he does to my wife. Though this is gradually becoming less of an issue, he sometimes treats her as a litter mate, jumping on and nipping at her to get a rise out of her, and she tends to have trouble telling him to stop. But he stops as soon as I step in and say “hey!”. My question for you, though, is about what to do on walks. We walk on a 20-foot leash, which is always loose, and I alternate between having him heel, and releasing him to walk more freely but recalling him every now and then. When my wife joins Archie and me for a walk, I work the leash as usual, but Archie is less inclined to follow my leash pressure. He sometimes pushes ahead if my wife is ahead, falls back if my wife is behind us, and sometimes is a tad reluctant to come when called if it means moving away from my wife. When it is just Archie and me, he heels nicely when I ask him to, and has a snappy recall.

My question is: is it unfair to the dog or to his relationship with my wife to correct him when he is distracted by where my wife is on a walk? In other words, am I neglecting his training if I don’t correct him for disregarding my heel command when my wife is with us? I appreciate any advice. (Thanks Janet!)


Just random question, I’m going through a lot of your info .. it’s great btw. My Czech line GSD is 5 months old. Have all basic commands down and am currently working on full engagement with her. I know it’s a long way off but do you have videos tailored towards preparing for PSA1 training. Not looking to go crazy and win stuff but I want to be able to go to a local club one day and do well enough to join and have that outlet for Juno and have my family involved for quality time. Thanks for the answer hope all is well. appreciate all the hard work you do to help people with their dogs!

Jessica M

Hi Robert, 

How would you go about transitioning a dog out of crate to free roam and protect the house at night? MY GSD Kora (who you’ve met) loves her crate. Amazing. However, I’d love her to protect home at night. Issue is, she’s TOO GOOD of a guard. Barks at WAY more things at night than she would during day. Sensitivity meter turned to 1000! Problematic when she wakes sleeping baby over and over when there’s no real threat. (shadow, passerby?) During day, perfect. Only barks at people who enter gate and come up to house. At night, different story. 

Thanks for your help. Jessica


Hey Robert! My (3 y/o) Mal is well behaved and affectionate but has a nervous demeanor and tends to snap sometimes seemingly unprovoked when triggered. It’s 100% my fault he does this as I corrected the behavior too much when he was younger, failing to recognize it as anxious behavior instead of dominance. My girlfriend and I try to give him space when he doesn’t want to be touched but how would you recommend we go about conditioning him to be more tolerant of touch? I don’t want him to do this with other people who may not recognize the impending “leave me alone” warnings. Thank you


Hi Robert – was wondering if you can speak a little about benefits of a raw diet from your own experience. Been looking into beginning a raw diet and was wondering what kind of a difference it has made with your dogs or other dogs you have seen. Is raw worth the hype? I understand you don’t like to give advice outside of dog training but hope you can share your opinions/ experiences. Thank you!

Lina T

Hi J&R! After watching videos on E-collar training, I ordered the e-collar/extention recommended.Harpo,6yoGSD is excellent out in public with the pinch and I ALWAYS have a backup incase the pinch may malfunction. At my dad’s funeral, she lunged,pulled me across the parlor; my head smacked against the wall before she stopped. Would an e-collar correct her when she gets in that mode? Is there a backup system in case the e-collar malfunctions? Will you help this old woman learn new tricks? I feel confident practicing in the safety of my backyard. I feel uncomfy without a backup. Thank you!


Hi Robert, 

I have an 11 week old GSD Miesha (only had her for 5 days). 

She gets car sick/ nausea when traveling and has started to work out the pattern of when we are getting ready to go for a drive. she is starting to make a bad association with the car and wont walk up to it on her own. She has no issues when i carry her and place her in the car ( no swirming, tryjng to get away or crying). 

How would you handle this issue? 

I live alone and i haven’t left her by herself as yet so i take her everywhere i go. 

Cheers Nick

Denis N

Hi Robert, I watch crime documentaries in youtube every now and then, specially about missing persons. I am amazed by the performance of the dogs who are trained to pick up the scent of these individuals who are lost. However, I wonder what factors are in play when the dogs doesn’t pick up the scent? In one case, a girl who was abducted and was held captive in a bunker not far from her house in a wooded area. The local authorities used dogs as one of their means to find her but were unsuccessful. Eventually the girl was rescued when she escaped and the search party heard her calling for help.


Hello. How I can get my dog to stop growling when somebody enters the room where he is. We have this dog for 1 year now. 2 yo German wirehaired pointer. We are suspecting he was beaten before. His main person is my husband and he growls at everyone (at first) who goes near him and my husband. Sometimes he even growls when is just him. It’s scary bc he is huge dog. It is also difficult to move him from the place he is lying dien( the door, entrance to the room etc). Please help.

Lina T

Dear Janet and Robert. Not a question so don’t have to read iton AMA. I wanted to let you know that I recently purchased a new tablet so I can watch your videos anywhere. Unfortunately, I didn’t grow up with computers so you may see the same posts as I’m learning to use this tablet. I know you’re very busy and probably tired of seeing my same post. I will get better with this tablet and navigating thru your sites. My apologies to my ignorance during my struggle with this new tablet. Special thanks to Janet!

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