Member Questions – 4/30/21

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Hi, My 4 year old mal is wonderful in so many ways but we feel like prisoners in our own home. When he turned 2 years old, he started nipping us when he could tell that any of us were going to leave the house – even if others were staying. I know it’s his herding instinct but his nips break skin and draw blood. He gets super amped. He knows the place but I can’t get him to stay there when he’s worked up over us leaving one of us leaving. Only way to get out of the house is either by distraction, creating, or giving him a bone. We have tried to de-sensitive him to the cues that we are leaving so he doesn’t get as worked up but with little success. We’ve had 3 trainers come to our home over the last 4 years – 2 of which were clearly afraid of him, and the other was a well versed mal trainer but he trains these dogs as working dogs and not just for obedience and how to exist in a home. Any ideas? I’m still on the hunt for a trainer that can help us figure this out! He has a host of other issues but one thing at a time.


My 8 weeks old Labrador already barks sometimes for play and other times getting attention. Can I use this behaviour to teach her Bark on command?


BIG FAN FROM INDIA.. I booked an American bully puppy(ur views on this breed), which will take more 10 days to come to me so i tried luring with my friend’s 1 yr dog where i faced the problem that she was biting the treat & stopped following my hand.

Did i use the wrong treat or did i hold the treat in a way where the tip of the treat was very long to be seen & be bitten or is it the age of the dog.


Hi Robert.. I’ve started my 10 month old cane corso/lab mix on a pinch collar….She is doing very well with it, but if I use a martingale style collar she reverts back to pulling and straining against the leash….To avoid confusing her, should I only use a pinch now every time she goes outside, or can I use the pinch only for training? Thanx

Dan S

Where can I find a list of the commands you use? Do you use German Language Commands? If so, where can I find these?

That Sam Guy

I used to practice Taekwondo, and have been thinking a lot about taking some variant of martial arts again. I can very much see how this type of discipline carried over into your dog training, and overall outlook on life. Besides “balance”, Is there any specific advice you can give to us dog owners that you would credit to lessons you learned in martial arts? Sorry if this is a weird question, and thanks so much for these AMAs.


Hi, 2 months ago I started properly using 3 main words, YES, NO and bridge word ¸¸GOOD¸¸¸. English is not my native language and you probably guessed that by my writing through this AMA videos. My question is, can I use any word as my ¸¸feedback¸¸ for a dog. YES, GOOD and NO, are very easy to understand words. I am from Croatia and our language is a bit tongue twisting so I don’t know if he could maybe understand better those 3 words as English. Kind regards, Simon


What is your opinion on potty bells? Currently, we are using your crate training method for our 6.5 m/o puppy which has been working well. We have also begun to let him out for longer periods of time (~1 hour) but he sometimes has pee accidents if he has drank too much water. Would a potty bell be an effective way for him to communicate his need to pee? And if so, how can we incorporate that into your crate training method? Thank you.


Hello Robert, I currently crate my 10 week old GSD I get up at 6am her schedule is train, eat, potty and play this usually takes a hour then I crate her for 2 hours and train and let her play for a hour or so then crate her for another 2 I repeat the process until 8pm when she goes in the crate for the night only to be let out if she needs to potty. My question is when do I know to increase her time out of the create I want to make sure she gets proper sleep and exercise

Jamie S

We welcomed a 3 month old male GSD (Echo) last Saturday, we have a 1 yr old female GSD (Allie). They are getting along great. A few times, “Playtime” has become more rough, understandable. What’s the best way to redirect them? Without them thinking it’s wrong. I’ve been placing them in their own crates (they enjoy the crate) once play starts to get rough but I don’t want them to think the crate is a form of punishment. I don’t want either of them hurt. Should I allow playtime or is it to soon?


My 18 week old pup is doing great at obedience training in multiple environments. However, he is incredibly reliant on treats (but not as a lure). I have started trying to reward intermittently (every other command or so). This frustrates him incredibly. At his age, should we be able to start phasing out the reward after every command during a training session? If so, how long does the process take? I understand dogs need a reward, but treats after each command seems unreasonable in the future.


Hi Robert I’m working on your lessons for tug and obedience with my 1.5 yr GSD. She loves the game and when I elevate her drive she is good without waiting to be released for the toy & sit but is stubborn with down. She’ll stop playing & if I tell her down again she gets frustrated and will bark or jump up which is her way of saying no. I see it through but takes the fun out of the game. How do I get the obedience down and keep it fun for her. She only pushes back on down. Thank you


Hey Robert I have looked at all what you have said about puppy biting and I know that its normal for a 4 month old gsd to be bitey. However my puppy seems to go from nibbling my feet to all of a sudden in a sort of scary frenzied zone where there is no redirecting or luring him with food or anything else to stop him. All I can do then is either grab his leash to pull him back or grab him by his scruff if he is not wearing a collar to stop him and the process soon becomes adversarial. Is this normal?


Hi Robert ! I have a 5 months old Cane Corso and I try to teach him how to out, using the 2 tug game. I saw in your video that Maya is much faster when you present the other tug, my puppy being a lower drive Cane Corso, he takes forever to let go of the first tug, no matter how interesting I make the second to be. How can I fix this, thank you!


Looking for insight/opinion. I put money down on a Belgium Malinois when she was 2 months old. She is 6 months now. She was imported 4 months ago and has been boarded/trained since this time at a local trainers home as she was imported from France directly to the trainers home.

My concern is about her training, progression, and ability as a Service Dog (for seeing issues, and for me as a service veteran).

Concerns: currently the dog pulls on the leash, is not focused, does not know its name, does not know basic commands of sit, place, stay and is not potty trained. She is comfortable in a crate and seems to be low energy for a Malinois however.

The trainer said she was 4 on the Volhard Aptitude Test

I’ve since learned the trainer is having an apprentice do the hands on training, at least 5 other dogs are being trained at her house (crated in the home and no outside training facility-just a home); and it seems the dog is just learning to be crate trained and be a nice house dog.

The trainer said more training will happen in the next few months and by the time she is is 8-14 months old she’ll be a great service dog.

I’m very concerned as I continue to pay her monthly and don’t see the training I expected.

I appreciate anyone’s thoughts on a Malinois for this, the “rating 4” scale, the breeder, her training methods, likely progression if accurate from the trainer, are my expectations too much?


Hi Robert! I’d love instruction on how to safely socialize puppies w/ delivery drivers. I’d like to work w/ my (high drive) puppy, so that as an adult, she’s calm and well adjusted toward deliveries, understanding she’ll also be protective of our property.

We live on acreage w/ a 300′ driveway. If well trained, is it possible that she can be out and about when deliveries take place? If unadvised, I want to understand so that I keep her safe at all times (not to mention the drivers). Thank you!!

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