Member Questions 5-19-23


Hi R&J 

First of all I want to thank you (again) for all your AMA’s. I have another question regarding my 12 m/o working line GSD. We train obedience daily and he’s doing really well. As a reward he gets to tug either directly or after retrieving it when we complete an exercise. 9 out of 10 times he gets back instantly. Sometimes he decides to play keep away forever, today he even ran to the street. I tried the 2 tug method, come, down ect. but he doesn’t get back even when i keep a playful and positive approach. I trained for weeks with a long line and today i thought we’re over it but nope


Hi Robert, are play dates important for dogs? My dog is very friendly & well socialized but I only let him play w/a few dogs. I prefer to give him all the attention he needs daily – tug, scent/brain games, walks, etc. One friend since puppies is now growling (sounds intense) while charging at his face during play & bites at the toy he’s holding. Once she did it more intensely & he growled back so I ended it right away. Is her growling/play okay? I’m not very familiar w/play so I don’t know how to interpret it. I’m hesitant to continue playing w/her bc I never want him in a negative situation.


My mal is very good in the car but out of no where started to excessively bark the second I would turn into our driveway going home or turn into whatever place we go for our morning hikes. Is this excitement? What is the best way to train him not to excessively bark (ear piercing bark) pulling in somewhere?


I have a working line 2 yr old GSD. As an 8 week old puppy, she displayed resource guarding behavior. That is under control for the most part. We have obedience trained her, she loose leash walks, good recall, etc. But she has always displayed some “aggression” . She sometimes growls when we remove her prong or when we climb past her on the stairs. Lately, her “aggression” seems to be getting worse. When I close her crate she now growls, barks and lunges. Or growls at various times. I feel we have boundaries – waiting to enter thresholds, no furniture. Is this genetic? Handler caused?

Aaron S

Our German shepherd is now just over 1. She used to love her kennel and would go in there nightly. Now she refuses to go in for bed. If we leave her out she poops and pees everywhere. How can I get her back in the kennel?


Hello Robert and Janet: 

I have a malinois – 2 years old. What can we do on storm days? Normally we walk some kms and train on Saturdays, but I want an activity indoors for days we can’t walk.

oldSAP Charlie

Hi Robert and Janet. I’ve been training my 1yr3mos Mal for hold for quite sometime now. My problem is she always bows her head after holding the object, which in turn makes her drop the object. How do I fix this? 

Thanks to your guidance, I might try joining a level1 Mondio trial in the near future if God permits. Do you have any tips on how to properly start training for beginners like me? I’m afraid they might laugh at us for the mistakes we will surely make. 

I’ve attached a video of her training below: 

Thank you and God bless.

Denis N

Hi Robert, I watched and followed your video on dog tricks-play dead. How did you transition from the down command to the hand gesture and verbal “bang”? Goofy seemed to go from a down all the way to lying down on his side at the first “bang”(Which is actually very cool!) I had so much fun doing it to my dog Grant even if my “bang” and gun gesture starts when he is already in down position. Thanks in advance.

Monica D

Our puppy is 7 weeks old. We have a wire crate that we use when he takes naps. He has a routine: wake up, potty, eat , drink , play and nap. We also have a huge backyard with lots of grass and trees. Playtime happens outdoors so we can run with him and really let him use all his energy. It seems to me he loves outdoors, and when is time to get in the house he prefers to stay outside under the shade of a tree. It works great for us as he goes potty, eats and rests outside and he barks to let us know he is ready for company, that’s when we play and train him, but I wonder if this is wise.

Monica D

Our pup growls when he is sleeping and we walk by him, he was chewing on a bone and bit my daughter on her hand when she tried to pet him, he growled showing his teeth he looked very aggressive, as well as when I pick him up to go potty and take him to the usual spot I had to put a leash because I was afraid he would bite my face again he was showing his teeth and growling, looked pretty aggressive, the rest of the time he is very playful, calm and loving, I’m training him to not bite while playing , he is good at responding to the word “no” and when he licks instead of biting I reward him.

Kyle A

With a 10 week old mal, what actions should I take to divert snarling/snapping when being picked up. (Whether that is to go outside/inside or remove from oncoming dog)

Jan S

Whiskey Video – I couldn’t hear what you told the owner about the “mouthiness when she corrected whisky fir getting up and put whisky back in down. If you don’t mind please let me know what you told her and why a dog will mouth when corrected. I am working on this with my standard poodle and getting better but would like more education. Bella is doing great thanks to your videos and constant education. I so admire how amazing you are with all owners and their dogs. I also think this lady did a great job with such a powerful dog. Thank goodness for your direction.

Lina T

Dear Robert &J anet. I want to clarify my last question:I’m trying to train Harpo to walk backwards; she keeps going to a down or spinning herself in front of me as I try to lure her to walk backwards. She knows her stand command but goes to a down when I try to lure her back. I try to keep my toe at her belly to prevent the down or spinning around in front of me. What can I do? 

My new agility kit contained, a big ring, tunnel, adjustable bars to jump over, poles to weave around. Thank you Janet for your suggestion to look into Bad Dog Agility. But you and Robert will always our favorites!

Kimberly L

Hi Robert- my 15 mos old Mali & I train 2X weekly with IGP club & I take him on several road trips during the week. I have a high end plastic kennel I use for transport/dog club activities. He enthusiastically enters kennel & has never had a negative experience, however he barks non-stop during the road-trips rather than lying down quietly. He also barks at passing cars while in crate. Sometimes after IGP club he’ll be quiet for ride home. He doesn’t bark while in crate waiting for training. I just ignore him. He’s thrilled to come out & always happy going back in. Should I correct his barking?

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