Member Questions – 6/12/21

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Today’s Member QA


Hi Robert, our 15 week old puppy is pretty good at fetch when we’re at home but not in a higher distraction environment, like the beach (where we walk every day). Her toy drive isn’t as high. She’ll run after it but then not pick up the toy, instead sniffing something near it or running around. A tug on the long line might bring her back but not with the toy. We play when she brings the toy back and try to make it super fun. Also any tips for building drive for a ball as well as a tug? Thanks!


Hi Robert, new member here, will be bringing our Malinois home in 6 weeks (at 12 week old with some basic training from breeders). I noted your one comment in Episode 4 of Malinois & Working dog Q&As of a ‘fake service dog’. In short, it was not our intention to get another dog, however, this one just happened at the right time. My idea is to teach him to be my ‘service dog’ as I am disabled. Is this a bad idea? Thanks. PS: we have arranged formal training with someone in our area. Any advice?

Rob PP

Hi Robert. Rob P U.K. again. Took your advice using Ecollar low stim for recall or excitement and trying to use commands first. Using a winged contact as samoyed has very long hair and connection seems inconsistent, done your mods. Ecollar stops him running off but as a Samoyed always wants to play so seems to whine and resent me, doesn’t want positive praise after or treats. Any ideas? Thank you

Beth W

Hi! thank you for your lessons and help over the first 18 months of our GSD’s life with us. I am wondering how to get our male GSD 18 months to be a good boat passenger. I realize that I first must acclimate him to the water and swimming and of course get him a life jacket, but what is the next step to teaching him how to ride nicely on a boat? Canoe, outboard or pontoon boat. Thanks for your help.


Hi Robert, thank you for the lessons. I have a GSD and he is a year old. He hasn’t really been socialized because of the pandemic. We started walking him around the neighborhood and he gets reactive to dogs and people, we have on a prong collar. What should I start doing to stop that behavior, or socializing him. My husband walks him and I haven’t because he is a strong dog and I’m afraid that I wouldn’t be able to handle him and can’t control . What should I start doing to work on that.

Daniel M

We have an 11 month Mal named Remi. He’s doing fantastic with obedience and we have taken a lot of classes at our local dog club since he joined our family. He is amazing when we use the 2.25 prong collar but not so amazing when the prong comes off. We are looking to get into AKC events (agility), but most of them aside from “barn hunt” forbid using the prong. Is there a solid method to transition off the prong collar, or does it just take time.

Currently taking AKC Rally Novice class.


Ellie (Question from community page)

I have a 9 month old cane corso male. Before we found Robert’s content we were following a previous trainer who emphasised socialising with other dogs a lot. Not surprisingly Kovu now seeks out excitement from other dogs on his walks often over us. We have been building his engagement with us according to Robert’s videos and they are helping. For now we have to keep a pretty good distance between him and dogs to keep him engaged and we are slowly trying to close the distance. The problem I have is dogs approaching seemingly out of nowhere. I avoid other dogs as best I can but off leash dogs often approach and their owners are far away. In this scenario I try to get Kovu to sit but he often lays down trying to initiate play and no amount of collar pops can get his attention. A specific example was earlier, an adult male dog approached Kovu and this male’s body language seemed quite stiff. As Kovu is so playful the only way I could keep him away is by pulling him back with the leash (breaking the loose leash rule). To try and salvage the situation I asked Kovu to sit and when he wouldn’t I tapped him on the back. The women then said ‘don’t do that it will make him defensive’. I’m not sure what dog she was referring to but I just removed Kovu from the situation which did involve a degree of tugging him away.

I really don’t want any of what I’m doing in these situations to make him reactive or even aggressive in the future when he is older. Right now he is still extremely puppy like when it comes to other dogs.

How can I best deal with these situations while Kovu is still training? We don’t know any well mannered dogs for us to build up manners with. Any help would be appreciated as right now it seems every walk with him is a stressful experience.

James C

We have an 11 month Aussie who desperately needs a friend. She was very active until we let her go through her 1st cycle and is now super calm and won’t play. She is super active with other dogs so we are looking at adding one more to the family for her.

We are thinking somewhere in the 9 mo to 18 mo range and female. What do you recommend as far as age and gender? Also would there be any breed better than others? We are looking at Aussie mixes and Border collie mixes.

Thanks in advance.

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