Member Questions 9-9-23

Tammy D

I have been training my Leonberger for Rally/obedience on a prong collar, she is now 19 months old. She works great on the collar with very few corrections in training. The problem is when she’s not on the prong but a martingale she knows it and doesn’t listen as well. I would like to transition her off of the prong because you can’t show in AKC with a prong but I tend to lose her attention when we switch collars. She’s a smart girl but her impulse control at this age is still not great which is why I still rely on the prong. Any advice will be helpful.

Tommy A

Halo Robert and family. 

I have owned many dogs and been around dogs for a few years but the malinois and the sports are new to me, I enjoy it a lot. 

We do tracking and search and some times we combine it. 

Mills picks up almost every object I hide in or close to the tracks I have put down. 

Is it time to get some other people to put out the objects, have them walk out the tracks with me and them putting out the objects? 

Or get some new objects and always handel them with gloves. 

I want her to mark on all things unnatural and not just my smell. 

She is already doing tracking for unknown people.


Hey Robert, the membership training content is great. We’ve been training our dog 3x a day. Basically a lot of the luring, shaping and associating commands. Attending a weekly obedience class just to socialize her around other dogs in a controlled environment vs dog park. 

One big challenge is she only seems to listen when we have food (we use kibble to train and basically hand feed all meals). Our Malinois is 7 months and I feel like a human Pez Dispenser. How do you transition or get a dog to listen without food?


I have a friend that adopted a young aussie mix and he is fine indoor with cats but likes to chase them outside. I’ve explained to her aussie are known to chase. What are some tips I can help her with him?

Nicole C

Hi Robert, I joined my local obedience club and in one part of the rules for the Starter and novice levels once you start to compete it says in the trick description for Starter “S.5 Nose to Hand Touch – 2 touches / 2 sec and then in Novice the same but four times. Bobs doing great with touch starting out but how do i help him to learn to hold him nose to my hand a little longer ? Thank you so much for being who you are, you have helped me and my working breed English Cocker Spaniel so much, using just those 3 words has changed everything for us.


Hi Robert! My female malinois is already 6 months old. Everything is perfect regarding training, but there is still one issue. Every time she finds something new on the ground or in the house, she doesn’t want to give it back. We’ve been practicing the out command since she was 10 weeks, but it seems that everything goes out the window when she has a new object. She is not possessive with toys or food. I cannot take it from her as she grows stronger by the day and she even growls. When I manage to take it back, she is really angry for like 5 seconds and wants to bite. How should I proceed?


Hi Robert and Janet. I have a very high energy GSD who is 17 months old. I am in the process of getting a slat mill for exercise. How long and how often can he safely run on the mill? Also I’m concerned about running him too soon after a meal. Can you please give me some guidance? He has used a mill at the training facility i take him to and he LOVES it. Thank you so much! Lisa

Robert B

Our 10-month-old Pit/Mal/Shephard keeps jumping on the couch and biting when he’s hyper. We tried putting a leash on him in the apartment to correct him, but he just chews on it, which he never does outside. Saying “off” followed by “no” and pulling him off only seems to make him rowdy and nip at us, maybe bark. How do we correct him or give him something else to do to stop him? Or do we just try to mitigate it as he matures?

Mary S

We “inherited” a 6 month old mal from our daughter. He is 9 months now, very sweet, friendly to people, but high separation anxiety (from me) . I grind my GSD’s nails, but this mal is not comfortable with that and I am not comfortable clipping his black nails. If I take him to have his nails trimmed, they would probably want to take him in the back without me to do it. Should I insist I go with him? Should my husband go with him, so my being there doesn’t add to his emotional state (protection??) or how do I work with him at home with the grinder? Would appreciate your guidance

Carol S

Our 11 month old Texas healer and 8 year old Blue healer were both behind me and started fighting. Puppy latched onto older dog and wouldn’t let go. Boyfriend had to choke out puppy to free other dog. It’s been almost a week and we’ve kept them separated since (dog needed stitches). Puppy has also bitten his litter mate brother before. 

I think the trigger for puppy is either resource guarding (me, being the resource) or he wants dominance. He’s super smart with a huge drive to play. No aggression towards people or other dogs outside house. 

My question: How to reintroduce them?


Hi Robert, I might have mis-taught my dog the recall, I remember your advice about when calling our dog if he doesn’t come we should walk away, I added something stupid to that (i say bye), my dog got used to me telling him bye when i’m about to leave so now when I tell him to come he would sometimes blow me off but if I say the word (bye) he comes immediately, does this mean that now his signal for recall is (bye), any advice? He’s 2 and half years old male GSD. 

Thank you 


Hi, my dog has formed a habit of barking at all strangers and guests that enter the house. I have tried a couple things such as redirecting to the crate and/or marking the first bark then ignoring the rest of the barks. She is okay being off the leash as she will not do anything aggressive more so just continuously bark till she decides to stop. My problem is that the barking can get quite bothering after a few minutes. I like to have things in control and would like to learn how to control my dogs barking. 1-2 barks is okay but not continuous. Thank you for your help.


Hi Robert, this question is a little different than my norm because it’s not a training question specifically. I’m always trying to learn and enhance my communicate with my dog so I wanted to ask if you knew of any good books to help me understand dogs behaviors, how they think, and how to best communicate with them? I didn’t know if throughout your training and career if you ever read a book that hit home and was eye opening so to speak in understanding your dog and bettering your communication with them. As always thanks for your help and advice!

Mark R


In Australia for the directed jump we send the dog out to a 1mx1m box on the ground. They then turn and sit in the box. 

Then do the directed jump. 

Was wondering when practicing the send out to the box. Would it be best to reward in the box? Or could I throw a ball or release for a reward? 

My dog is pretty good at the send out.. just looking to make it more exciting. 

At trials I see a lot of dogs not going to the send out box the first time. They will either go jump first or not make the distance to the box. Then they’ll be fine the second time they have to to do it. 


David C

Hi Robert, I have a 2 and a half year old GSD who seems impossible to rile,he is so laid back he’s a joy around people and other dogs. I also have a 7 mth old GSD who is leash reactive with other dogs. Off leash he plays fine. I’m pretty sure if I let him off leash when reactive he would go to play mode but its not easy to do with strangers on walks. My question/ Is it beneficial to walk the pup with the calmer older dog to learn off or walk him alone? I ask strangers to help by standing as I walk away and return until he settles which does work until the next dog appears. Patience I guess.

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