Member Q&A – 3/24/21

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Jen

Bella now gets herself so worked up when left in the crate for any length of time that she pees or poops (even right after eliminating outside) and will have to sit in it (as the crate is appropriately sized.) Breeder includes training with another online trainer who suggested I take a break from the crate for 2-3 weeks to break this habit. Good or bad advice? She LOVES her crate and the kong and/or bully stick she gets in there. Will happily go in there and chew away but as soon as I’m out of site she screams. If I stay gone longer than a few minutes, she pees or poops.

Taking a break scares me – won’t I just make this attachment and separation anxiety worse?

Ilan

Hi. I have a 5 month old Great Dane puppy. Her training is going really well. I have followed all your lessons religiously. A huge thank you to because you have taken the experience of owning a dog to a new level for me. I am however having a problem with her jumping up and what’s more troubling is that she will take food and other items from counter tops.The second I put her on leash she is good as gold but I don’t seem to figure out a way to control her when I take her off leash.

Do you think that it is too early to start using an e-collar to correct her when doing this, in order to break this type of behavior early?

Tristan

Hey Robert, is it normal for Mals to go through a “grumpy phase”? Mine is 9 months and since around February he’s been a lot less affectionate than usual. He used to climb up on the couch and let us pet him, etc. Now he’ll sometimes let us pet him and be fine but often will side eye and growl (doesn’t really lay ears back though). The vet said he’s healthy. I’m worried I may have messed up our relationship with corrections. We still train well but I really miss him being my buddy. Any advice?

Jack

Hey Robert, we took our 5 month pup on a walk with 2 other people. Normally it’s just me that walks her and sometimes with my girlfriend. She was constantly pulling to be at the front and if I tried dropping back with her she would cry/scream and dig into the ground trying to catch up to everybody. Do I have anything to worry about or act upon here? Thank-you for all your advice.

Riggan

We just had a large family move in next door. Lance is terrified of children and they have 5, ages 3-15. He starts barking and growling at the window when he sees the parents outside, and runs to hide when he hears the kids. I can close the blinds so he can’t see, but he will still hear them. We will gradually start introducing them to him, and they have agreed to help. For now, though, how should we handle it when he is inside and reacts to seeing / hearing them outside? Thanks!

Max

Hey Robert, What is a good age to get my GSD/Mal mix involved in schutzhund? My dog is the only one and he is doing very well with obedience training. There is a club about an hour a way that meets on Sundays. I have visited the club before and they require the dogs to be in the car when not being worked. Many of them bark and I have found my dog gets overwhelmed and agitated when around lots of other dogs who are barking. I do not want him to regress but think IPO training would be beneficial.

AtlasGSD

I’m sure it’s nothing. My 4 month old gsd stayed at my friend’s house over the weekend while I was out of town. He got to run and play in a pasture with a 5 year old beauceron, they got along great, new best friends. I picked up atlas Sunday afternoon and he has been so well behaved and even today on Monday. Is he just exhausted from his weekend or missing his new friend? I do exercise him and use your videos for training. This weekend exhausted him mentally and physically to no other I’m sure.

Felix

Hi Robert, thanks for all the great content! My poodle loves to retrieve. To get her excited I have had a habit of waving a ball on a rope or ball in a thrower around – she leaps at it as she would a tug toy. However she also has got into a habit of nipping at my arm in her excitement. Should I correct her for this but keep allowing her to jump before throwing the ball, or stop allowing her to jump entirely? We’re only doing this when she’s in “break” mode, not if she’s in a sit/down. Thank you!

Jamie

I’m considering taking my 11 mo. old, GSD (Allie) to a day training facility 1 or 2 times a week while I’m at work. She currently stays home with my sons, they play tug & fetch throughout the day. I train Allie before/after work & weekends, I’d love for Allie to get more training during the day. My concerns are, Allie gets a bit anxious before walks, while in the car & around other dogs. I’m nervous about dropping her off but I don’t want her being bored at home all day. What are your thoughts?

Saul

Hi Robert, Thanks for answering all these questions: Is the break command technically another reward marker? For example, if the dog is in a sit position, you say yes and reward for basic positive reinforcement. If the dog is in a sit position, you say break and throw a ball. Wouldn’t that be the same concept since they would both act as a reward marker?

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