Member Q&A – 3/26/21

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Ioana

So, long story short we have two Czechoslovakian wolfdogs. One adult male, 3.5 years old and a 15 weeks old female. If the start with Argo (the adult) was like with every other puppy, with our girl Kiba things are a little bit different. She is responding to correction with growling and biting, she is ok now and a few minutes later she can growl at you with no reason, she bit my 10 year old boy from the face and neck, as he stood near her while she was drinking water (the water bowl was in the hallway where he would take his shoes off at that time), and many more that I don’t recall right now. There is a lot of frustration in the house now, as it seems we cannot understand what discomfort may she experience that makes her behave like this. We thought of the possibility that we are not the right family for her, as it seems that we cannot create a bond.

We are working on the recall from the moment she came to our house. It’s been 6 weeks now and she still comes only if she’s really hungry. Else, she totally ignores the call. Is she still too young to expect her to come to us when called? What is there to be done when we call her name and ask her to come and she goes in other direction? By what age should this her ignoring us be unacceptable?

Dee

I’m looking for a bit of guidance here on how to put it to a stop, lately my 10 month old GSD has been randomly just mouthing/nipping mainly on my wife and daughter, he listens to me when I tell him to stop, but when I’m not home he just gets more and more persistent at nipping at their arms and legs but not aggressively. He doesn’t listen when they tell him to stop or when they try to redirect him, it’s becoming very stressful and causing a lot of anxiety to my daughter. He gets plenty of exercise/training at least 1-2 hours everyday. He’s a very good dog but could this be some sort of dominating behaviour? any help will be greatly appreciated.

Jack

Hey Robert, I asked a question last week about a 5 month GSD going crazy at balls in the park. We have been walking past people playing (she pulls and screams but we walk on). Alternatively we tried watching from a distance but that seemed to build a lot of tension and made it worse. Should I be using the leave it command? What would be your way of dealing with it? I am going to revert to my previous way of just walking past making no deal of it (is that okay).

Gabriele M

Hi Robert, I am training my 1,5 year old lab puppy to ”hold”. She is holding the dowel calmly when she is seated but if I ask her to come closer she comes and tries to lay down and chew. I tried to teach on the table and on the ground but I have the same result. As soon as she stops moving she tries to lay down and chew.

Max

Robert – I have been training my GSD/MaL mix and he has been doing great. My problem is I live in a suburban community where everyone has a dog and nobody trains them. When we walk in the morning or night we constantly have to deal with dogs pulling their owners and barking at us (mostly small dogs). For the most part my dog stays calm but sometimes he gives in and starts freaking out. I hate correcting him because these dogs are egging him on. Should I still correct him when he barks back?

Ralph & Jot

Hello Sir Robert… Before anything else, I am happy to be a member. I have a 7 months old Belgian Malinois and have undergone obedience training. Is it okay if i will do a reset and start all over again. I want to follow how you train your dogs.

Jessica

6mo GSD-working line. I have watched the tug videos and she LOVES tugging. Its a great training reward for her, but she tends to target where my hand is holding instead of free space on the tug, ouch! I have tried releasing it to her first and grabbing after she offers it to me, but she will get too excited and try to reposition close to my hand. Any tricks to teaching her better aim? I have two 10in K9 Redline tugs. I don’t want to discourage her grip, should I just purchase larger ones?

Engela

Greetings from Sunny South Africa. Hi Robert, due to Covid my husband and I have taken new ways of doing our daily jobs. This means less time at home with Diesel the Mali from 9-5h. How can I/We make the best of this time not being home, not have to worry about stuff getting chewed-up or digging holes. How can we support Diesel for time not being at home?

Tristan

Hey Robert! Tuesday I wrote you asking about my 9 month old mal pup becoming more grumpy and less affectionate. You said he may have a defensive drive. My question is do you think bite work would be beneficial to him? I don’t know how to do bite work but my friend who is a police officer invited me up to do some bite training with him on Sunday. I’ve heard it can be sort of like martial arts for dogs and help give them an outlet. I don’t want to make him more aggressive though. Is it a good idea

Cara

Rural Vermont, long dead end dirt road. Me and 1yo GSD walk road twice a day – 3 miles each day. Over the course of a week, we maybe encounter 4 cars. I’m struggling with getting neutral toward random, infrequent cars/triggers. The thing is, I WANT her to alert if s/o comes all the way to the house, but I need to be able to walk down the road w/o her going nutty, lunging (w/prong) at approaching/passing cars. Basic obedience is key, yes – working it! – but any advice specific to random/infrequent trigger?

Janine W

I have a 1.5 yr old working line GSD named Riley. He has always been stand off-ish with others (non-family) even from the day I got him. so, a bit nervous by nature. I notice that he licks his lips with almost every command given. I notice it more when the dog trainer takes his lead to show me new commands. However, he does it at home with me, too. If I say sit, lip lick, then sit. lay down, lip lick, then lay. What is excessive and does it mean he is overly nervous? Should I be concerned?

James

Hi, question about marking behavior… I’ve got a rescue dobe. He’s 2ish and I’ve had him for 4 months. When I took him in he was intact. As expected he marked a lot when we first started out walking. He was neutered about 2 months ago, but continues to mark. Basically no difference, which given his age I think makes sense. My question is though, is this behavior territorial or just communication? Reason I ask is because he is quite dominant around other dogs in our area. But when we go somewhere new and he meets a dog he tends to have better manners and is much less reactive so I wondered if he’s somehow claimed this territory and is now intent on defending it. Anyone have experience with this? And is it wise to limit his ability to mark to prevent this?

Maxwell

Hey Robert – My one year old GSD/Mal mix is doing very well with basic obedience training. In fact, his recall has gotten much better over the past few weeks thanks to your videos and advice. He knows sit, platz, come and fuss very well. My question is – what would you recommend as the next step in training? I do not want to overwhelm him with more commands but would like to stimulate his brain with more training.

Nick

Hey Robert have a question regarding my niece’s dog, a 6 yr old intact, male Havenese. Lately, when she leaves him alone in her house, he just started marking or peeing lightly on furniture legs and other items. Also, when he goes outside, he pees on the patio table legs. Unfortunately, we can never catch him doing it. Is this some type of anxiety causing this or is this having to do with males marking their territory? Looking for any solutions to help solve this issue. Thanks so much!

chris b

Our 15 month old GSD is very nervous around kids. Particularly the neighbor’s 7 year old boy. He jumped at him and growled a bit at his hand when he tried to give him a treat. We are now taking our dog on his leash and walking around the block with the boy and his mother with the boy keeping some distance and hoping this will begin to accustom him to the boy’s presence. Our dog is good with adults. He’s fine with the boy’s mother giving him treats. Do you think this will work?

Elaine S

Hi! Thank you for the training videos. I have a German Shepherd dog and we didn’t really take him for walks outside our yard. He is 10mos now and we got him right when COVID started. I brought him out for a little walk. He was smelling everything and pulling. He is a very strong dog and we were kinda afraid he would pull so hard that we would fall and he would run away. He knows the basic commands I’ve been walking him on a leash in our yard. Do I introduce the prong collar for our walks?

Michael F

My two year old GSD has toy aggression. I taught him “leave it” with your help. Which is still a work in progress. So with me he will drop whatever “it” is and “leave it” But with other people and dogs he shows aggression (growl) when they approach his toys/bones. How do I break this aggression out of him?

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