First video is of Ara demonstrating how her off leash obedience is at present ... not very enthusiastic. Ara doesn't know how to do sit, down, stay commands once she is allowed freedom off the leash from a distance but she does have a very good recall and is always happy to "come" to me except under high distractions. Her "leave" command off leash (after watching Josh video of he dog doing it) is no where as good. You can almost read her mind "do I really have to do this" in the video of doing the commands, almost like it has been drummed into her.  She's more happier to come to me rather than go to her place.

Second video is of my big boy Tazer - this shows a much more willing dog going through the commands.  I've had Tazer from a puppy - I was trained with him in basic obedience and advanced off leash obedience. (e-collar avoidance method I was taught to use for him to proof obedience commands or as a correction for disobeying). Ara was purchased at 5 years old, as a personal protection dog trained in basic obedience and on-lead protection.  She seems to have been taught with praise, trained with corrections of prong collar (control training in protection work with prong - doesn't seem to have been proof trained for any off leash obedience or protection work).  Control training by prong collar and no e-collar training done.  I was recommended to watch instructional videos "Come command" could only see Phase 1, couldn't see Phase 2 and 3 (black screen but could hear speaking).  Seems like problem with vids, will try again today.  Thank you for Starmark collar suggestion instead of using prong - I will order Starmark and use that in her training.


  1. Hi Sharon, thank you for posting the vids and reporting the bug with the phase 2 and phase 3 videos. I will check in on this to see why it is happening.

    Overall, Ara looks good and obedient considering the fact that she he not done too much formal discipline off-leash. The only thing that was noticeable without knowing more about her past training experiences, is that she seemed somewhat hesitant to moving initially on the place command i believe because she was looking at your eyes while you were pointing with your hand. This can give some dogs miscommunication initially until they get really good at the command. I would try moving your gaze in the direction you are pointing. So you would say “Ara” then look in same direction you are pointing as you give command. See if that helps her move quicker.
    If she seems not very excited to go to place initially, try doing some repetitions where she gets rewarded every time for reaching the place (not on the release). Remember, most dogs would rather be near their handlers, so when all else is equal she may just be happier coming to you then being sent away. The good thing is once she knows the command completely you do not need to do lots of repetition. You will only need to do as needed. Once on the place, most dogs learn to relax there. I usually do long “places” after they learn initially to allow them to learn to relax on it. It is a good place to give them something to chew on.

  2. Hi… Here I’m trying Ara out to see if she understands the “escape conditioning”… she did a lot better here then when I tried to do it yesterday with her. I’ve added another video of Kate demonstrating her doing basic obedience with another dog too… it does seem like she does teach the dog to know what the correction is through pressure on & off. The second video is me learning to control and be Ara’s handler. Note how naïve I am from doing only prey development bitework training that I learnt to do with my other dog Tazer in the sport club… I was expecting Ara to only go for the arm but she didn’t. The other mistake I made and I don’t think either of us picked it up at the time I was using a 4′ leash instead of the 6′ leash. Hopefully these videos will give us an idea on how we can progress to the off leash training to the e-collar. This woman Kate has it tough and I admire her for running her own business solely…. she breeds, socialises, trains her own dogs as well as takes in unwanted dogs, retraining & rehoming them. They are then sold to dog owners who want their own dogs trained for protection work, dogs who pass Kate’s temperament test. (Kate lives interstate).

    To me it seems like every dog trainer has different methods or their own preferred training methods… it does make it hard for the public to choose who is genuine in the dog training industry from those who are more concerned with being an entrepreneur more so then the welfare for the dog or preserving the GSD breed behaviour. My dogs are part of our family and this is our first priority to us owning a protection dog.

  3. The agitator didn’t think so lol… cost me a bottle of rum. Kate trains her dogs in civil agitation and she said to her decoy the day he ever gets bitten by one of her dogs will be the day she will owe him a bottle rum… that day came along with me. Really nice guy… he took it well.

    1. Excellent!!!! That was great Sharon!! You both did soooo good! What you can do now is….practicing brining your right hand to your left palm and sliding on the leash to get closer to Ara to do leash pumps…’ll see the slide in the videos. Also remember the “name” “Ara” is going to be a cue to her that a new command is coming. All of our commands have a built in silent stay. Meaning they need to remain in that command until you either ask her to do another command or until you free her. The name is used at the beginning and the end only. So when you free her I’m not sure if you said “Ara free” but her name will be her cue you want her to do something else. Even if it’s to free her up. We do this in case let’s say you has multiple dogs you were training at once or were holding a conversation with somone. Just because they hear certain things like free…or sit, or down, doesn’t mean they automatically to what they hear….unless…it’s divided by theit name. This way multiple dogs know exactly who you’re talking to. When you send her to the climb also remember to point. We also do this for directional purpose. Later down the road you may want to have more than one climb or you may be in an area where you need her to climb on something….pointing tells her exactly where you want her to go….especially if there is more than one area. You’re doing great!!! I think you can start incorporating the “no” when she makes honest mistakes to see if she corrects herself….she knows the escape conditioning….she knows how to correct herself back on the climb so use it only to your discretion for honest mistakes. This all may seem like a lot of repetition but the more she actually learns on the leash and the more she actually gets a chance to mess up and learn what the corrections mean and exactly when they are coming will make the trinsition to the remote collar very smooth. Remember we only say “no” 1 time…..if she doesn’t go to correct herself….then you repetitive the word climb and leash pump repeteing the command climb and perpetual leash pumps until she does climb again. Keep up the good work!!

      1. I think you’ll see good examples of Earl in the videos pointing to the climb, or place, I’ll have to look back at the videos….put he was a good pointer…lol…very exaggerated….lol….but made it very clear to the dog where you wanted. You can go from one climb to the next this way. Or you can use it to incorporate in real life situations where maybe she needs to climb. Dogs are more visual….so the more body cues we can give the better it helps them! I even saw a tail wag in the climb video…. she looked a little more happy to be working for more love this time….that’s great….remember when you slide out and do resistance. ..which you did awsome by the way!! Periodically return to her and pet her up and give her love….just don’t let her break the command 🙂

      2. I never thought about saying the command on the “free” … I do have a problem when I give one of my dog a command they both do them when one isn’t meant to be doing it. Funny how important these small steps are in training and how easy they can be overlooked. The repetition is what I’m going to need so it becomes second nature to me… especially the ninja leash handling.

        1. Yes it’s good to use their name…especially since you have more than one dog….makes things nice and clear for them. Use the name at the beginning of each command…and the name at the end to free them if you are releasing them from the command. Or if you are going from one command to the other. Never use it while in the middle of a command though…only in the beginning and the end….the name is going to be the cue to pay attention that something new is about to happen.

    Ara “climb” – no lead… seems Ara know the command. Ara is a good dog for me to practice ninja leash/command structure. She knows more than what I know… at least now I do know how to work with her my learning the training system with you guys explaining the steps of it.
    Should I start adding durations to the commands or should I start with the off leash training with rewards first then moving to the e-collar?

  5. So this video is actually almost reverting back to phase 1….I wouldn’t do anything off leash right now that you can’t reinforce with a correction if needed. It’s almost like bluffing the dog. Stick with the leash. Better yet…the next step would be a “light line” you can create more distance with a light line and she can have much more freedom. But if she does mess up or get confused…you are able to still correct her. There is a video how to use a light line. The video is older so you may notice a long time ago we used to repet the word no unil we reached the dog…no no no no no…’s unnecessary and we only use the no once for everything now. The more you work with her the way you were in the other video doing duration with her that way the better….you can drop the leash and walk around her for sure….drop the leash walk away return. ..but this way you always have a tool at this point to reinforce behavior….if she is doing good and never messing up….get higher distractions …more enticing distractions for her….almost bait her into getting off…this way she’ll learn that no matter what…until you release her…she has to stay. She can do anything she wants on the climb, she can stand , she can sit, she can lay down, anything is fine on the climb. Also anticipate what she is going to do, but don’t pre maturely correct her. If she looks like she is going to break the command wait for her to actually step off at this stage to correct her. Don’t correct her for looking like she might…give her the chance to make the mistake first then correct her. Or….use a no and see if she’ll correct herself back up.. if not help her with command aND leash pump. You’re doing awsome!!

    1. Ok so I talked to Mike, he said its ok to go backwards to phase 1 like in this vid to create distance as long as you’re not using the correction and the no. Formal commands should always be able to be reinforced, but if you have the patience you can always practice this way too to create more distance.

  6. I’m going to piece by piece be picky 🙂 and pic apart the little things…it will make you and Ara so much better….but trust me you’re doing soooo good!!! Ara is such a good and compliant dog.

  7. The off leash training with the e collar is actually initially paird with the on leash corrections at first. That’s how we teach it…this way pairing it on low level with what they already know isn’t confusing to them. It allows us to help them if they get confused initially. So it would be leash pup, paired at the exact same time with the pop, pop of the remote on low level. Then when the dog is understanding you can wean off the leash/ prong corrections. It sets them up for success this way and makes it less confusing.

  8. Have you practiced recalls on the 6 foot leash? Ara come…..then when she reaches you, you do a finger lock in the leash and keep her there….give her lots of love….then she is not allowed to move away from you again….until she hears Ara Free. Coming we know shell do…but you want her to reliably stay right with you so you can get your hands on her if needed …for whatver reason…so we teach them this way. If she starts to walk away…you simply take a step back leash pump towards you and say come at the same time then when she reaches you again….good girl. ..and you can. Free her. Incorporate premack and distractions with her…the more you can get her to do now on the collar the remote will be a breese.

  9. If she always comes when called you can even use a light line…something that you can grab a hold of when she reaches you….remember I know she listens to you well…she’s such a good girl…it’s all about teaching her the new rules….it will make the transition to the remote so clear for her when you start pairing it with the prong/starmark correction. We want everything to be an on off switch….clear as day correction on, correction off, praise….everything to be black and white so it’s not confusing for her. Have you started downs? Downs can be a little trickier depending on the dog. I would make sure she can do a duration down first without any correction or anything else first. …then I can help you add the correction with the collar. The durations dont have to be long….just making sure she kniws the same rules. Including, “Ara free”… the end. When freeing them make it exciting to move from that position, get her excited and lure her out of it and give her lots and lots of exciting love so she knows it’s ok to move now. … Remember it’s always better to start making sure you have phase 1 down before going on for anything that is “new”ish” to her. Obky because she is getting used to slightly differnt rules. When in dobut go backwards to make sure Ara knows the new rules and start fresh for everything. It may only take a fee reps phase 1 for some things just so you know it’s ok to move to phase 2 with the next set of commands. Then when she’s all good with phase 2….we can start the remote. We can probably start with a remote recall sooner. But I need to see that phase 2 recall…keeping her there and freeing her first.when you’re ready that it. I gave you a lot of imput there’s no rush for anything. Going slow is always good. The more reps she gets in phase 2 the better. The more you get things down the better for her. I’m so exited to be working with you from a far….very intersteing helping some of this way. Learning for us both. Helping me to try to communicate what needs to be done better.