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Old 11-15-2008, 12:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
Ankle Biter
 
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advice for a novice

I am new to the protection dog world. i would love a gsd, but my wife is fearful of law suits, out of control behavior by the dog etc. We were recently introduced to a young Belgian Tervuren and literature suggests this is a dog who is protective of home and family. any info about the appropriateness of having this breed trained in basic protection skills? thanks in advance for any thoughts.
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Old 11-15-2008, 02:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
Broke the Bark Collar
 
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Re: advice for a novice

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Originally Posted by randy christensen View Post
I am new to the protection dog world. i would love a gsd, but my wife is fearful of law suits, out of control behavior by the dog etc. We were recently introduced to a young Belgian Tervuren and literature suggests this is a dog who is protective of home and family. any info about the appropriateness of having this breed trained in basic protection skills? thanks in advance for any thoughts.
My first bit of advice is dont hang out on dog boards! The breed you are concidering is no less dangerious than the GSD just less known and popular. Many of the dogs that bite people are eather poorly breed "BYB/back yard breeding" or trained to and bite but havent had thre proper or responisable training or care. Do lots of homework when choosing a pup/dog or breed If you like. I know of a nice litter of working line GSD pups on the ground. Send me a PM if you are interested or would like some info.
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Old 11-15-2008, 03:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: advice for a novice

Hi Randy! Welcome!

It's not about the breed of dog. It's all about finding a dog that has the ability to do the work with a stable temperament.

So, now we have a problem. Define "the work." What protective behaviors do you need a dog to perform? In what capacity?

If you need a dog to bark at unusual activity, giving you a chance to grab a phone or a gun, then any breed and almost any size of dog could work for you.

If you need a "biting" protection dog, which very few people do, then your wife has valid concerns - regardless of the breed of dog.

If you need a visual deterrent, any medium to large BLACK dog will do the trick.

If you are interested in protection sports, for competition, without the real-life protection part, you'll need a very specialized dog.

In any case, finding a reputable breeder is a chore. There are more puppy scams and unethical breeders/brokers out that than I care to think about.

1. Find a training club. (this is a challenge)
2. Find a breeder.
3. Wait for the right dog.
4. Get training!

With my last dog it took 3 years of work before I actually got the dog! It was worth the wait. I got exactly what I needed for the work I expect her to do.
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Old 11-15-2008, 08:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: advice for a novice

I am an owner of both GSD's and Belgian Malinois- learn about the breeds before you buy- and ask a lot of questions. Know if you are getting a working line, show line, or pet quality- more importantly know what you want, what you want to do with your dog, and what YOU both expect from your dog.If you want to get into a sport, talk to local club members first and see who they might recommend.If it is just for PP, some Belgians can be nervy, others headstrong. If you are just going for a look of a PP dog, some of the Belgians are small-some people will tell you, it looks like a german shepherd, but a lot of the time, they don't bring up the same kind of reserve to an intruder a GSD,APB,Rottie etc would. The dog world is small- most everyone has heard of or knows of someone- especially if it was something not so good-so ask. I love the mals, but is your wife ready for the energy and commitment needed in training- for any dog, especially a Belgian. Nothing against GSD's, as I said I have 5, love them, and will have more in the future- but I personally call them a perfect starter package- and the Belgians are for those who have had experience with dogs, as I term them as GSD's on crack.....of course not every GSD, or Belgian fits this criteria- so be sure you are dealing with someone reputable and they know what you are looking for. Also get the history- any medical problems, hip issues, etc....
as far as insurances- some do discriminate against some of the large working breeds- just shows how much these people that make rules Don't know...the little yappers, usually bite more, just not as intense.
good luck, do your homework, and then all of you will be much happier, you,your wife,and most importantly you will be happier with the dog. Mo
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Old 11-16-2008, 04:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: advice for a novice

Consider your wife's arguements, and think about if the arguement is out of fear of lawsuits, or the fact that she doesn't really want a dog.
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Old 11-16-2008, 09:44 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: advice for a novice

thanks all for the input, very helpful.

Anne, my wife and i grew up in eau claire, still have family there. will contact you by phone or when your web site is up and running. thanks
Randy
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Old 11-16-2008, 11:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: advice for a novice

very good advice here for you randy. my question is, have you/do you currently own a dog(s)? your previous experience will be important not only to you and your family, but to the breeder you purchase a pup from--if it's a good breeder.

i would also reiterate the advice to find a club (of whatever persuasion) or 4 closest to you, go out, check it out, talk to ppl--a lot of times you'll be able to find a lot info about breeders fr the club members. do your research!! don't get sucked in by slick websites!!

good luck, keep asking questions here, and keep us posted.
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Old 11-16-2008, 02:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: advice for a novice

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Originally Posted by Jeff Oehlsen View Post
Consider your wife's arguements, and think about if the arguement is out of fear of lawsuits, or the fact that she doesn't really want a dog.
Must agree here. Either give way to your wife wife or get a dog. Why don't couples clear this up before nuptials "Darling do you want to have dogs?*
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Old 11-17-2008, 04:00 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: advice for a novice

Mo,
If it is just for PP, some Belgians can be nervy, others headstrong.

Can you help to explain further the above finding ? I am eager to know why some of them are nervy ? Is it the breed itself, genetic issue ? Cheers.
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Old 11-17-2008, 08:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: advice for a novice

Hi Colin- I have seen a lot of mals that are awesome on the training field,(video clips make the dog look awesome) and know for a fact were socialized everywhere as a pup, but as soon as something is unfamiliar- tail is tucked and they are looking to hightail it out of there. I don't know what it is-genetics or breeding or enviorment-training? I have seen pups come from the same litter-some confident and do great, others not so good- I have seen pups from high scoring sires and dams-that will tolerate the sport stuff, but increase the pressure to real life type stuff -not so good. (I guess you will see that with every breed)-but I have to stress- if you commit to a Mal- you must commit-learn the pedigree, the breeder, and what you want to train for. I started Hugo training at 6weeks old-don't lose time and wait for 6 months old. With all of this said, I can only tell you my experience, not an expert, but have owned over 30 dogs of my own and have trained with lots of others-currently have 10 dogs, (5 mals) I find Mals, to be a blast, fun to train-fun to compete with, they are a ton of energy- and can get destructive if not kept busy and should be fitted with its own bark collar.(mine tend to be very verbal) and I feel if you can train a mal- you can train any breed. I say some can be a hardhead-because they are very smart, and will try to figure out things for themselves- it is hard to explain- but I have actually seen them try to out wit the decoys in training- I have a couple that seem to have a switch- and if the decoy amps up the pressure-the switch is on, and this is no longer a game, this is for real. I had another that knew the routine of the program we were training- and if you did it wrong, the dog corrected you-with a bite....talk about compulsion training of the handler- -but I have to stress- I don't know if I answered your question- but
Before you buy, educate yourself, not only on the breed, but the pedigree, the breeder- and ask people-some lines are a lot better than others. some trainers better than others, and some sellers more honest than others. Mo
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