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like dog , like handler you mean

:mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:
 

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Mals are like Border Collies? Are Border Collie pups also aggressive, like to growl and bite everything? I'd never heard of a border collie being anything like a Mal other than perhaps the energy level. Perhaps I haven't been around the right border collies?

I know people with incredibly high energy bc's and they'd die if they had to live with a Mal.
I know what Howard is saying Mike ..

Sure the obvious difference is the biting thing they don't call them Belgian Biters for nothing!

But the energy level, intelligence and athleticism of both breeds are very similar. YMMV
 

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I have had my Mal pup for a little over a week and am relieved to read the responses to this post. I was expecting a very intense and active dog, but I also thought she might sleep at some point. When she does sleep she seems to resist it the entire time.

I go on a minimum of two walks a day with Grimm and my collie. We also go out several times a day to toss the ball around when she's getting too crazy in the apartment.

I have cats and when I can't get her to stop eye balling them and attempting to leap onto the countertops, that's my signal that someone has too much energy to be inside right now. As for eating them, I don't think she intends that, but I am careful because her teeth are razor sharp.

On the topic of teeth, I don't plan to have her around any children until she is old enough and trained enough to know what is acceptable to nip at and what isn't.

I've never seen a GSD on crack, but I often find myself thinking that if my sister's terrier were on speed it would be a lot like Grimm.
 

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On the topic of teeth, I don't plan to have her around any children until she is old enough and trained enough to know what is acceptable to nip at and what isn't.
I think you are making a mistake by not letting her have controlled exposure to children. My dog has been raised with a 4 and 6 year old sure there was some moments by both the dog when she was really young and by the kids continually to this day.

But now my dog is actually really good with small people because of the exposure. She is brought into kindergarten classes when I pick up my son and to soccer and it is not a problem. She doesn't have any interest for kids as prey items. And this is a Ring dog and one of the most prey driven dogs I have ever seen.
 

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I think you are making a mistake by not letting her have controlled exposure to children. My dog has been raised with a 4 and 6 year old sure there was some moments by both the dog when she was really young and by the kids continually to this day.

But now my dog is actually really good with small people because of the exposure. She is brought into kindergarten classes when I pick up my son and to soccer and it is not a problem. She doesn't have any interest for kids as prey items. And this is a Ring dog and one of the most prey driven dogs I have ever seen.

Absolutely!!
 

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Agreed! I don't have kids, but I made a point of having kids give Fawkes treats and whatnot. It served a dual purpose to do a little public service type education in showing how to correctly give a treat to a strange dog (with a cupped hand) and how to act (don't shriek, don't flail your arms around, etc). He is still not particularly fond of the real little ones (5 years and older are great as long as they pet nicely) and if they shriek and run away, he sometimes air snaps because of the movement. Which he gets soundly corrected for. And this is why I teach dog bite prevention to the kids who I do childcare for at the church I work at NOT to shriek and run away. I'm actually doing a presentation on it in two weeks for the kids at church with Lily and Dolly (my foster Rottweiler who I'm starting to train as a therapy dog). :)
 

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I have cats and when I can't get her to stop eye balling them and attempting to leap onto the countertops, that's my signal that someone has too much energy to be inside right now.
Don't let her fool you.....if she has prey drive, your cats may feel the wrath later on when you are not looking.

On the topic of teeth, I don't plan to have her around any children until she is old enough and trained enough to know what is acceptable to nip at and what isn't.
I would start now, trying to introduce an older Mal to kids can be difficult if not impossible. My older Mal is triggered by small, quick kids and this is because she was not socialized properly to them when young. She is okay on lead around them, but off-lead.....UH...NO.
 

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if a puppy has a decent temperament, and good obedience, does it really have to be exposed to children????? This is some serious pet bullshit. What happens when the puppy just doesn't like children ? ? ? ? Do you still work and train the dog ?? ? ?
If you want your dog out in public and you don't want your dogs killed and a lawsuit, yup. They don't need to smother the kids in kisses, but neutrality, yes. The good obedience is part of it, as you mentioned.
 

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if a puppy has a decent temperament, and good obedience, does it really have to be exposed to children????? This is some serious pet bullshit. What happens when the puppy just doesn't like children ? ? ? ? Do you still work and train the dog ?? ? ?
Jeff,
I am in the field of Search and Rescue, and I also am asked to do a lot of PR stuff with the dogs. So while I agree with you, I still need to have at least one or two of my dogs socialized to kids.
The kids are not allowed to "maul" the dogs though. I want my dog to stand calmly, their attention on me and the kids get to pet the dog on the back.
 

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if a puppy has a decent temperament, and good obedience, does it really have to be exposed to children????? This is some serious pet bullshit. What happens when the puppy just doesn't like children ? ? ? ? Do you still work and train the dog ?? ? ?

My answer is yes.

My elder GSD wasn't struck on kids as a pup - just the tiny ones that belonged to a family who had a pup the same age and we let them play together - the kids were often with us and he loved them. I have to walk through the village for 2-3 minutes before I get to the woods, football field, etc. and the kindergarten kids usually come screaming down the hill but luckily, GSDs aren't so popular here- not fluffy enough maybe. All I need is for my dog to treat them neutrally. After all, why should all and sundry come and stroke my dog. The Fila Brasileiro loved kids and they loved him - if it works, ok, if it doesn't - leave it.
 

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if a puppy has a decent temperament, and good obedience, does it really have to be exposed to children????? This is some serious pet bullshit. What happens when the puppy just doesn't like children ? ? ? ? Do you still work and train the dog ?? ? ?
It doesn't have to like them, just to tolerate/ignore them in the vicinity. From that perspective, it seems like exposing the pup to kids (and the attendant running and shrieking) is a reasonable thing to do as part of exposing the pup to the world in general. If the kids approach, the dog should behave appropriately (i.e. no nipping or trying to pounce OR play without permission) and expect the handler to deal with getting the children to leave it alone or directing the interaction.
 

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if a puppy has a decent temperament, and good obedience, does it really have to be exposed to children????? This is some serious pet bullshit. What happens when the puppy just doesn't like children ? ? ? ? Do you still work and train the dog ?? ? ?

Sure do Jeff! It's not even Pet bullshit per say. I look at every situation as a training exercise for the dog including exposure to younger punk kids.

I have lots of kids in and out of my house with the kids we babysit to the killer on the adult head kid birthday parties. We've sometimes have had 25+ kids in a 1400 sqft house including a magician and a dumb pony in the back yard. So while yes the dog was tethered to me she didn't lose her mind or even stressed out about it.

Sure you can't prepare for everything and the dog still may bite a kid one day if a kid did something stupid. But hopefully the groundwork that was laid by me will defer that from ever happening. With todays litigious society I do not want to lose my dog and my life savings to something as preventable as a bite on a kid.
 

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Most of the things I've read or heard about Belgian Malinois warn people about how much activity they need and how hyper they are. A Malinois breeder actually told me that they are like German Shepherds on crack cocaine. The way these people are talking, it sounds like I would need to get a treadmill and just leave the dog on there all the time when it's awake! :-o

I have a couple of questions for all of you Malinois owners.

1. How much time do you actually spend working/training a Malinois per day? Is that every single day? If so, do you guys have jobs and a family? Would 30 minutes per day + 1 schutzhund session per week be enough?

Mine was trained as a pup but is super hyper almost all day if my kids are around.


2. How much time do you spend with your dog not training, working or excercising (in other words just relaxing) per day?

I try to throw the ball 3 times a week at a park.

3. How long can your dogs relax for? Can it relax with you while you watch a dvd without jumping around and trying to climb up the walls?

Dog rarely relaxes... Constantly pacing, whining. We have our routines but if my kids or gf is around, he can’t relax.

4. Does it try to kill every small animal (including other pets you own) every chance it gets?

Mine doesn’t give a care in the world of other dogs. I don’t keep him on a leash at the parks. He only wants his ball to play with and will allow others to play but he is big, strong and fast. He’s not aggressive just plays hard. Sidenote: He will defend himself against any size dog if attacked. Does not really acknowledge other dogs. Even up close.

5. Does it try to bite children all the time?

Kid friendly, allows strangers/kids to pet him. He plays a little rough at times, shows teeth, very vocal and can get scary but a stern warning and he’s waging his tail

6. Is it really like a German Shepherd on crack (please be serious... have you ever seen someone one on crack before? - it's rather intense)?

YES! And speed. Can rarely tire this dog our

7. Do they live in your house with you or do they live in a kennel?

Lives in house, can be let outside in back yard, no fence and will not wander out of backyard. Just plays with his toys. Both


I'm looking for a pet/part-time schutzhund/family protector/best friend to hang out with me when I do stuff type dog. Will a Malinois be content with that? Or does it really need to run 5 miles per day?

Mine really needs to run more. I throw the ball at the park..can be busy there, dog walkers, kids, etc. He will chase his ball and only come right back. Nothing distracts him from play time. I have people almost everytime comment on how well behaved he is. (Psycho hyper crazy at home at times). Kinda like kids. Have had other dogs drink from water bowl on a hot day 2 feet from him. Doesn’t care. Just want ball. After a day out at the park, we go home and immediately wants to go out and play more. Car rides can be tough as he knows the area, where we are going. Hyper in car. Sleeps well at night.
 

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I have a couple of questions for all of you Malinois owners.

1. How much time do you actually spend working/training a Malinois per day? Is that every single day? If so, do you guys have jobs and a family? Would 30 minutes per day + 1 schutzhund session per week be enough?
2. How much time do you spend with your dog not training, working or excercising (in other words just relaxing) per day?
3. How long can your dogs relax for? Can it relax with you while you watch a dvd without jumping around and trying to climb up the walls?
4. Does it try to kill every small animal (including other pets you own) every chance it gets?
5. Does it try to bite children all the time?
6. Is it really like a German Shepherd on crack (please be serious... have you ever seen someone one on crack before? - it's rather intense)?
7. Do they live in your house with you or do they live in a kennel?

I'm looking for a pet/part-time schutzhund/family protector/best friend to hang out with me when I do stuff type dog. Will a Malinois be content with that? Or does it really need to run 5 miles per day?
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1. I'll try to answer these questions as honestly as I can. Maybe others who will read can gain some insight from this also. For me, I do contracting-type work and I work from home a lot also, thankfully, because I have this dog now. During the first year of my malinois' life, I fortunately was with her almost every waking hour from the time she was 8 weeks old. Had I not been, I cannot fathom how her personality would be different, but it would be somehow.

I almost do not have a set schedule on "working/training" her. Every hour of every day is a constant with this girl, and I'd say 30 minutes a day of activity is a bare minimum, or simply not enough for her at all. We are always together, even if I'm on a job site. She has routines she sort of needs to get through on a daily basis as to simply ease her mind and relax some of the intensity of energy and drive that she has. For example, I live on a few acres(I could not imagine her being in an apartment do not do it do not do it) and there are many deer. So many consistently in fact, every night she goes and runs them off to the edge of the property and returns. She sees them as trespassers, and once they're off the property, she no longer engages them. After she runs off the deer every night, her willingness to relax and carry on is much, much better. She "does her rounds" and she feels a lot better afterwards. I simply allow it as it seems to contribute to her sense of duty and having a role. If I'm working on something, she wants to be involved in it. I don't have to coerce her into these things. She wants to help with whatever people are doing it seems. She's rather nosey and eager to be in the action right with you, and as you can imagine this can be a bit much sometimes, but usually not too bad.

I have two room-mates, and one of them isn't keen on how a dog thinks/operates at all, and especially not the malinois. She's used to little lap types like chiuahuas, which, compared to how this malinois is, seem like almost pointless pets to have for this girl. She doesn't really train them in any way, and they have many undesirable behaviors and contribute nothing to the home but un-due self-esteem issues and incessant, horrible, shrill barking and yapping. I cannot stand people who allow their dogs to act this way. She thinks the dogs understand her, and they do not at all. They aren't my dogs, and she will not listen to my advice. And they don't care. She is not a role-model or leader to them in any way. It is frustrating to have this breed around others who don't fulfill their own dogs in better ways. This malinois of mine could never stand to be that way regardless. She will find ways to fulfill even herself at times that I am busy. She is very, very driven to "be good" and "succeed." She seems to almost investigate her surroundings. And this girls dogs literally lay under a blanket on a couch in a den for hours upon hours upon hours on a daily basis, and I don't understand the point of having dogs if this is how you intend for them to exist. I will only be here temporarily, and I cannot intervene at this point. All I can do is make sure that my malinois is free from their influences.

With this being said, my other friend here knows that I trust him to engage my dog in a healthy way when I am not around sometimes. I do not entrust her to the woman here, as she would negatively reinforce bad things, as she does with her own dogs unfortunately. People must comprehend these things when owning these pups. They tend to pay very close attention to your activities, are concerned with their owner and surroundings, and socialization is more important with this dog than any other dog breed I have ever raised. They are not casual breeds, not for beginning dog owners, and not for anyone desiring a more typical dog. This dog has completely changed many areas of my entire life. People who will react negatively to the energy of this dog simply need to be separated or removed from the situation and the dog's life IMO, and their interactions with them should be under your supervision when unavoidable. I could only imagine the terrible consequences of one of these dogs being mistreated, unfulfilled, or especially abused.

2. When we are alone together, having her relax and carry on with your typical dog passtimes is easily done, but she can be easily distracted. Her comfort zone is in my company and alone. When other new people are around, she can be excitable and wanting to engage with others. It takes a good deal of time for her to "calm" herself around new people and situations sometimes, and if you want a dog who's going to sit there, lay on a couch and mostly do nothing, this isn't the dog for you. If someone unknown knocks on the door, she has an almost deafening bark, also. But she doesn't just bark at anything. It can startle you, and she's made my ears ring before. When around a new dog, it's very common that she simply doesn't run out of energy and "wears out" the other dogs. She always is ascertive and confident around other dogs. Positive reinforcements, calming demeanors, lower voices, and creating a relaxing atmosphere also help to keep her from "overthinking" things. New people who are loud or who "talk with their hands" a lot should expect my dog to engage with them quite a bit. She will be very interested in whoever that is. We don't really have any "times" we allot for any of these things.

3. There isn't really a number I can say. She will be fine given that the "situation is normal" but say she wants to go out. She will very, very clearly let you know this, and if you aren't prompt, she can be very persistent. She will get between you and your phone, computer, TV screen, etc, if she needs to go outside and pee badly enough. If for whatever reason she is "bouncing off the walls" it will almost always have something to do with an outside stimuli. As a puppy, yes, some of her antics would truly baffle me, but in a way I've not seen in other breeds. They seem to be less apprehensive than any dog I've had, and are very, very ascertive and confident in my case. Dogs with bad socialization and self-esteem issues often don't take to her very quickly because she wears her confidence in her body language. These dogs have VERY intense energy and drive. They are very, very curious and also sharp. She tends to be concerned more than she is passive. She takes things head-on and tends to not want to show weaknesses or fearfulness.


4. When she was young, she was very interested in any sorts of animals she encountered and frequently would fearlessly make a straight-shot for whatever it was, almost without fear or hesitation, but she has never attacked any of these animals. It was almost again,"investigatory." She wanted to size up whatever it was. She has never attacked anyone or anything, but she is quick to figure out what they indeed "are about." She's only confidently walked around whatever it was, or purposefully scared it away from us/the house. I am outside with my dog quite a large amount of the time, and as time has went on, she no longer cares about bugs, birds, squirrels, etc. She just had to have more exposure to get over the distraction they caused her, and such small creatures are no longer an issue. She still likes to go ape chasing lizards but it's of no harm and sort of amusing.

However, she sees cats as threatening and I am proceeding slowly on her engaging with cats. Her energy noticeably changes around them, and it's with great intensity. I can tell her body language is that of a dog who feels threatened, and could act. Unfortunately this arose from bad experiences she's had with cats before as a puppy, and I keep the cat here in a different wing of the house. She is getting more comfortable with the idea, and she freaks out far less than she once did when she was younger, but again, I am approaching that situation slowly and with caution. I don't think it has much to do with her breed; again, she had a few bad experiences with them growing up that she hasn't let go of. But even at a time she could have attacked one, she didn't, and just gave it a lot of hell and made sure that the cat was scared of her instead of the other way around. One day I know she will be a lot better with them.

5. I'll be honest. When I raised her from a wee-little pup, she put her teeth on things more than any breed I've ever seen, but not aggressively. These dogs tend to like to "play rough," and that can turn off many people and it can be confusing for very small children. Their intensity and a very young child may not be the best combination for this reason, especially if you didn't raise the dog since birth. I see a young malinois as inadvertently having issues with small children rather than purposefully. I had to be very, very consistent and patient with her to completely end her from playing with others with her teeth, but I don't outright say it's a complete no-no. I engage her with a phrase that lets her know it's going to be okay to "play rough," and it's a completely made-up word as to not have someone accidentally uttering the phrase. My dog isn't a "family" dog per se, but I've never seen anything these dogs couldn't learn without being very, very consistent with them. Just be certain that you at least have complete control of them around these domestic situations as to not lead to little accidents of playing too rough or being too high energy for a small child is my opinion on that matter. These dogs are atheletes, not lap dogs. But with proper training I could see this dog being incredibly protective of a family unit and especially of it's children. My girl simply isn't around kids very much that it concerns me, and if she is, I am in control.

6. Honesty again. Yeah, it would probably seem that way in some senses. They really seem to have endless energy at times, can be unashamedly loud, are very bold at times, and get themselves into sort of silly circumstances. I'm not sure how she runs as fast as she does, and it's astounding how high she can jump. She also can balance herself very well, has incredible agility, and she wastes no time doing anything. She doesn't tend to go find a stick, she tends to come back with an entire log or maybe even a whole branch. They investigate their surroundings, and they're sniffing out things constantly. She ALWAYS wants to play. She can be awake all of 5 seconds and PLAY MODE if you encourage that. She tends to find ways to more urgently/quickly communicate with me about little things, she can learn new things in mere minutes with positive feedback, and she loves to learn stuff and figure it out. She is very eager to be good and she seeks approval for a lot of things. When she was a puppy, teaching her to sit/lay down was mastered in a mere few minutes, which astounded me. If she was laying down already, at full attention, and told to sit, she would actually sometimes leap up into the air instead of standing up, and then land on the ground in the sitting position! It's as if she was like a soldier shouting SIR YES SIR!!!!!! German Shepards are very driven dogs themselves and very easy to train also, but I'd say the biggest difference in her(and that I see online and hear from other owners) and a shepard is that her driven-ness is a few steps above that of a typical shepard, which is saying A LOT. Most people could not deal with this as their first puppy and I would not advise it at all. She's even taken me for a loop. I've had to re-evaluate a lot of my own techniques raising a dog. She pays very close attention to me sometimes. Most recently for example, she has taken a keen interest in figuring out how to open doors, open gates, and open dog gates. She will open the backdoor without fail. I've seen her take a running start, hop up at the handle, fling the door wide open and continue running outside. I often have to lock that door now. Screen doors she will open with little effort, and if you require a dog gate at a certain part of your home, ours has needed to be quite secured, and fully latched for her to not circumvent it. She knows full and well when it's not fully secure, and doesn't even try to open it when it's secured. On the front door we have an electronic deadbolt that opens when pressing a button, and it closes behind you when you shut the door. She has successfully activated this button a few times now, although this door's handle is trickier to open. I know one day though, she will have figured it out and we will need to change it up. Chain-link fence gates must have master locks on their handles. I have to watch this girl sometimes, but for her own good. She's still only about a year and a half old, and people say I haven't "cleared the hump" with her intensity. She typically means well, but she tends to learn little things "the hard way," also. but learn she does.

7. Here's where it gets interesting. We coexist. Some people may not be this way with their malinois, but she sleeps at the end of my feet, I tend to not go places without her, she has never required a leash unless we walked close to a busy road, and she has never shown any interest whatsoever in being very far away from me. She is by far the most incredibly loyal and mindful dog I have ever had, and she and I go on tons of adventures together. She knows it's kind of a "me and her" thing, and that others are kind of not in our "unit." Being consistent in the words and phrases I have used with her has been key to our communication, and while what I say to her may sound silly to others, it's what she understands. "Quit trippin" means tone whatever intensity she's having down a notch, "it'll burn you everytime" is a cover-all phrase meaning "puppy, whatever you're nosing around in right now is not going to feel good", and "what's ya doin with it" means go get your toy and let's play, to name a few. I know some people train these dogs to do incredible things, but I'm very happy with her and proud of her. She is very vocal, and interacting with her gets a lot of response. I can tell this dog actually loves me and seeks my own love and approval, which is sort of a first in my life with a dog. She knows she's good. Our favorite thing is to go camping at a river close to me. She never leaves my side, she helps carry stuff on her harness and it's so freakin' adorable, and she has a blast soaking in nature all night. I've gotten her to start understanding how to hunt crawdads under riverbed rocks, and hopefully she won't get snagged by one haha. It's our little passtime to go out camping and a major source of our bond. She also loves running with me on my mountain bike through trails. I know I can trust this girl with my life! It blows a lot of people away that I can take her anywhere. She's one of a kind. If you've ever played Fallout, she's more like a Dogmeat than a Beetoven, but I wouldn't have her any other way.

I'll conclude this with a few statements. These are not very typical dogs. In many ways they're really not like German Shepards. I'm not certain they are an ideal "family dog" that would be mostly indoors with the family. These dogs need to see the world, they need to learn things, do things, and contribute things to their "pack." They are a handful, require a real commitment, and if you didn't want a best friend, you have a really intense best friend now if you got one. I had to learn a lot of patience when she was a puppy, as I realized she was unlike any dog I'd had previously. This is a learning experience for me as well, and I'm no expert by any mean, but I would recommend teaching them "manners(they can be quite reckless at times)," nip it in the bud their mouthy and teethy ways, methods and commands that help them calm themselves in times of high energy, and give them things to do. Always be consistent in how you train them, do NOT give them negative feedback, and make sure they know they feel loved. Now that she mostly understands me and our life's routines, I make sure she knows she's a good, good girl! It motivates her to keep being better and better. They need to know they're doing a good job! When I look at her now, I see a little sidekick, a partner, and not a pet dog. She has useful qualities, and she can indeed be just that--useful. Sometimes I think she's more like a tool of sorts than a "pet." When I think of a pet, I think of something we as humans own to covet our own selves, but this girl, and like many I assume feel about the malinois, is that it's much more than a pet to them. These dogs won't be sane just sitting around in someone's house all the time. This dog has totally changed how I have to even live my life at times, but I am thrilled with her and these dogs are NOT for casual owners. I lucked upon her, got her for free at 8-weeks old, and I had no idea what I was getting myself into. It's taken a lot of mindfulness, persistence, and patience to understand and accept her for what she is, but now, I don't think I can go back to owning other breeds. All their qualities are next-level. Their puppy antics, teething, their intensity, their energy, their loyalty, their ability, their intelligence, their drive, their body language, their communication, and their love and loyalty for you are all next-level! Sorry if this was long, but this has been my experience with the Belgian Malinois. Please feel free to respond with insights, anyone.
 
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