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  #31  
Old 05-25-2011, 01:41 PM
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I think there's a difference between giving your dog an outlet, and spending 40 hours a week turning him into a SchIII dog. A dog can be "just a pet" and still have an outlet for drive and energy. MOST dogs need an outlet for their drive and energy. I find the idea of a breed that is based on the idea that every dog must be a high level bitesport dog to be quite dangerous.
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  #32  
Old 05-25-2011, 01:46 PM
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But if that's what the breed is often bred for how is that any different than a breed bred for high level agility performance, or hunting trials, or herding?! Shouldn't we be breeding for high level performance in the sport/work the dog is being bred for?!

eta: 40hr/wk is a bit of an exaggeration - I spend about 6-9 hours/week at club practices (30-60 mins of which is me working my 2 dogs) and 15-20 mins/day on training with my schutzhund dogs in a good week. They aren't SchH III but I'd like to get there eventually...
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  #33  
Old 05-25-2011, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Raegan View Post
I think there's a difference between giving your dog an outlet, and spending 40 hours a week turning him into a SchIII dog. A dog can be "just a pet" and still have an outlet for drive and energy. MOST dogs need an outlet for their drive and energy. I find the idea of a breed that is based on the idea that every dog must be a high level bitesport dog to be quite dangerous.
so tell me, what is your experience with bitesport dogs, titles, training, etc. how many dogs? what kind?

40 hours? please it takes time, but it's a hobby for me, and I don't 40 hours a week to make sure I can live in the home with my dogs. It's raining again today, I have the day off, wanna know what my dogs have done all day? save for 5 minutes outside, they've been sleeping by my feet.
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  #34  
Old 05-25-2011, 02:55 PM
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40 hours/week was a purposeful exaggeration. I saw people arguing that you have to give these dogs an outlet on one side, and the other side taking that to mean that the ONLY acceptable outlet was high level bitsport. Not keeping a pet active, not biking or hiking, not fun-level agility, not silly pet tricks for no other purpose than adorability. Compete in bitesport or go home.

I don't mean dangerous as in dogs trained in bitesport are dangerous dogs that go around mauling people. I meant dangerous as in too much extreme in any breed for anything is dangerous. If you keep going down that road you end up with a dog that NO one can handle. It's the "every dog" part that I should have emphasized. I don't think it's healthy for people to be breeding any kind of dog so hot that they much be occupied with satisfying energy and drive outlets for the majority of the day. It's hard on people and it can't be fun for the dog to be constantly wanting to get out and DO something.

I'm certainly FOR breeding high drive dogs, I just object to the thought (as presented in the "Look don't Touch" article) that if you don't plan on pursing high level bitesport, you aren't allowed to have a Malinois, even if you can provide other outlets for their drives.
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:56 PM
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ok, i'll forgive you
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  #36  
Old 05-25-2011, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stardogs View Post
But if that's what the breed is often bred for how is that any different than a breed bred for high level agility performance, or hunting trials, or herding?! Shouldn't we be breeding for high level performance in the sport/work the dog is being bred for?!
Yes and no. There is a tendency with competitions to reward extremes. Conformation competition can tend to reward exaggerations of breed type, sometimes to the point where the dogs winning and being bred for are no longer ideal representations of the breed. Sport versions of work can tend to reward exaggerations in temperament and "style", sometimes to the point where the dogs winning and being bred are no longer ideal representations of the breed. Protection sports can be used to judge working temperament in some breeds. But not all outstanding sport dogs are outstanding working dogs and some outstanding working dogs don't make the outstanding sport dogs.

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Maybe when you say "keep as pets", you mean something other than casual dog owner who does nothing with dogs but the occasional stroll around the neighborhood or tossed tennis ball. Because massively titled in protection sports doesn't equal "keeps as pets" in my mind. That indicates somebody who is doing a ton of work with their dogs and understands how to meet the physical and mental needs of a dog.
There are quite a lot of Mal sport breeders who's dogs are strictly kennel dogs and kept solely for the purpose of sport. So to me "kept as pets" would mean the dogs are living in the house and being kept around for more than just sport purposes.

I met a guy a couple years ago who bought a Mal from a sport breeder for the purposes of competing at a high level in protection sports. He had done pretty well with his GSDs but wanted a Mal this time around. While he was very happy with the dog, he was actually disappointed to find out that Belgians tend to live a long time. That meant he'd be stuck with an old dog for years who could no longer compete and would just be taking up space. He didn't get a Mal because he loved the breed, getting one was merely a step to achieving a goal.

Belgians are kind of "complicated" dogs but I don't find mine to be all that hard to live with as house dogs. They are great at exercising themselves outside - with the exception of the 12 year old they almost never stop moving when they are outside. Inside they are usually pretty calm. They're always ready to do stuff though and they never quit when training. Of course, there are things about them that would likely drive some people crazy, just like there are things about other breeds that would drive me crazy
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  #37  
Old 05-25-2011, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by UniquityBelgians View Post

One thing I noticed being mentioned about this article by some malinois people; It's like the argument that you can only own a BC if you have a herd of sheep and 140 acres of land. Time and time again this is disproven (in fact MOST BC owners don't have sheep or acerage, I'm sure the BC owners here can attest), but those who own the dogs that make the rule can't always see it any other way.
What I got from the original article wasn't that you can't get a malinois for herding. Just that you shouldn't expect competitive herding/hobby herding to be your dog's sole outlet. I mean, I don't have very much experience herding but from the classes I've observed there's a lot of hurry up and wait. And then the dogs only get 15 mins or so on the sheep before they are done, so the sheep can be rotated and not become dog sour and things can end on a high note for the dogs before they start getting tired or interested eating sheep poo rather than the sheep themselves. Granted those were mostly beginner lessons, but taking a malinois out once or twice a week for something like that wouldn't really cut it for exercise and stimulation.

Those are awesome links though. Thanks for sharing, fascinating to read.
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  #38  
Old 05-26-2011, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by UniquityBelgians View Post
It says right there in the article "malinois do not make good pets." How can this be true? There are mal owners on this board; Do your dogs make terrible pets? Obviously not ir you wouldn't have one.
Yep, mine do make terrible pets.

Tyr is relatively easy as mals go. His drives are good, but not over the top. He's not bouncing off walls. He's got good inhibitions and self control. He's still a terrible pet, unless you truly enjoy the bruises and scratches from repeated nudging and can tolerate the incessant spinning and pacing that happens when he's not being given anything else to do. No off switch doesn't manifest as crazy destructive hanging from rafters behavior, it manifests as an irritating business.

Nyx is a horrid pet. She is over the top in drives and energy and will get destructive if unsupervised.

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In my own experience -- I don't get to meet alot of mals, but I must say I have NEVER met a high drive mal in my life. They've all been low key, low/medium energy dogs. I met one very fear aggressive mal. Other than that one, they've all been alot less challenging than my own groens. Easier to handle, less drive of all sorts. Easy dogs. This may not be the 'norm' but it goes to show that this article is just plain wrong.
Yeah, based on my experience with the breed, I'd say that's not the norm.

They should be fairly high drive and high energy.
I have a hard time believing the lack of an off switch is really correct, but it's there and it's been there for so long it's hard to find a mali with an off switch.

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Originally Posted by stafinois View Post
The Malinois is a young breed. To be honest, it has been used in law enforcement from the very beginning. Sure, their roots are in herding dogs, but bloodlines have been bred for bitesports and street work for decades. Most of these dogs have never seen a sheep.
Very true, and because of that they've been selectively bred for traits that excel in bitework as opposed to traits that excel in herding.

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Originally Posted by stardogs View Post
I'd much rather have an article overstate the requirements for a dog than understate them...

Aeri is, in my opinion, an "easy" mal. She is from SchH/IPO and competition obedience lines and her breeder specifically matched her with me because she's a good "starter" malinois who still has the drives to do SchH. She is 6mo, can be left alone in the house for up to an hour, naps in the evenings, and is generally quite mellow in the house. She is still *NOT* a dog that an average pet owner should have.

Why? Because she gets very easily aroused and her natural inclination is to grab at me when this happens. If you yell at her or try to physically punish her it ramps her up further. Problematic behavior has been nicely redirected to toys and obedience/schh skills, but are all behaviors that would've had her labeled "aggressive" in a regular pet home. She's incredibly social - aggression is *not* part of this behavior - but Joe PetOwner would have no clue how to deal with it.

Remember, too, that Joe PetOwner is not going to be the same as an "active pet" home - Joe PetOwner sees a dog breed that's "cool" and buys one from the first source available, doesn't train the dog past a sit and maaaybe walking on leash, expects Fluffy to accept all handling (much of it rough and inappropriate) from all people at all times, and often sees leaving the dog in the yard as appropriate exercise - none of those situations is conducive to a malinois, no matter how "correct" imo.

Heck most dogs don't fit with Joe DogOwner and that's why we euth millions every year in shelters - 30% of dog intakes at the shelter I worked at were due to preventable/treatable behavior problems. In that shelter that was equal to 3000 dogs annually for just one county!
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  #39  
Old 05-31-2011, 12:58 PM
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Yes I find with the energy and intensity Lily has, once or twice a week working sheep was nowhere near enough. If I could afford to go have sheep time every morning (our sheep are flighty and just run because she is very intense and drivey and my parent's BC is pretty worthless because my stepdad sucks as a handler... so thats an issue too) with the several really awesome trainers in my area, she would be a kick ass sheepdog. As it is I had to stop because I couldn't afford to do enough lessons to teach me what to do, so she gets zero sheep time now. With her drive its not worth ruining her and putting the sheep in danger with unstructured sheep time.

Scout would be even better I think if we could get her downs more solid. I bet she'd be good with cows too. I just don't have the money to put into that training venue. She is a perfect example of someone getting too much dog for them with both her previous owners. My friend's mom got her because she liked Lily.... and gee look how that turned out! She's so much happier with proper exercise and actual training outlets for her brain and drives.
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  #40  
Old 10-06-2012, 05:51 PM
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IMHO a herding dog IS a working dog & a true herding/working dog should be happy serving their human partner with any task they are doing. My ACDs love just a computing me on the ranch (of corse I have ACDs not mals, but IMO they are no less easy this mal article parallels many I have read on the ACD). Of course mine loved "working" but if there were days I wasn't feeling well (I am a woman... There are SOME days that I don't want to get up & home three miles lol) in these cases mine were just as happy chasing a ball as really working bc their real joy was spending time with me .

Many mal owners I have talked to have said this & a few friends of mine who own ACDs have mals (as pets not breeding) also which is what turned me on to the breed in the dirt place.

A working dog hat has no "off" or at least a "standby" switch is no good to anybody.
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