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Old 01-08-2013, 08:51 PM
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Fran101 Fran101 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Boston
Posts: 12,292
Default Malinois people.. advice? (/got bit the other day)

Ok, the back story.. I'm a dog walker and walk two malinois. I'm the only walker that will walk them (I was introduced to them with the owners present and MOST of the time...these dogs are fine) They are very intense dogs and the other walkers are scared of them (they are either loud and eerily quiet and either spinning/running/jumping or totally immobile. Just..odd dogs but not aggressive) ..if everything goes to plan, leashes are in the same place, I walk in, open their crates, leash em up and we go to the park and all is well.
These dogs are in crates 8-10ish hours a day. I LOVE being able to let them really run in the afternoon. Our park has a baseball area that is never used so I go in there, lock it and let them run for an hour and play with them and their owners say it has REALLY helped.

These dogs don't LIKE me exactly.. I mean.. they love that I have a chuckit and love going to the park. but they aren't very affectionate at all.. I mean, I kind of am just this thing that throws the ball and holds the leash. Which is fine.. but it's recently become apparent that I can't keep walking the line of "thing that holds ball/leash" because there has been incidents

There have been two incidents now with these dogs.

1. My mistake.. I let them out of their crates BEFORE I found their leashes. The leashes weren't in the same spot so I went looking and they cornered me barking and freaking out because I went into the bedroom (where the backup leashes are) I stood there petrified but at the end of it all no harm done really. I called the owners and told them to PLEASE ALWAYS leave the leads on the hook. No problems since until..

2. And more recently. I got the leashes, let them out of their crates, leashed them up.. and then noticed my shoe was untied.
I didn't open the door yet and one of them was in their GO GO GO GO BARK and kind of crazy mode and being excited and when I bent down to tie my shoe he got a little surprised I guess, redirected and bit my ear.
It drew blood, and it was my ear so there was blood everywhere.. but it wasn't a BAD bite. He didn't growl or latch on. it was just like his mouth did it before his brain understood.

My boss says enough is enough and wants to drop them as clients saying they are a liability and what if they bit me seriously etc...
Right now it's under deliberation

Any ideas on what I can do to kind of try to make this not happen again?

The owners gave me the OK to give them treats and do whatever I need to do really.
I do like these dogs. they are wicked smart and fast and I do LOVE being able to take them out..it's not fair they are crated as long as they are.
I just really don't want to get bit again. I know he didn't do it on purpose but it hurt!

They aren't aggressive. I know it reads like WTF.. but they are just..I dunno.. intense and loud and excited. The male that bit me, really, he isn't a MEAN dog. He is just pent up and when he does get out it's like OH GODDDDD and he loses his ****.

and their owners aren't bad people. They are super active with their dogs on weekends and tuesdays (they go hiking and camping and running all kinds of stuff) and they do go running with them every night (like jogging) but every other weekday.. it is what it is. They are pent up.

Any ideas?
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