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  #11  
Old 05-12-2007, 02:41 AM
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I trained with 2 Belgian shepherds in agility for a while..
The younger male was bitey.. Great dog when he was going, but wouldn't drive forward without a target plate. Often would stop midrun to bite the owner.
The girl was excessively shy and seemed to hate it so on a good day trotted the course and was sketchy with contact equipment.
If the male was worked and worked I could see him beign an awesome agility dog, but seemed to be too much for its owner to handle least in the learning stages..
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  #12  
Old 05-12-2007, 08:12 AM
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Thank you everyone for your replies, I really appriciate it. Gives me a little more insight into the breed.
Wolfsoul, that is a lot of what I've heard about the breed, which has put me on the fence. I like high drive dogs, but sharpness I could do without.
Thanks again everyone!
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  #13  
Old 05-12-2007, 09:52 AM
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I live on our family farm with three Malinois from the same line (two bitches and a dog). They excel in the conformation ring, as well as traditional obedience, rally obedience, agility and herding. They're a truly wonderful breed and are a personal favorite, second only to my Siberians. Our lifestyle here is fitting for such high drive breeds, however. Neither Siberians nor Malinois are a breed that most of the general public would be suited to. If you'd like breeder referrals for Malinois, feel free to drop me a PM or e-mail. And as someone else stated, rescue is a great idea as well.
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  #14  
Old 05-12-2007, 10:03 AM
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Best way I could even begin to explain this breed is a GSD/border collie mix on crack.

I've worked with malinois rescues, but the two I've had experience with were not very typical of their breed, both being not as drivey and more laid back.
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Old 05-12-2007, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPuppy View Post
Her father was a social butterfly and loved people, but my girl is more typical of all Belgians and will not let anybody approach her.
In my mind, this is NOT typical of all Belgians. Belgians should let people approach them. They should be confident, not aggressive or scared. They shouldn't seek out attention from strangers, but they should definitely let people approach them and stand their ground with confidence and no aggression.

The thing about Malinois in North America is that a lot of the working lines are being bred to have over-the-top drive. This can make them difficult to handle in agility, as they have no problem blowing right through jumps and contact equipment, with no care for their own personal safety, and no care about keeping jumps up. As was mentioned, they can re-direct bite when in drive mode, making them particularly difficult to handle.

One thing I have learned since I started breeding Belgians is that temperament and drive are relative. I have very high standards for both, and although I love a high drive dog, I also want a level of self control. Often though, that self control needs to be taught. I have a new 12 week old puppy here now who has tons of drive. We've already started little lessons on self control.

The best thing to do if you are seriously looking for a drivey Belgian is to talk to owners of dogs and offspring in the line you are looking at. Also, take time to really talk with the breeder so you can ascertain whether or not both your idea of drive/workability is the same as his/her idea of drive/workability. Take the time to research the breeder fully. And if the breeder is pushy, find another.
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  #16  
Old 05-15-2007, 12:35 PM
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My girl prefers to do the approaching. If a stranger reaches for her, she will back up just out of arms reach. When the hand goes away, she's right up there checking the person out. She's still a puppy, so I expect her to improve still. She gets better every day.

I'm still amazed at how fast she learns things. When we started agility, she learned 2 on/2 off first try. Once she beat me to the end of the dog walk because somebody was standing in the way. She just stood there in her 2on/2off position looking at me until I got there to treat her. (She's my sweetheart!)

The nice thing about my breeder is that in addition to his lifetime health guarantee, he also has a temperament guarantee. So, if somehow you didn't get the dog you were expecting, it could be returned.
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