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Old 05-09-2007, 01:48 PM
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Default Beligian Malinois

I was wondering if anyone here had or has experience with this breed or the dutch shepherd - temerment, trainability, drives, sociability, behavioural issues etc etc.
Possibly looking for another agility dog, JRT is my #1 choice (already have one), however, i do really like this breed as well. I've heard many conflicting opinions on this particular breed, so am looking for some first hand info.
Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 05-09-2007, 01:52 PM
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If you find a good one, they're great. I can see a difference in them, as with all dogs. A new guy just started training with us, he has an 18 month old and a 10 week old mal from Belgium. Very different from a lot that i've seen. Their nerves seem more stable. They still have great quickness, and great speed. Very quick to obey, but not as hectic as a lot of them I've seen. A friend of mine also breeds very nice ones.

But as the Mal's have gained in popularity, you have to be more careful on who you buy from. Any specific questions you might have? Overall I love them. Dutch shepherds included, Not much experience with them, but the few I have seen I've really, really liked. GSD's still hold spot #1 though
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Old 05-09-2007, 02:24 PM
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Be ready for CONSTANT ALERT type of a dog lol

they need a crazy amount of socializing since you get them untli they get older.. To different foot surfaces, people, scenarios etc etc.

have you thought about perhaps a rescue? There are so many in rescues right now..
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Old 05-09-2007, 03:04 PM
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I have one and a half. My purebred it 18 months and she's always doing something. She's smart and will do anything for food. In her agility class, she was the star and even loves flying off the noisy teeter. She's also doing well with tracking and I finally started serious obedience training with her.

Are you getting the idea. They need lots to do. She's alert to everything, and has a strong prey drive. If it moves, she wants it. I would not let her near children without being in a sit stay. She's not been raised with them and doesn't yet understand that they are not her playmates. But she is not agressive, she just plays rough.

She's from French working lines full of French Ring III titles. I think there are some other long discussions about Malinois and their temperaments from earlier this year. You should do a search.

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.

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Old 05-09-2007, 05:45 PM
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Only got to know two (never owned one). One was owned by another teacher I know.

Her dogs is fantastic. She works at a school for troubled children and she takes her dog to school (I have major envy for that). She is great with strangers and does very well in agility work

She is kinda dominant with other dogs but I wouldn't say aggressive...just bossy.

If she had one problem is that she is kinda hard to keep weight on her. She seems to be continuously on the skinny side.

Her vet said she is completely healthy and just has a high metabolism. I guess like some humans they are just naturally skinny no matter how much they eat.
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Old 05-10-2007, 07:42 AM
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ALL Belgians are skinny.. lol

unless they are over the age of 5.. they just always seem to be skinny.

At least with working lines I have noticed.

Riot is SOOO hard to keep and get weight onto.. His lines were bred like that though, not to gain weight too quickly to enable strong joints.

Hes slowly gaining weight though and adding muscle on top of that.
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Old 05-11-2007, 12:18 PM
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My "puppy" is also "bossy". She's always telling other dogs what she thinks. It looks a little aggressive, but she's just talking.

I track with a bunch of people with other Belgians, Groenendaels and Tervurans, and they all seem to have this trait.
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Old 05-11-2007, 12:26 PM
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I hear you on that one BlackPuppy!!

Riot is bossy! Although, he WILL let a pushy female push him around for a little bit... but if it gets accessive he'll step up and say thats enough.
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Old 05-11-2007, 05:22 PM
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Just be prepared for a lot of dog, LOL.

I did look into them but I opted for a BC instead.

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Old 05-11-2007, 08:31 PM
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Malinois temperaments REALLY differ from line to line. Show and working malinois have such a split these days. Show malinois can be shy and "freaky," shy-sharp, noise-sensitive, etc. Working malinois can be very aggressive with excessive drive problems and alot of working sharpness. Getting a good malinois depends on where you look. Belgians in general are a difficult breed to get into because it is definatly hard to find a good-tempered one. They will have a good recall if taught well enough but shouldn't be trusted offleash -- malinois especially can be very prey driven. I've seen anything from a moving cat to a moving child set a Belgian into drive, and they will chase what they see, and some will try to catch what they see. You always have to remember when you have these dogs that you are responsible for them -- they are high energy, high drive, intense, and many of them are unfortunatly aggressive. These are all combinations for disaster if the dog isn't properly controlled. However these are also traits you can mold into a good working dog.

High drive Belgians are not the easiest to train for agility believe it or not. My dogs are high drive, I've trained with high drive Belgians. I've never met one that didn't have some form of working sharpness. Basically this can be as small as biting the owner when in drive to full out being handler aggressive when in drive. But I must say the biggest challenge is controlling the dog on the course. They will often choose their own course, sticking mostly with the contact equipment, especially the TUNNEL. I still have a hard time getting Visa to go over the jumps -- her eyes are glued to the contact equipment. When I first started with her, she would literally run through the tunnel back and forth ten times in a row before heading to the A-frame and running up and down it ten times in a row. My co-breeder had one dog who did the dog-walk four times in a row back and forth and managed to miss the contact every time LOL.

Belgians are AWESOME at agility because they do have the drive, the intensity, and they do want to work for you -- plus-sides are the speed and agility and the amount of physical control which definatly tops the border collies who tend to knock bars due to jumping too soon. Alot of serious competitors switch to Belgians because they definatly are good at the sport. But the amount of work it can take to get there is a turn-off for alot of people. When I first started classes I was placed in a group with three other groenendael. They called us the "impulse control group."
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