1. Belgian Malinois: there... I said it. :s I almost feel bad for saying it because of the "so you think you want a malinois?" thing going around lately. Iâ€™m very interested in specific sports/competition (include but are not limited to dock diving, flyball, and nose work, potentially tracking and SAR... maybe/maybe not be the same Mal who competes in flyball), so I appreciate tireless and obsessive workaholics... and I'm aware that I tend to be an obsessive person who will work/train for hours per day/weeks/months, until I reach a goal that I set for myself. So I'm interested in a dog who innately loves to do the same. Size is kind of important here in both flyball and dock diving, because as much as a JRT is athletic and driven, he canâ€™t jump 15 times his length to match with the 20 feet jumps of Mals or Dutch Shepherds. I like a social malâ€™s PLAY-based drive and work ethic, their immediate willingness to do things because itâ€™s fun, and â€œeverything in life is so exciting I must do and push everything over because excited and learn new stuff because food and toys and handler gives me party and confident and fly at absolutely everything I want to doâ€. But I also need a stable dog, so a relatively social and stable mal (whether from breeder or rescue) is greatly appreciated, life being easier that way in the flyball and dock diving crowd. â€œBiting this toy or your shirt or the door because itâ€™s FUNNN and PLAYYYâ€ is great and also means convenient tug/toy as high-value rewards. Finally, I still very much appreciate some extent of suspicion and civility, especially when I live alone and when Iâ€™m walking at night. <__<
There's a 6 month old Mal in my nose work class from Loups du Soleil, her handler is into mondio, and watching her complete excitement over everything while working makes me ridiculously happy and jealous. D:
2. Golden Retriever: Obviously mals are my first choice overall, so this is totally weird. But because of my interest in a stable and relatively social dog, in addition to being able to compete in sports (ie: flyball, dock diving, nose work) successfully, Golden Retrievers are also cut out for this as a whole, but in a more balanced way. They completely lack the defense that I hope for though (using the word â€œdefenseâ€ and â€œgolden retrieverâ€ in the same paragraph weirds me out), but they make it up with sports potential, fun, and everything else.
3. German Shepherd: â€¦ I admit it, GSD's are just one of those "wanted ever since I was little" breeds, so thereâ€™s my excuse. ;_; Iâ€™ll inevitably end up being involved in the IPO crowd with a GSD too. But between Mals and GSD's, I prefer Mals for the reasons above.