Belhian Malinois

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by mrose_s, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. mrose_s

    mrose_s BusterLove

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    I've been pretty interested in this breed for a while, I like how versatile and driven they seem. But as far as I know they are definetly not for everyone. I knwo a few people on here have first hand experience with them so figured I may as well ask.

    How are they generally with strangers? I gather they are protective but do they remain reserved even after introductions?

    Is there a tendancy towards DA?

    How are they generally with other animals? Cats/Horses etc

    Do they act very differently when out and about as opposed to when they are at home with they're family?

    How much experience would you suggest an owner have before taking one on?

    What are the more common health issues in the breed?

    How trainable are they really? How much do they make you work for them to work?

    When are they at their happiest?

    What are they're excercise requirements?

    How "hard" are they generally? Buster falls apart if you give him a dirty look, Sophie couldn't give a crap if you knocked her down.

    How many different sports could you fairly stretch them to train for? I've never trained a dog to compete but am interested in trying out a lot of different things in future. Not planning on a Mal for my next dog but just thought I'd put in some research because I can.

    Anything else? Stories? Warnings? Pictures?
     
  2. mrose_s

    mrose_s BusterLove

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    And I spelt the name wrong in the title... go mags... someone can change that if they want.
     
  3. Jynx

    Jynx New Member

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    Malinois is one of my fav breeds:))
    I have quite a few friends with them and this is what I have observed:

    Your first 3 Q's, I'd say it depends on the dog, depends on how you've socialized trained

    I would suggest a new owner have TONS of experience before getting one, (I always recommend rescue for a first time mal owner/as in older dog)

    For the most part they are high energy, like a border collie on crack:)) they are quick reactors, and again, it pays to do your homework , know what your getting into, and be prepared to devote alot of time to one.

    A trainer friend who has two told me once,," A german shepherd will "think" before it dives into something, a malinois will just dive and then think about it."

    They can be great compact do it all dogs IF you know what your doing.
     
  4. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    There's a reason they're called melon heads. ;) They tend to be a breed that will jump into something and then figure out how to get out of it later. Their bodies tend to move slightly faster than their brains, which can be highly amusing when they do things like fall off a curb and can be very scary when they literally end up doing somersaults.

    I would very much suggest finding ways to see some in person -- go to trials, go visit breeders -- and seeing what's out there. There's a lot of variation in size and in temperament, so you really want to have a good idea of the different lines and what you're likely to get.
     
  5. mrose_s

    mrose_s BusterLove

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    Thanks CP, thats really helpful. They still sound like awesome dogs.
     
  6. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    They are awesome dogs. :D As long as you're prepared for them.

    And if you like having your house redecorated daily, free landscaping and body piercing. ;)
     
  7. AGonzalez

    AGonzalez Not a lurker

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    I've met a few at my SchH club...they are quite the characters. The ones I've met seem very biddable and ready to do anything...but have you ever seen "Over the Hedge"? Think of the squirrel (Hammie?) in that when he drinks the energy drink...yeah that's about how they move.

    The ones I've met are from reputable breeders and were all pretty social. I wouldn't want to break into their house, but on the field they were friendly enough. (They were training for Mondio or French Ring btw) it seems they need a lot of exercise and are pretty hyper-active, so it depends on if you like that.

    I would go with an excellent breeder or a rescue so you don't end up with a nerve-bag "Mal-igator".

    I remember reading something someone posted on another forum explaining the difference between a GSD and a Malinois, it went something like:

    Give a GSD a command to get something behind a fence, he will find a way around it or over to get to his objective. Give a Mal the same command and he'll plow right through the fence for the objective.
     
  8. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    There seems to be a few variations on that concept. ;)
    The one I've heard is:

    If you throw a tennis ball off a cliff, if you have a malinois, you'll have a dead malinois. If you have a GSD, he'll find a way down the cliff, get the ball, find a way up the cliff, drop it at your feet and look at you like "throw it the other way next time!"
     
  9. DanL

    DanL Active Member

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    Good info CP!

    I've only seen a few Mals. 2 were very well trained and very in tune with their handlers. Everything was fast, obedience was snappy. They other was a younger rescue and the handler was a jackass so I won't hold that against the dog.

    If you go the rescue route make sure you can see what lines the dog comes from. There are some very tough Mal lines out there, ones that can have a tendency to handler aggression and other issues that you might not want to deal with.

    One of the Mals I knew was a guy who I train with. She had a bad habit of jumping his 6' fence to chase rabbits, and got hit by a car. She was an awesome dog. One thing he told me, is because most have so much prey drive, they are often low on defense, which means they will not necessarily be as protective as a dog that has more defense drive. He has been around a lot of dogs and has even heard of dogs being stolen at trials because they had little suspicion towards anyone. People would walk right up to the crate, open it up, hook up the dog to a leash, and walk off. The other nice Mal I knew belonged to an older lady, she was doing some pretty advanced training with hers, but when it was go time, the dog failed her. Someone who had done construction at her house climbed the fence and jumped in her pool to cool off. When she confronted the guy, he started to approach her in a somewhat menacing way, enough that she wanted her dog to intervene. The dog didn't do anything, because the environment was her home and she'd never done any training with the dog at home. Anyone who came in the yard was trusted. She was never able to train that out of the dog. A beast on the protection field, and a pushover at home.
     
  10. AGonzalez

    AGonzalez Not a lurker

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    LOL yes, I like that one better, I'll remember that.

    I'd love to have a Mal personally, I think they are some great dogs.
     
  11. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    I think that has more to do with training than anything. As you know, you need to train the dog for the situations you need him to work in. I've never heard of them not having sufficient defense because of too much prey drive, and from the malis I've seen, I don't think I buy it.

    Yes, they have a lot of prey drive, but they aren't unbalanced in prey. They're intense in any drive. And really not much different from the GSDs I used to own in terms of how much drive they have and how social they are ~ and how much variation there is in temperament across the different lines. The biggest difference is that malis are FAST and malis tend to not think first and malis have a genetically missing off switch and there are more nervebag malis out there.

    I've seen a dog who was so off balance in prey drive that she had no defense. I owned her. I had fun testing her in defense so that the rest of the class I was in could see what it looked like ~ we'd never had such a dog show up. When she rolled onto her back, we called it quits. Didn't feel a need to make her pee on herself.
     
  12. wcladymacbeth

    wcladymacbeth New Member

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    Some people here have told me Caesar might be part Malinois, but I dunno... he's such an easy, sweet, good 60 lb lap dog. And he's not fast at ALL.. he's a clumsy oaf. He fell out of the car one time.. lmao he was ok but it was hilarious. (We were parked and he was supposed to be getting out of the car, but he fell out instead.) He is stubborn though, I will say that. He's really smart, too. I dunno.. we tell people he's part mal but I can't be for sure. All I know is that I love him and he's a perfect companion for my Maggie too :) There isn't a DA bone in his body. One time he got attacked by the neighbor's german shepherd and he didn't even fight back.

    This is my boy the day we got him :)
    [​IMG]
     
  13. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    He does have malinois coloring. But there are other breeds that come in fawn with a black mask.

    Falling out of a car is something a melonhead would do. :rofl1:
     
  14. stafinois

    stafinois Professional Nerd

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    Depends on the lines. Mine is not good with strangers. He likes HIS family and a few select others.



    Depends on the lines. Mine is terribly dog aggressive.



    He harasses our cats. He tries to kill strange cats. Thankfully so far, they have all gotten under the fence before he could get to them. He would probably chase horses.



    I think so. He is very social with the family, but would prefer to not have anybody else touch him. He particularly hates children, except ours.



    Proceed with caution. Think about WHY you really want one, and research carefully where you are getting one. My dog would be a working home's dream dog. I purchased him with the intention to work him, but then I got married, had a baby, moved to the middle of nowhere... Now I have a beast that should be working patrol somewhere sitting on the couch next to me. And, he doesn't sit still for long. He has no off switch, he just pauses for a few moments here and there. He is obsessive, loud, and obnoxious. He is reactive, and doesn't think before he acts. When he DOES think, he is scary brilliant. He knows how doorknobs work, and is a master escape artist. He is like the Lex Luthor, Darth Vader, or Voldemort of dogs. I love the **** dog, but boy is he an ass!!!!



    Not a lot. Some hip/elbow dysplasia, some eye issues. Gastric cancer is relatively common. You might see some more epilepsy, but that is more common in the other varieties.



    Mine loves to work! Most in the breed live to work.



    When they are doing something. Mine particularly loves to fetch. He will do it until my arm falls off (he does not get tired :yikes:)



    A ton.



    Most are harder than your Buster! Some are so much so that they will come up the leash and eat you when they are delivered a correction.



    My dog's breeder has done French Ring, Schutzhund, Herding, Agility, Dock Diving, Weight Pulling, Obedience, and probably other things that I am forgetting. They are quite versatile.



    Just be careful what you wish for. Most Malinois are far more dog than even the educated owner needs and wants.
     
  15. SmexyPibble

    SmexyPibble Blow. Me. Away.

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    A friend of mine had a Terverun and a Malinois. They were both very smart dogs, and the Malinois listened very well. The Terverun, on the other hand, had a mind of her own, and loved the bite the kid's feed under the trampolien. She would chase the kids, and then the Malinois would hop in and nip the Tervuren's leg, and pull her down, and she'd stop. It's like the Malinois was helping or something. ;) Or maybe she just didn't like the sound of the kids screaming, lol. I'm not sure, but she was a good dog, very, very smart.
     
  16. corky

    corky Ontario BSL rescue

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    My cousin had a Malinois. He was a firm, consistent and experienced dog owner, however his wife owned a poodle x and when left alone together the Malinois darned near killed the poodle a few times. So although my cousin was very good with his dog he was very much in denial that it could be aggressive towards their other dog.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2010
  17. Artfish

    Artfish Drivey and Intense

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    At the DVG club I was at, I talked to the owner of an awesome, titled, working line malinois. He was six years old at the time and his owner said that even at his age and with all his training, he must be kenneled or crated if not directly supervised/actively worked. She was brutally honest that he was no pet, just a working dog. From what I've gathered, this is very common in the working line mals but some do have a clear off switch and are able to settle in the house. When it comes to mals, I think it would be very wise to go to a few schutzhund clubs, training clubs, and agility clubs, anywhere with mal owners, and talk to them about daily life with their dog. Try to get pedigree info on the dogs you like so you can get a feel for lines that produce what you're looking for, get breeder info, etc. I loved that 6 y/o I watched work but there is no way I could live with a dog that couldn't "turn off" and relax.

    The current world record holder for dock dogs high jump is a malinois- 8' 1" or something like that... crazy. I don't think there is anything out there a mal could not do. With the right genetics, the question is not what the malinois could do, it's what the trainer desires to do with his/her dog AND the amount of time and money available!
     
  18. cpostelwait31

    cpostelwait31 New Member

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    IMO, mals I know are a bit clumsy... Though they somehow have the looks of a GSD, they can't be compared to them... However Mals could be a great pet with the right training,IMO...
     
  19. cpostelwait31

    cpostelwait31 New Member

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    IMO, mals I know are a bit clumsy... Though they somehow have the looks of a GSD, they can't be compared to them... However Mals could be a great pet with the right training,IMO... just like any dogs
     
  20. stafinois

    stafinois Professional Nerd

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    Well, having no off-switch and needing to be kenneled if not directly supervised doesn't mean that the dog can't be a pet, too. That perfectly describes my working bred Malinois, who is a member of the family and is currently pacing around my living room. He's annoying, but he's still our pet.

    This was taken just a few minutes ago...

    [​IMG]
     

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