Beligian Malinois

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by Brandyb, May 9, 2007.

  1. Brandyb

    Brandyb New Member

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    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. :)
     
  2. whatszmatter

    whatszmatter Guest

    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
     
  3. SummerRiot

    SummerRiot Dog Show Addict

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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.. :(
     
  4. BlackPuppy

    BlackPuppy Owned by Belgians

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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.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Amstaffer

    Amstaffer New Member

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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.
     
  6. SummerRiot

    SummerRiot Dog Show Addict

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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.
     
  7. BlackPuppy

    BlackPuppy Owned by Belgians

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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.
     
  8. SummerRiot

    SummerRiot Dog Show Addict

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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.
     
  9. ~Tucker&Me~

    ~Tucker&Me~ and Spy.

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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.

    ~Tucker
     
  10. wolfsoul

    wolfsoul I Love My Belgian

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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."
     
  11. MafiaPrincess

    MafiaPrincess Obvious trollsare Obvious

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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..
     
  12. Brandyb

    Brandyb New Member

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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!
     
  13. lakotasong

    lakotasong Sled Dog Guardian

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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.
     
  14. tessa_s212

    tessa_s212 Guest

    Best way I could even begin to explain this breed is a GSD/border collie mix on crack. :D

    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.
     
  15. Spiritus

    Spiritus New Member

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    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.
     
  16. BlackPuppy

    BlackPuppy Owned by Belgians

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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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