Herding or working dog?

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by staffanatic, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. staffanatic

    staffanatic New Member

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    I know of one malinois rescue in this area, so if my ex takes the cattle dog, i'll be shootin' them an email.

    Heck, the ex was more high maintenance than all my dogs put together, so maybe replacing him with a malinois foster is an even trade lol
     
  2. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Hahaha sounds like a great plan.
     
  3. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    I didn't realize Quarrel was from the same breeder (litter?) as Pan and Aeri.


    Show/performance Mals also have...umm...social issues. My friend's Clover is from a show/herding/performance breeder and she's very sharp, pretty much "no touch" when it comes to strangers. Her and Roust are fairly similar in their anti-social behavior. A FB friend of mine has a show bred Mal and while she's turned into a pretty nice adult, she bit multiple people as a younger dog because she didn't want to be touched. I have known sharp, reactive, overly guardy dogs of all varieties of Belgians and from all different lines. Care really much be taken in finding the right breeder/puppy regardless of lines.

    The working Mal community is very different from the AKC Belgian community. I think a lot of the AKC community is a bit more forthcoming with information about health/temperament than a lot of working community. It seems a lot of people involved in working Mals consider the dogs a business and their approach to breeding and selling seems reflects that. The number of Mals in ABMC rescue from working pedigrees and not far removed from known breeders/dogs is just...sad. I'm not saying all working Mal breeders are like that but so far, most I have talked to seem to have varying degrees of the "breeding dogs as business" mindset. Some of those, I'd probably still buy a dog from but I'd do so because I think the dogs are nice and not because I think the breeder is stellar in terms of ethics and practices.
     
  4. Red Chrome

    Red Chrome New Member

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    I have met a few nice Mals that run agility. Very stable socially acceptable dogs.

    I will say, GSD fights are NASTY. I've seen some redirect when being separated. They can br worse to separate IME than some Bulldog type dogs.
     
  5. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Yup Q is from Stephanie but not the same litter.

    I sometimes think I over share or my dog is just way more quirky than others. We love him and he is a joy to watch work because you just cannot shut him down, ever, but his day to day life is unquestionably difficult.

    Sloan is honestly a pretty easy malinois. She's dangerous and has literally gone through two windows as well as pinned more than one person and was target trained to the sleeve because she preferred stomach/face bites. However, she can greet anyone, tolerate most any dogs, and although she's cautious she is confident in new locations. It doesn't need to be said that in many ways we think she's the perfect dog but we still see some faults, for example we wanted to breed to Q, before the move, to add a bit more social confidence, she's safe but cautious and sometimes cautious looks nervous on the flip side Q lacks some of the desired edge, he's a very play driven dog in Bitework but he's still young so the verdict is still out.

    Social stability, IMO, is extremely complicated for this breed.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2012
  6. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

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    This might be kind of a dumb question, but isn't a Belgian a Belgian a Belgian? Any Belgian combo can throw any Belgian..mal, terv, groenendael, correct? Sooo..why do Mals have such a (cough) reputation compared to tervs and groenendaels? The herding trainer I visited bred Tervs.. they didn't seem nearly as wired, or as high energy as most mals I have known. I haven't interacted with a lot of tervs, but those I've seen have been reserved and relaxed..the mals, not at all.

    I really agree. I always think of this video I saw where a whole heap of Goldens (maybe like 30-50) were going for a walk or something, off leash, they all ran down this hill together and came back together. There's another girl that had like 15 Border Collies in one car, brought them to a park to play. You don't see this with GSDs or Rotties.

    Casey was reactive but not SSA. Well, not in the household, more 'naturally dominant' type breed females initially she had a problem with. She didn't get along with my friend's mature female dobie. She didn't out and out fight though. I don't think a lot of GSDs are dog park material and they are a bit socially awkward. I have heard of a lot of interhousehold aggression with GSDs though, met a number of DA individuals. My friend has a European bred Schutz trained female that is far too intense to be trusted with other dogs.

    It's been about a year now that Romeo has been very iffy with Soldier..so he was 5ish before they decided to hate each other although they have always fought infrequently. They can walk by each other but can't be allowed to 'meet' or they start posturing and will fight. Romeo is also "over stimulation aggressive", if everyone starts barking and running to the door he might spat with one of the other boys. His girls though can take something out of his mouth or do anything to him, and he is great. I have no concern with them.

    SSA is also a concern with the ACD.
     
  7. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Because in many places we don't breed Malinois with other coats as much as standards allow, so no a malinois is not always a terv and the like. Also, balance, which is so very debated as is, isn't the main goal for many breeders, super high end working machine is the goal, house manners are not an issue and because you can train many social issues into control that is not always an issue either. This isn't always true of course but it is common.

    Backup was bred and sold with sport/work in mind while being a balanced (rather modern) concept of a dog to be a pet in addition to being a sport or work extraordinaire was not the goal. This breeding turned out some fantastic working dogs which are prized in police work and bitesports, etc. However, I've said it before but his breeder laughed at me when I said he would be a house pet. I thought I would show her. Thus far, she wins the last laugh.

    Honestly I tell people regularly as a rule Malinois do not make good pets, not even to active homes, they can and I have met some social ones and also some very easy going ones (especially from Mexico) but I do not recommend them to people expecting a pet by the most commonly understood ideals(evaluated by my clientele).
     
  8. Panzerotti

    Panzerotti New Member

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    I agree with everything Adrianne and Aleron have said here. I love Pan, but she is nuts, and is a total non-social dog. You never know what you'll end up with when it comes to Mals.... looking at her breeding, her sire and dam are both SchH 3 dogs, both seemingly social and relatively easy going. Yesterday my father-in-law came over for a second so we took the dogs out to go see him. Nathan had gone out first with Solo and I followed a few minutes later with Pan. Pan *knows* this man, but upon walking outside of our apt building door and seeing a "strange" man, her knee-jerk reaction was to freak the f*** out. I then put her in a sit stay beside me, but the flip had switched in her brain, and there was no way he could have greeted her or tried to touch her without getting bit.

    Sure, there are a lot of social, trust-worthy Mals out there, but there also a lot of nervy, sharp ones that can be a real challenge to live with if you're not prepared to do a *lot* of training and managing.
     
  9. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Backup sounded off on Denis in the kitchen the other day, he stopped when he realized it was him but he remained on edge the rest of the evening. I know how that goes.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  10. smeagle

    smeagle New Member

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    I don't agree you don't know what you are getting when you get a Mal. I think knowing the lines are about more than saying there was a SchH titled dog here and there. I also think from my experience a dog is ultimately a product of its genetics and genetics are there from day one. There are lots of nervous high drive Mals out there which isn't a good combination and IMO not what the breed should be like. High drive is useless combined with weak nerves. I agree they really wouldn't make good pets for most people - but a good Mal is an exceptional dog IMO!

    ETA: I think all dogs require management to some degree but obviously when living with a high drive WL dog appropriate management is so important. It's something you are either happy to live with or you aren't.
     
  11. BlackPuppy

    BlackPuppy Owned by Belgians

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    I have also met very nice stable Malinois from show lines. But also some from working lines. I've seen the opposite also. The non-show line people often don't care as long as they "work", which to me means "bite". My Malinois is from working lines. Her father is from the Banc des Hermelles kennel in France. http://www.chiens-de-france.com/site_eleveur/index.php?ID_ELEVEUR=19165&ID_SITE=20421

    She is a handful! ...and the reason I don't recommend Malinois to people who don't know what they are getting into. That said, there are some really nice Mals in ABMC Rescue, and there is always a need for foster homes.
    http://www.malinoisrescue.org/foster/

    In my area, Ohio/Kentucky, there are a lot of the long hair Belgian breeders, so I have the opportunity to see a LOT of those.
     
  12. cleptlex

    cleptlex Guest

    You commit an error. I can defend the position. Write to me in PM, we will discuss.
     
  13. toxzobia

    toxzobia Guest

    The amusing moment
     
  14. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    I think any time you put two dogs together that have some "guts" or a bit of fire in them, the DA part, when present is a lot more noticeable. My first Bitch hated dogs, all dogs, male or female. Unless you were a part of our little circle of friends, then you were the best thing ever as far as she was concerned.

    At least with me, before me she fought with the two other females, a corgi and a mal all the time in her house. Legs were broken from bites, faces scarred, and punctures.

    She lived most of her life with at least one female in our house and a 2nd one later in her life with no issues with either of them.

    I had to work a lot on dogs outside the "pack" so to speak and eventually she was ok with them as well, at least not reactive or aggressive, but I kept it all very controlled. If it wasn't, it was on.

    My two females I have now, dogs they don't live with? who cares. no aggression, they don't really pay much attention to them at all. They notice them, but there is no desire to interact positively or negatively with other dogs. One is generally a bit snarky with others that get in her face, basically, just telling them she's not interested, but no real aggression, just a voice of displeasure. This female played like crazy with my other female, constantly, but since she's passed, nothing and it's been over 2 years.

    She will play with some dogs, but it's not a regular thing, she just doesn't seem to care one way or the other.

    The other female, Yoli, doesn't care about others much either, but if they're up for play, she's more than willing. Males or females.

    These two together though wasn't always good. Took a bit of work and today, I can keep them out together inside or outside and they can exist together, but it is under constant supervision and management. One wrong step between the two and it is go time and it is ****ing nasty. I hate dealing with it, but I love my dogs so I do it.

    The two males I've had here Bo and Paco, never any issues, male or female, pack or non pack dogs.

    I think there is a lot behind DA, SSA or any aggression issues. Too many variables to make a blanket statement. It's not a deal breaker for me. I'd rather not deal with it, but can if I have to.

    As for Mal's, definitely find they type you like and get one from there :) I've worked with a lot of them over the years. Some are very nervy, snipy driven messes. Make the handlers happy on the field but IMO sucke everywhere else. But that's me. There are a lot out there like this, just because it has some titles doesn't mean it will be a dog you are happy with.

    I've also worked with a lot that are very driven, very stable and very social and everything and I do mean everything in between. One that I work with a lot is great. He'll bite the **** out of me and then 30 seconds later we can be hanging out, he'll jump in my lap and eat pizza with me. He can pace for hours on end or he can just lay and chill, I swear he looks stoned sometimes, for quite a while as well. A very balanced and driven dog, but he's kind of weird I think

    His daddy on the other hand, not nervy and driven, but he is NOT social by any means. and if you displease him, he'll let you know. He's fine in his "pack" but if you're not in it, good luck. his mother is a sweet heart. I'd take her home today if I could. I'd take his daddy too if I knew I could feed him without being lunch myself :).

    They have 4 mals, 2 males/2 females and they live in the house together and are fine, Plus an offbreed. One was a national champ ring dog and the one up and coming, no doubt will be on some podiums as well when his training is complete. So she's a pretty savy dog person. A person without a clue would be in a house of chaos and there probably would have been some accidents in that situation.

    There's just such a wide variety in all the breeds that you really need to get out, see the dogs, find some that you like and find out where they got them from. See them with your own eyes and interact with them in your own way for a bit if you can. That's how you'll find a dog you like.

    Writing about and reading about is great, fills in the gaps until you can actually observe and feel in person. Thats' when the real and meaningful evaluations can take place.
     
  15. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    I don't think anyone is disagreeing their fondness of the breed, we will always own malinois. A good malinois, even a bad one, is a stellar dog in the right home. I also believe though that nerves are very complicated in high drive dogs, my aforementioned male for one example.

    That said there is still a fair amount of variety in each litter and while that is true in every breed it can feel much more drastic in this breed, due to their propensity for intensity, edge, and energy.

    I believe strongly that for the sake of the breed, and in an effort to combat the ever climbing rescue numbers, it is essential for those seeking dogs to be careful in their research and be both prepared for the best and the worst(which is debatable, due to desires and lifestyles) of the breed.
     
  16. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    For what it's worth even though Backup is a moron with other dogs I believe within the mals I've owned, borrowed, trained, and befriended very few would be unable to learn to live with companions of either sex. I could be skewed from owning pit bulls for years before malinois but their dog issues don't seem prominent enough to concern me. We've had a few friends ask who'd win a fight between of our malinois or insert other dog here (for example when a mastiff charged us out hiking) and Denis simply laughs, Great at hurting people, not so dangerous with dogs (with little dog turned prey animal as an exception).

    Ps, also sorry for the malinois focus, I don't know nearly enough about GSDs or Aussies or ACDs to contribute elsewise.
     
  17. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    This is true to a degree. You can't really assume anything based on titles or even that the dogs being bred are "real working dogs". DA issues aside, I think it's probably easier to find a good (driven, intense, sound, stable, safe) working bred GSD than a good working bred Mal because IME there are just more working bred GSD people want the whole package. So many working Mal breeder only seem to care about the biting and how intense and awesome their dogs look while biting. Interestingly, it really seems many traits sport Mal people like are prety superficial in that, they like it because it looks cool and not because it's truly important for the work. It's like that in other breeds too, where they are being heavily selected for a sport. Field trial Brittanys are selected for them things that are not really what a normal person looking for a hunting dog would want. But their stylized way of working looks impressive in field trials.

    However, there are certainly good Mals out there from both working/sport and show/performance/herding breeders. One thing I always tell people to look for is that the breeder has similar ideas about what makes a good dog as you do. If it's important to you that the dog be able to be a good companion, look for a breeder who feels the same way. I know the breeder Roust's sire came from fully expects his Mals to be good family dogs, house dogs and be very sound. Roust and his sisters are all good companion dogs and not especially difficult to live with. Roust is not at all a pacey, unable to settle down dog. However, Roust is not a dog strangers can touch. He is super happy, dorky, lovey with his family and friends (and he never forgets his friends) but he doesn't want strangers to touch him. His dam was pretty much from the opposite sort of breeder as his sire and she is extremely nervy and IMO a pretty unsound dog. Roust is the least social in the litter, from the ones I know (there's two still at the breeder's and one still in a home the breeder sold to).

    All of that said, the fact is that anti-social tendencies, sharpness, reactivity, etc exist in the Belgian breeds/varieties. I believe these traits were probably there from early on and will still pop up, even in carefully planned for litters and breeders who don't find such traits acceptable. IME if anything, with Belgians if you aren't selecting for social, stable dogs you will get more and more nervy, reactive, sharp ones. That seems to be what the breed pulls towards naturally. IMO this is because they are a more primitive, less developed breed compared to say a GSD.

    So the Belgians are just...complicated. You can do everything right and still end up with puppies who are not really ideal temperament wise. However, that doesn't mean you should use that as an excuse to breed unstable dogs either. Instead, that should be kept in mind when making breeding choices to try to weigh the odds in your favor for getting a stable, safe dog. These dogs are also very sensitive to environment and training. Without proper socialization and training from an early age, even a very promising puppy can end up...weird. OTOH I have seen weird puppies really come around with a determined and devoted owner. These are supposed to be versatile dogs, able to do just about anything you want them to do. And they are supposed to be devoted companions of their people. For me, it's just not acceptable to breed generations of dogs who live their lives out in kennel runs because people can't stand to interact with them outside of work/sport and justify it by saying "they're bred for work and not pets".
     
  18. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Good post, I especially agree with this bolded part. LOL
     
  19. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    This x a million!

    As mentioned, Pan and Aeri are from the same litter and they are both drastically different in a LOT of ways. I've also met two of her other siblings.

    Where Pan is not social, Aeri really is as long as I'm around. Tied out without me, she completely ignores people. Completely - she looked straight through 3 men during her BH even when they were trying to get her to interact. If someone else tries to get her out of a crate or hold her on leash, other than my husband or I, she will act fearful and strains to get away, but never acts aggressively.

    Aeri's brothers, Tiny and Trouble, are generally very fearful of other dogs and neither is as social with people as Aeri, though they were more social than Pan has been described (Tiny just ignored me after a few barks, Trouble was quite avoidant but settled a bit after a few minutes). With dogs, Aeri is unsure about them but not overly afraid generally - she likes to play appeasing but annoying puppy with new dogs.

    From everything I know of the sire and dam of the litter, both are generally stable dogs, both are nicely titled. The dam is known for throwing "easier" mals as well.

    Genetics can do some really weird things!
     
  20. Panzerotti

    Panzerotti New Member

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    Your opinion of what the breed should be does not change the reality of what the breed is, and what a potential puppy buyer might end up dealing with.

    Thank you again, Aleron, Adrianne, and stardogs for elaborating on what I'm trying to say in a much more eloquent manner. :)

    As for DA, while Pan hates strange people, she absolutely loooooves most other dogs and usually tries her best to sweetly make friends.
     

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